WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, 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
awider 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.”
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.