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Local health department receives grant

April 12th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

The Allegany County Health Department was recently named as one of 17 grant recipients by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), receiving a $100,000 grant to expand adult dental services and improve the ability of the health department to respond to the dental emergency needs of adults going to the hospital Emergency Department.

 

“Through the funding provided by this grant opportunity, our safety net dental clinic staff will be able to put into place a system that will increase access to care for many underserved adults and reduce avoidable emergency department utilization,” stated Dr. Gretchen Seibert, Dental Health Director at the Allegany County Health Department.  “Our plan is to build the capacity of our safety net dental clinic and leverage community-hospital partnerships to address the oral health needs of low income adults with limited access to care.”

 

In collaboration with community partners including Western Maryland Health System, Allegany Health Right, and the Human Resources Development Commission, the health department aims to decrease the number of ED visits for emergency dental treatment by expanding access to alternative resources for eligible adults.  The grant program will also connect patients to care coordination staff who can help them enroll in Maryland Medicaid or Affordable Care Act coverages if needed.

 

“The goal of this start-up initiative, made possible through the CHRC grant award, is for this program to become self-sustaining by the end of the grant period, which begins May 1, 2017 and ends September 30, 2018,” said Patrick Panuska, ACHD Deputy Health Officer.  “This will allow us to create a system that will increase access to care for many underserved adults and reduce avoidable emergency department utilization for many years to come.”

 

In announcing the grant award, Maryland CHRC Executive Director Mark Luckner commended the program and its projected impact on health outcomes for at-risk adults in the county.

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