What’s New and What’s Next? Rural Health Care at #MACoCon

Attendees of the 2018 MACo Summer Conference session “Rising Tides of Rural Health Care” got a crash course on a broad range of issues and pending policy solutions to rural health care service and delivery.

Delegate Carozza and Dr. Ciotola.
Delegate Carozza and Dr. Ciotola.

Panel moderator Delegate Mary Beth Carozza opened with a statement on the importance of rural health from her role in the legislature.

Next, Lara Wilson the Executive Director of the Maryland Rural Health Association (MRHA) gave a brief overview of MRHA and the development of the 2018 Maryland Rural Health Plan.

Simone Bratton from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) discussed non-emergency Medicaid transports and collaborations with Maryland Transit Authority to improve compliance and access to rural public transportation services for health care.

The bulk of the panel’s presentation was provided by Dr. Joseph Ciotola, Queen Anne’s County Health Officer. Dr. Ciotola shared a summary of the work of the Rural Health Care Delivery Workgroup over the course of two years of workgroup meetings. His presentation included a look at related legislation that did and did not pass last session, and recommendations from the workgroup of issues to tackle next session.

Simone Bratton and Mark Luckner
Simone Bratton and Mark Luckner

Executive Director for the Rural Maryland Council, Charlotte Davis, discussed the Council’s role supporting rural counties and providing grant assistance to advance their efforts.

Mark Luckner the Executive Director of the Community Health Resource Commission (CHRC) wrapped up the panel with information about key state health grants offered through CHRC. Luckner not only highlighted upcoming grant opportunities, but also showcased success stories of projects and entities that received funding from CHRC and leveraged that funding to further advance their goals.

The session was held on Friday, August 16, 2018 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City.

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