GRMC brings rural voice to MHA Legislative & Regulatory Council

GRMC brings rural voice to MHA Legislative & Regulatory Council


Garrett Regional Medical Center’s CEO & President, Mark Boucot, was recently invited by the Maryland Hospital Association to serve on the Council on Legislative & Regulatory Policy.  The council’s role is to advocate for hospitals in Annapolis on such issues as, the opioid crisis, behavioral health services, the Certificate of Need process for hospitals to expand services, malpractice insurance reform and laws to protect healthcare workers.

“I am thrilled that Garrett Regional Medical Center will have a seat at the table to advocate for issues such as behavioral health, patient rights and equity, services for addictions treatment and other disparities, along laws that will protect our healthcare workers and other issues that are unique to rural communities,” said Mr. Boucot.  “I look forward to working with the council and am grateful for the opportunity to provide a voice for Western Maryland and the unique issues facing Maryland’s rural hospitals.”

GRMC’s Emergency Department (ED) has seen an increase in patients presenting with psychiatric issues.  A recent event the evening of September 5th required intervention from local law enforcement officials.  Other examples have stemmed from long-term issues going unmet for individuals suffering from addiction, trauma, and other behavioral health concerns.

The Maryland Hospital Association’s Council on Legislative & Regulatory Policy consists of 17 members from hospitals throughout Maryland.  Mr. Boucot is the only member on the council that represents a rural-based hospital.  The council works at the state level to advocate for legislative and regulatory policies that positively impact Maryland’s health care delivery system.

In June, GRMC was awarded $600,000 by the Health and Rural Services Administration’s Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program in support of a comprehensive, regional behavioral health and addictions program to be located in Garrett County.  The program will launch in early 2019.

Mr. Boucot concluded, “It’s imperative that our region’s citizens have access to care.  We started expanding services a few short years ago and we’re now looking at the next initiative, the opening of our Behavioral Health Outpatient Center.  Many of these changes came through legislative advocacy and support and being on this council allows us to be voice for Western Maryland.”