Rockville, MD – Mark Boucot, CEO & President of Garrett Regional Medical Center, recently participated as one of three panelists at a national forum focused on the challenges facing rural health care providers. The event took place as part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Rural Partnership Development Meeting held in Rockville, MD.
Attendees included over 300 rural health care providers from across the country who have received federal grant dollars through a HRSA program. Topics discussed by the panel members included emerging issues in the rural health setting, challenges and solutions to those issues, the impact of such issues on care provided, and successful approaches to creating partnerships and collaborations in addressing emerging needs and challenges.
Mr. Boucot served as a panel member along with Wakina Scott, Director of the Office of Policy Analysis at HRSA, and Amy Elizondo, Vice President of Program Services at the National Rural Health Association.
Under Mr. Boucot’s direction, Garrett Regional Medical Center has received three federal HRSA grants that have enabled GRMC to establish new outpatient services. The first grant, received in 2015, helped establish the hospital’s cancer care program, which has served approximately 1,000 cancer and infusion patients since its opening. A grant received in 2018 supported the creation of a behavioral health center, and another federal HRSA grant won in 2019 allowed GRMC to open an opioid free pain clinic. The pain clinic will begin seeing patients later this month.
“I was very pleased to be invited to participate in the forum on emerging issues in rural health care,” said Mr. Boucot. “HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has helped our hospital immensely; the outpatient services we’ve developed with their support would have been difficult to create without those HRSA grant dollars. The fact that we are able to continue the clinics beyond the life of the grant illustrates how these grants were meant to function. We were happy to share how we’ve approached the ever-evolving challenges found in rural health care with hundreds of other providers from across the United States.
The three-day conference covered a range of topics salient to providing health care in rural communities, including the role of community health workers, peer support programs for addiction recovery, the role of care coordination in rural areas, chronic disease management, and sustaining HRSA funded programs.