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Maryland Delegation Announces More Than $3 Million for Rural Health Care Facilities

October 26, 2022
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, along with U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.), today announced $3,079,600 in U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding for six Maryland health and wellness-based facilities to improve and modernize their services.

Funding comes through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program of the American Rescue Plan Act and will be allocated to the following facilities:

Westminster Rescue Mission Inc., $998,400 – To hire additional staff for its Addiction Healing Center, upgrade the Mission’s building and purchase more COVID-19 tests and resources for staff and patients.
Garrett County Regional Medical Center, $802,700 – To provide equipment for Garrett County Memorial Hospital that will help hospital staff assess patients over 65, who are at greater risk of contracting a more serious case of COVID-19, and replace equipment that has been exhausted during the pandemic.
Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center, $459,000 – To establish the “Eastern Shore Delmarva Farm to Freezer Project” – a produce processing and aggregation facility that will increase the availability of locally processed produce, increase opportunities for local farmers and provide a wider access to a variety of foods in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester Counties.
Minary’s Dream Alliance Inc., $374,900 – To fund the staff and their travel expenses, along with the purchase of food, packaging supplies and equipment for the Alliance’s “Feed the Elderly Program,” which was established during the pandemic to provide food to low-income seniors in Kent County.
Brook Lane Health Services Inc. in Washington County, $268,100 – To reimburse lost revenue caused by the pandemic. Over the past three years, Brook Lane was forced to remove some of its inpatient beds to limit the spread of COVID-19.
End Hunger in Charles County, Maryland Inc., $176,500 – To establish a food distribution facility in Indian Head, Maryland by investing in a building, trucks, walk-in freezers and bulk food. Indian Head has a population of 3,844 people, over 12 percent of whom live in poverty. This will serve as the first fresh food source in the town since 1999.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on Maryland families in every corner of our state, exacerbating challenges that have been building up in the health care system for years. That’s why we must keep working to ensure that everyone has equitable access to health services they need, regardless of their zip code,” the lawmakers said. “These federal funds will support the health and wellbeing of people across our state, especially targeting rural areas that are often under-served. We will continue to support these health care facilities and work to increase access to health care in all of our communities.”

TeamMaryland fought to pass the historicAmerican Rescue Plan Act with unified Democratic support.

The Emergency Rural Health Care Grants were first made available in August 2021. The grants provide assistance to health care facilities, tribes and communities looking to expand health care services and nutrition assistance in rural areas.

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Health implications of fracking focus of Garrett meeting

June 28 event open to public

For the Cumberland Times-News

Cumberland Times-News

— MCHENRY — A public presentation on the health implications of fracking to be held June 28 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Garrett College auditorium will include time for community comments and questions.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside.

Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Dr. Amir Sapkota and other team members from the University of Maryland’s Institute for Applied Environmental Health will deliver the presentation. “We are looking forward to reporting to the community on our results, conclusions and recommendations,” Wilson said.

Last fall, Wilson and his team met with community members to compile a list of issues and questions they wanted addressed by the public health study. The comments made in those meetings were written up and are available to read at www.marcellushealth.org.

This is also an opportunity to hear more about the work of Maryland’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.

Representatives of the Allegany and Garrett county health departments will be present.

The June 28 meeting will be an opportunity to understand existing threats to Allegany and Garrett County air quality and why citizens may want to be trained to conduct their own air quality monitoring in addition to that being done by the state.

Pre-existing environmental threats need to be documented, so that if fracking is permitted, officials and scientists can determine if new problems with air, soil or water contamination are emerging. For public health purposes, it will be important to know if illnesses can be attributed to any phases of gas extraction and production.

The meeting is hosted by the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park. MIAEH requests an RSVP atmeleahboyle@gmail.com.

More here.

Local Residents Testify

Mar. 8, 2012

Garrett County residents were among those who testified this week in Annapolis before the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee of the Maryland Senate. At issue were 20 different bills that have to do with the drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale layer in western Maryland.

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Among those who testified were members of the local advocacy group CitizenShale, business owners, and private citizens. Pictured at the table above, from left, are CitizenShale members Eric Robison of Garrett County, Jacquelyn Sams of Allegany County, and Nadine Grabania and Paul Roberts, both of Garrett County. The various pieces of legislation cover issues of property leasing, potential damages, disclosure issues, and taxation of drilling companies.

More here.

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