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Comptroller Presents Award To St. Mary's Health Share
Leonardtown, MD - 5/15/2012
By Dick Myers
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has presented a St. Mary’s County non-profit agency with one of his inaugural William Donald Schaefer Helping People awards. The award named after the late former governor and comptroller was presented Monday to Health Share of St. Mary’s.
On hand for the award were two of the founders of the organization, Director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services Ella Mae Russell and former County Health Officer Dr. William Marek. Also on hand was Margaret Jarboe, the window of the other founder, Dr. J. Patrick Jarboe.
The comptroller created the Schaefer award to honor the legacy of public service exemplified by Schaefer on the one-year anniversary of his death. One winner was selected from each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. The awards for all three Southern Maryland counties were presented Monday in each county. The ceremony in St. Mary’s was at the Carter State Office Building in Leonardtown.
Health Share was started in 1990 as a way to provide low cost heath care. Russell said it was expected to be a short-lived effort until federal health care reform was initiated. More than 1,000 patients are seen by participating physicians in their own offices. She said, “I am gratified to be in the same room with such visionaries.”
Marek credited Dr. Jarboe with pushing the local physician community into doing all of the work pro-bono. The small co-pay that patients give if they can afford it goes towards the cost of medicine needed for the program. “We owe everything to J. Patrick jerboa,” Marek said. “There is no government money involved. No Grant Money. It comes out of the pockets of the people of St. Mary’s County,” he added.
Health Share was nominated for the award by Dr. Kathleen O’Brien, director of Walden Counseling center. She thanked the founders for their vision in finding a solution to a pressing need.
Also in attendance for the awards ceremony were Commissioners Jarboe, Jones and Morgan along with Register of Wills Lois Duke. She said, “When there’s a need in St. Mary’s County county people always step up.” In addition to Health Share, Duke cited St. Mary’s Helping Hands as another example of that spirit.
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