Community Health Resources Commission
The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) was created by the Maryland General Assembly in 2005 to expand access to health care services in underserved communities in Maryland. The CHRC is a quasi-independent commission operating within the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH), whose 11 members are appointed by the Governor. Since its inception, the CHRC has awarded 142 grants totaling $41.9 million, supporting programs in every jurisdiction of the state. These programs have collectively served more than 140,000 Marylanders, and grants awarded by the CHRC have enabled grantees to leverage $14.7 million in additional federal and private/non-profit resources.
The roles and responsibilities of the CHRC have grown over the last few years in recognition of the Commission’s demonstrated track record in delivering resources in an efficient and strategic basis and in recognition of the critical role that community health resources are playing as Maryland implements the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The budget of the CHRC has increased in recent years, from $3 million to $8 million, as the Maryland General Assembly voted in 2012 to amend the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA), approving language that ensured the CHRC’s budget “shall be no less than” $8 million starting in FY 2014 and in perpetuity. The legislature also approved legislation during the 2014 session to re-authorize the Commission through June 2025. These actions by the Maryland General Assembly to increase the CHRC’s budget and re-authorize the Commission demonstrate strong continued legislative support of the work of the CHRC.
The CHRC supports the work of community health care resources and fulfills its statutory mission in the following activities:
Awarding grants to expand access in underserved areas and support public health priorities;
Implementing the Health Enterprise Zone (HEZs) Initiative jointly with DHMH
Supporting the Local Health Improvement Coalitions (LHICs) and efforts to promote population health initiatives; and
In fulfilling these responsibilities, the Commission implements a robust system of performance measurements to ensure public resources are utilized effectively and efficiently so that Maryland’s underserved communities are receiving high quality health care services.