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UM Charles Regional Awarded $2.1 Million Grant to Expand Diabetes Programs

LA PLATA, Md. - UM Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC) announced today that it has been awarded a five-year, $2.142 million grant by Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) to expand diabetes programs in Charles County.

The grant will allow UM CRMC to provide expanded diabetes self-management training services, offer wrap-around services including medical nutrition therapy, home visits, on-demand transportation, and medication delivery, and provide additional support for patients to participate in diabetes education and prevention classes.

“As identified in our Community Health Needs Assessment, diabetes is one of the most prevalent public health issues in Charles County,” said Noel Cervino, President and CEO of UM CRMC. “Approximately 11 percent of county residents suffer from this disease, and this funding—more than $420,000 per year-- will help us expand the vital services we are able to provide to people suffering from diabetes.”

“What is most exciting is how this grant will help our hospital expand access to care for diabetes patients,” said Mary Hannah, RN, BSN, MPH, CDCES, Manager of Population Health programs for UM CRMC. “Nutrition therapy, home visits, providing transportation to classes and doctor’s visits, and ensuring that patients have access to medication will help us provide these patients with much more holistic programs and more options to participate in the management of their care.”

Examples of new or expanded programs as a result of this grant funding include:

• UM CRMC experts including Nurse Navigators, Pharmacist Technicians, and other staff will provide newly-diagnosed patients with diabetes care starter kits including a glucometer, 30-day supply of testing supplies, and education about managing their disease.

• Expansion of the Phase 3 program, which provides exercise for patients with diabetes, and helps offset the out of pocket costs for up to 10 participants per year in a partnership with Greater Baden Medical Center and Health Partners. This will help provide medically underserved (uninsured or underinsured) patients with diabetes education and prevention services.

• Expanded partnership with the leaders of Charles County’s faith-based community organizations to provide Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) training at places of worship and reach a wider population when marketing our diabetes support groups and programs.

• Expand our Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) services to bring assistance to patients in their homes who are struggling with managing testing with glucometers and/or medications for diabetes management due to health literacy or other social barriers.

“With this grant, we will strive to help our community prevent diabetes and help those already diagnosed with the disease to better manage their health and achieve the best wellness possible. We will also develop and expand programs that improve access to diabetes-related healthcare services and education, and lower the prevalence of diabetes countywide,” said Hannah.  “Without education, support, and medical intervention, diabetes can lead to frequent emergency department visits and more serious, potentially life-threatening conditions which include cardiovascular disease (i.e. heart disease, hypertension) kidney disease, nerve damage, foot ulcers, and more.”

Grant funding will also allow for greater collaboration with community partners to provide wraparound support for transportation to and from training and medical appointments, telemedicine, access to free and low cost physical activity programs, and prepared meals to address barriers to care that impede healthy outcomes in the diabetic population.

UM CRMC and partners also plan to implement a shorter, community based workshop for uninsured and underinsured residents which will cover basics of diabetes education.

UM CRMC’s successful grant application was supported by multiple partners who will participate in the five-year program, including the University of Maryland Medical System, the Charles County Department of Health, Greater Baden Medical Services, Health Partners, United Way of Charles County, the Charles County Mobile Integrated Healthcare program and Lyft Health Concierge Services, and more.

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