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Baltimore Medical System Receives Grant from Maryland Community Health Resources Commission to Address Health Disparities Exacerbated by COVID-19 Pandemic

April 20, 2022 / Destiny Johnson

Baltimore (April 20, 2021) – Baltimore Medical System (BMS), Maryland’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC), an independent commission within the Maryland Department of Health, to support its Diabetes Education and Lifestyle Change (DEAL) program. The award was one of 35 grants issued by CHRC to support innovative, replicable and sustainable projects that serve vulnerable populations and promote health equity in Maryland.

BMS will apply the grant funds to hire a Certified Diabetes Educator and Care Specialist who will join the multidisciplinary care team at its Saint Agnes and Pine Heights community health centers. This specialist will educate patients about diabetes self-management, help them set behavioral goals to improve diet, and manage their weight to improve diabetic control and achieve better health outcomes. The specialist will also identify and address social barriers to accessing healthy food and complying with regular provider checks.

The BMS DEAL program applies an integrated approach to diabetes care, involving the patient, provider, medical assistant, nurse, and pharmacist when indicated to provide patient education, testing, and follow-up. The Saint Agnes and Pine Heights health centers will also work with several community partners to address food insecurity and transportation barriers which might prevent patient access to these services.

“One of the most vital functions of our community health centers is connecting our patients with the care, expertise, and resources they need to manage their chronic disease,” said Vivienne Rose, M.D., Center Medical Director of Baltimore Medical System’s St. Agnes health center. “The BMS DEAL program addresses more than just the medical treatment required to manage diabetes, but also education, nutritional guidance, and assistance with monitoring and keeping up with appointments. We are grateful for this support from CHRC, which allows us to make these comprehensive services available to more people in Baltimore who are living with diabetes.”