Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) has been 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 serve behavioral health patients from throughout GRMC’s three state, eight county service area.
“Establishing this program will help close the gap in meeting our region’s behavioral health and addiction treatment needs, representing a big win for Garrett County,” says GRMC CEO and President, Mark Boucot. “I’m pleased to partner with Mountain Laurel in this project. Our Emergency Department sees frequent examples in which long-term treatment needs have been unmet for individuals suffering from addiction, trauma, and other behavioral health concerns simply because we need more resources here locally. This grant will enable the hospital to work with partnering providers to create a comprehensive behavioral health network to support the needs of our community.”
In submitting the grant, GRMC put together a consortium of agencies that includes Mountain Laurel Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center located in Oakland, and WVU Medicine’s Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry. Mountain Laurel and WVU Medicine will work with GRMC to provide not only comprehensive behavioral health services, but also primary care patient well checks and assistance with community resource programs. Mountain Laurel will play a key role in providing behavioral health patients with primary care services should patients lack a primary care provider.
“Statistically behavioral health patients are much less likely to have a primary care provider or pursue preventive health care checks,” notes Charles Wilt, CEO of Mountain Laurel. “We were very pleased to partner on this grant application to ensure that behavioral health patients are also receiving the other health care services they need. Mountain Laurel’s service area essentially mirrors that of GRMC, so this will bring much needed services to people in Western Maryland and areas of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.”
The $600,000 grant will be awarded over three years. At the end of the grant’s three year period, the behavioral health program is expected to be self-sustaining. The small number of behavioral health providers in the GRMC service area played a role in HRSA’s decision to fund the program.
“HRSA saw the need in our community, and they responded,” says Mr. Boucot. “Again, we’re very grateful to have this opportunity to develop this center and I believe our partnerships with Mountain Laurel and WVU Medicine will bring our organizations’ resources to form an even stronger alliance.”
The new program is expected to begin taking patients in early 2019.
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number D04RH31777, Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program, in the amount of $600,000. The information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.