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Media Release: Regional Hospitals Commit to Working with Faith Leaders to Improve Health and Reduce Health Disparities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2019
Contact: Vincent DeMarco, 410-591-9162

Regional Hospitals Commit to Working with Faith Leaders to Improve Health and Reduce Health Disparities

Upper Marlboro, MD – Six area hospitals under the banner of Totally-Linking Care in MD (TLC-MD) in Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland have entered into a contract with the Maryland Faith Health Network (the “Network”) to help better align resources in their hospitals and faith-based communities.

A pilot of the Network in the Baltimore metropolitan region 2015-2017 found as much as a 70% reduction in 30-day readmission rates among members of the Network. The supports that congregations typically provide—pastoral care, visitation, transportation, meals—can help people continue to heal at home even after a hospital stay.

“This is a major step forward in our effort to improve the health of our community,” said Christine Wray, Chair of TLC-MD. “We are excited about the opportunity to work more closely with faith leaders and their trained representatives to make sure that we are providing excellent, patient-centered care.”

Across the state, hospitals are working together and forging new partnerships with community-based partners to promote health and wellness on a broad, population-wide level.

“When congregants are hospitalized, it can be difficult for faith leaders to know that they need support. The Maryland Faith Health Network provides a way for trained volunteers at a congregation to be notified when someone is hospitalized and consents for that notice to be made,” said Rev. Dr. Sandra Conner of the Maryland Faith Health Network and pastor of Shepherd’s Heart Missionary Baptist Church, one of the pilot congregations.

“The Collective Empowerment Group is excited to see this initiative move forward in Prince George’s County,” said Collective Empowerment Group President Rev. Marcellous Buckner. “Our congregations want to be a part of this important effort to improve the health and quality of life for our members.”

Slated to begin by the end of 2019, hospitals will begin asking patients if they are part of a faith-based community and if they would like for the congregation to be contacted.

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