Ruppersberger Secures $875,000 for Health “Clinic on Wheels” Serving Baltimore Region
(Washington, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today announced $875,000 to expand a health “clinic on wheels” that serves communities in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County has advanced in the U.S House of Representatives. The funding was included in the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee in a 33-25 vote today and now heads to the full House for consideration.
Congressman Ruppersberger, an Appropriator, requested the funding on behalf of MedStar Harbor Hospital, which launched a Mobile Health Center last April to bring primary care services – including COVID-19 vaccine distribution – to some of the region’s most vulnerable residents. The clinic travels to communities including Cherry Hill, Brooklyn, Westport and Curtis Bay, operating more than 30 hours each week. Physicians are able to provide primary and preventive care, routine screenings and chronic disease management.
The federal funding will cover one year of annual operating costs of the Mobile Health Unit and the purchase of a new unit capable of offering virtual visits with patients in their homes.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals at MedStar stepped up time and time again to keep our communities healthy and save lives. This targeted investment will support MedStar’s continued efforts to reduce health disparities in our region and ensure all Marylanders have access to affordable and high-quality healthcare beyond the pandemic,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “I want to thank my fellow Appropriators for recognizing the need for this funding and including it in this year’s funding bill. I urge my colleagues to support it on the House floor.”
“This funding will ensure that MedStar Health addresses both the short and long-term implications of COVID-19 to eradicate health disparities in our community,” said Ryan Moran, DrPH, Assistant Vice President of Care Transformation for MedStar Health. “This support will provide mobile primary care services where access to services may be limited in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. In addition to primary care, mobile health staff will connect patients and communities to critical food, housing, transportation, and other social service resources.”
The project is one of nine Community Project Funding Requests submitted by Congressman Ruppersberger in the 12 various appropriations bills for 2022. It is among 2,887 projects submitted by all members of the House of Representatives, only some of which will be approved.
The $253.8 billion Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill funds the Department of Labor and key healthcare agencies including the National Institutes of Health, CDC, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as K-12 and higher education. A summary can be found here.