University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC) was recently awarded a $26,000 grant from the Rural Maryland Council. UM Charles Regional is earmarking the funds for a pilot program called, “Transportation to Wellness Project” that provides eligible patients with free transportation home from the hospital or to post-hospitalization medical appointments.
The goals of the program include allowing patients to return home from the hospital as soon as they are medically discharged, reducing the rate of post-hospitalization appointments missed or canceled due to transportation barriers, and lessening the burden and economic hardship placed on caregivers and family members.
Residents of Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert counties will be eligible for the program if they meet a variety of criteria related to age, income, risk and disability as outlined by the grant guidelines. As of October 1, patients who meet eligibility criteria will have transportation arranged from the hospital or to follow-up appointments with primary care physicians and specialists in the area.
Additionally, the Transportation to Wellness Project is made possible by matching funding from the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation. “Transportation can be a barrier to care,” said Susan Vogel, executive director of the CRMC Foundation. “This is a particular challenge in rural and low-income areas of Southern Maryland, and we were thrilled to receive the grant funding and offer this program to make an impact.”
For more information on the Transportation to Wellness Project, call 301-609-4976.