ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — The pandemic continues to highlight health disparities and lack of access to healthcare in marginalized communities.
As a result of the Maryland Health Equity Resource Act, nearly 60 million dollars will go toward closing that health gap across Maryland.
“Without your health to begin with you’re not able to take care of your kids have a job and maintains responsibilities in life,” said Edward Kasemeyer the chairman of Health Equity Resource committee.
With tens of thousands of Marylanders in that category right now members of the community health commission are focusing on solving that problem.
There a many people in our communities black and brown that are living are living in locations where there are no resources,” said Jaki Bradley who sits on the advisory committee.
For the first time since the ‘Maryland Health Equity Resource Act’ was enacted the commission met to discuss strategies to deploy nearly 60 million dollars of funding to help those who’ve been left behind.
We have always known as health care providers that individuals health is directly impacted by social economic status,” Bradley shared.
The first portion, the Relief Act will provide $14 million dollars in new funding for pathways to health equity grants for a two year term laying the framework for Health Equity Resource Communities.
Which will provide 45 million dollars worth of grants over three years across the state.
The goal is to reduce health disparities, improve health outcomes, improve access to primary care and resources and to promote primary and secondary prevention services
In order to help Marylanders there are a few factors up for consideration which were a crucial part of the meeting.
For example, whether the focus should be on chronic diseases or giving grant applicants the choice to take a broader focus.
The commission intends to include areas with a population of at least 5000 people for maximized impact.
“We’re trying to give the money to those people can effectively use it to make a change in their community” said Kasemeyer.
Public meetings across the state to inform communities and potential grant applicants will begin as early as October