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UMD School of Nursing Receives $955,000 Multi-Year Grant from CareFirst

Dr. Montgomery
Dr. Kathryn Montgomery
Associate Dean
UMD School of Nursing
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Dr. Perman
Dr. Jay Perman, President
Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore
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Baltimore, MD (February 13, 2012) - University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) today announced a grant for $955,276 to fund the Governor’s Wellmobile Program for three years on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  The CareFirst grant will fund a new model of nurse-managed primary care and enhanced care management for underserved and uninsured populations across three rural upper Eastern Shore counties:  Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot.  Through partnerships and collaborations with health care systems, the goal of this model is to reduce unnecessary re-hospitalizations and emergency department utilization by filling gaps in the existing health care system infrastructure.

“This model is built upon forging collaborations with institutional partners like CareFirst and patient-centered medical homes,” said Susan Antol, Director of the Wellmobile Program. “This program, as a University of Maryland School of Nursing clinical practice, values this health system-level community partnership.”

The Governor’s Wellmobile Program is a fleet of traveling health clinics that have served Maryland’s Western, Central, and Eastern Shore regions since 1994.  Wellmobile vans are fully equipped to provide primary health care services, disease prevention, and referral services to uninsured and underinsured Marylanders, using a nurse-managed family nurse practitioner model. The Wellmobiles also serve as clinical learning sites for UMSON undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.  The Eastern Shore Wellmobile operation aims to provide primary care services four days a week to 1,200 patients per year.  Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties are currently considered health professional shortage areas, lacking primary care physicians and care coordination efforts.

“The Wellmobile program provides a considerable service to underserved populations in Maryland, and CareFirst is proud to support the initiative,” said Maria Harris Tildon, CareFirst Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs.  “Across the three counties served by the program, primary care services are in high demand, with very few options and resources for Medicaid patients."

The Wellmobile program in the Upper Shore will be staffed by a family nurse practitioner, a registered nurse care coordinator, a community outreach worker, and undergraduate UMSON community health nursing students. Staff members will collaborate with affiliated hospital partners who will link patients to Wellmobile services and who will provide wrap-around services to patients in need. CareFirst’s grant is the only cash supporter of the Upper Shore Wellmobile program

UMD School of Nursing Receives $955,000 Multi-Year Grant from CareFirst
CareFirst Senior Vice-President Maria Tildon presents a check to the UMD School of Nursing

In its 75th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.4 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia.  In 2011, CareFirst contributed $51 million to community programs designed to increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our Web site at or follow us on Twitter:

The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked eleventh nationally. Enrolling more than 1,600 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.

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