At University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), each of our member organizations is deeply embedded within the community it serves.
They are all dedicated to eliminating barriers to quality health care within the walls of the hospital and in their communities.
Building Healthy Communities
While good health might, on the surface, seem like a series of choices a person makes about what to eat or how much to exercise, it is far more complex than that. When we look at it from a public health point of view, we understand that "social determinants of health" (SODH) also have a very big impact on overall health.
Social determinants of health are conditions in communities or among groups of people that affect health, functioning and quality of life outcomes (and risks). Many SDOHs revolve around access – access to affordable housing, reliable transportation, grocery stores that stock fresh produce, clean air and water and high-performing schools.
To make an impact in our communities, we know we must address social determinants of health so that everyone has an equal opportunity to access quality healthcare.
We doing this both at System-level and through each of our member organizations.
Investing in Our Communities
UMMS is committed to investing approximately $40 million over four years directly into community organizations that address, reduce and eliminate the SODH that negatively affect our communities. We are actively working to:
- Awarded $3 million in community grants to address employment and food insecurity
- Allocated $14 million of the UMMS corporate investment portfolio to investments that positively impact people color in the communities we serve
- Fostered and maintained partnerships with organizations in our communities that impact (and improve) hiring and purchasing efforts among people of color
What's Happening at Our Hospitals
The connections our providers and team members forge with patients, families, businesses and community organizations are the building blocks of our work to build healthy communities.
UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC)
UM BWMC delivers health education and outreach services beyond the hospital walls to provide individuals with the tools they need to lead healthier lives. Its mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics have brought vaccinations and boosters close to home for adults and children across Anne Arundel County. UM BWMC has partnered with community organizations to provide free boxed lunches, staple pantry item bags, hygiene kits, and fresh produce boxes at multiple Anne Arundel County Public Schools weekly since March 2020.
UM Capital Region Health (UM CRH)
UM CRH has partnered with CareFirst in the operation of the Mama & Baby Bus program, which serves as a health care access point for underinsured and uninsured women and children, providing basic, uncomplicated maternal and child health services through partnerships with local community-based organizations, shelters, food pantries, faith institutions, schools and institutions of higher learning. UM CRH also expanded services to high-need communities in Washington DC via a mobile unit is designed to provide access to care and meet the needs of women within the communities.
UM Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC)
The Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) Care Program has increased access to health care services for the medically underserved by following up with patients to offer personalized care coordination, connecting patients to community resources and providing self-monitoring tools to help them better self-manage their health. UM CRMC also developed Transportation to Wellness, a pilot program that provided free, on-demand, curb-to-curb non-emergency medical transportation to a patient’s home after discharge and to post-hospitalization medical appointments.
University of Maryland Medical Center Downtown Campus (UMMC)
Together with UM School of Medicine, UMMC took a step toward reducing race-based health care disparities by eliminating the practice of estimating kidney function using a race-based diagnostic formula that placed African-Americans at a disadvantage in receiving care for chronic kidney disease. The UM Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center s working to reduce disparities in patient care for Black women diagnosed with breast cancer – a group at significantly higher risk of dying from breast cancer than white women.
University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus (UMMC Midtown)
In 2021, UMMC Midtown opened its new Outpatient Tower, which offers numerous specialties and services under one roof. Those burdened with multiple health issues know all too well how hard conditions are to manage within a patchwork system of specialists working miles or even cities apart. It is also difficult for their providers in disparate sites to regularly collaborate on the best plan of care. The Outpatient Tower was designed to remove these barriers. Out of more than 3,000 hospitals assessed, Lown Institute named UM Midtown the fifth most socially responsible hospital in the country, based on health equity, value, and outcomes.
UM Rehabilitation & Orthopaedics Institute
To provide the best possible care to patients and members of our community, the Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute looks beyond discharge, at the way our patients live every day. Through the Living Well Workshop, a free six-week course, patients and staff work together to build an accessible action plan to help our patients and members of the community improve daily life. It includes teaching patients with chronic conditions, how to manage fatigue and pain, decrease frustration, eat healthier, communicate better with their physicians, and ultimately regain control over their lives.
UM St. Joseph Medical Center (UM SJMC)
In 2020, UM SJMC has played a major role in weekend food distribution in conjunction with the Baltimore Hunger Project, Student Support Network, Firehouse Subs, Hungry Harvest and the Y of Central Maryland. UM St. Joseph instructors held weekly chair yoga classes, a monthly stroke support group and the National Diabetes Prevention Program via Zoom. To address a severe blood shortage, Community Health held 13 blood drives in partnership with The Orokawa Y in Towson and University of Maryland Urgent Care, collecting 404 units of blood, which could potentially save up to 1,212 lives.
UM Shore Regional Health (UM SRH)
UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown launched a mobile wellness team to expand access to care by conducting outreach visits to trusted community sites and serving patients and families in their home settings. Throughout 2021, UM SRH set up mobile COVID Vaccine units that vaccinated people across four counties. UM SRH also partnered with the Maryland Food Bank - Eastern Shore Branch to help address food insecurity challenges impacting local residents. UM Shore Medical Center in Chestertown received designation as a Level 1 Age Friendly Health System (AFHS) ensuring that older adults receive evidence-based care.
UM Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH)
During COVID-19, food insecurity issues increased by 40 percent across Harford County. UM UCH, alongside Healthy Harford, convened a Harford County Food Access Workgroup with more than 25 community organizations to address this. UM UCH opened a 24/7 behavioral health crisis center for adults, providing a 24-7 hotline, urgent care walk-in clinic and outpatient therapy. The Breast Center at UCH with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc Anne Arundel County hosted screenings, education and more resources to encourage women of color to take charge of their breast health. UM UCH also developed Senior University to educate local seniors on topics such as financial matters, safety and health, complete with take-home resources and screenings.