As reported by the Eastern Star Democrat, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown recently held a press conference in Cambridge to announce the formation of a Health Enterprise Zone to assist Caroline and Dorchester counties with addressing health disparities. The State anticipates providing just over $3 million to the Health Enterprise Zone during the four-year pilot program.
The Dorchester-Caroline HEZ is one of five created throughout the state, at an annual cost of $4 million, through the Health Disparities and Reduction Act of 2012. Brown previously explained, “HEZs are designed to reduce health disparities among Maryland’s racial and ethnic groups and between geographic areas, improve health care access and health outcomes and reduce health care costs by providing a variety of incentives to defined geographic areas with high rates of disparities.”
The HEZ created for Dorchester and Caroline counties was one of 19 proposals submitted for the program, according to Maryland Community Health Resources Commission Executive Director Mark Luckner. Among the stipulations of the program is that a HEZ link contiguous communities.