Braving Wednesday morning’s snowstorm, U.S. Rep. David Trone toured Garrett Regional Medical Center as part of his first official visit to Garrett County since taking office.
The tour highlighted GRMC’s innovative and collaborative efforts enabling it to become a model for rural healthcare delivery in the United States.
“Through creative innovations, intergovernmental collaboration, and community support, Garrett Regional Medical Center has bucked national trends and continues to overcome external headwinds that have caused a loss of services and even closure for many rural hospitals across the country,” said U.S. Rep. David Trone. “I wanted to see firsthand how Garrett Regional Medical Center is approaching patient care; I have to say, it’s quite impressive.”
During the visit, Mark Boucot, GRMC’s President and CEO, highlighted the hospital’s success in garnering $1.2 million in federal grant funding from the Health and Rural Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. The grant program enabled GRMC to bring cancer and infusion care services to the community, through the WVU Medicine James & Shirley Bailey Regional Cancer Center, and more recently behavioral healthcare, through its Health & Wellness Services, which opened its doors earlier this month.
“Much in part to these key federal partnerships, we have quickly evolved from a community-based hospital to a regional medical center,” said Boucot. “Folks no longer have to travel great distances to get the specialty care they need, especially with individuals undergoing cancer treatment, who often require multiple weekly visits and an intricate level of caretaking. People can be treated where they live. That’s significant.”
The visit also highlighted the benefits of the affiliation with WVU Medicine and GRMC’s growth in specialty care services, which include cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, dermatology, nephrology, and neurology (telestroke). In addition, other specialties recently added include gynecological and colorectal surgical subspecialties. The growth in services has enabled GRMC to increase patient volumes by nine percent and full-time positions by 23 percent over the last four years.
“With his rural upbringing, Congressman David Trone understands the unique needs of rural communities and we’re thrilled to work with him to advocate on behalf of Garrett County. We are excited to be counted among his first stops in his inaugural trip to Western Maryland,” said Boucot. “I look forward to working with Congressman Trone in advocating for Western Maryland’s healthcare needs in Washington.”