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News Release

Media Contact: Tom Grant

Published on April 08, 2005

Press Release

Doug Duncan Recognizes Health Care Partnership Serving the Uninsured

This Thursday, CASA of Maryland, the state's largest Latino organization, will celebrate a historic partnership with Washington Adventist Hospital and Mobile Medical Care to provide low cost primary healthcare to the thousands of CASA clients and residents in the surrounding Long Branch community.

"At CASA, we are revitalizing the Long Branch neighborhood through immigrant investment in economic development, work and activism," said CASA Executive Director Gustavo Torres. "Washington Adventist Hospital and MobileMed will help ensure that the hardworking families that live in our neighborhood can have their health needs addressed," said Mr. Torres.

The Long Branch neighborhood in Eastern Montgomery County is the most diverse part of the region, with more than 130 languages spoken at local elementary schools. Almost 50% of the neighborhood is Latino compared to Montgomery County as a whole at 11.5%, or 4.3% across Maryland. Similarly, the foreign-born population of Long Branch is almost 60% versus 26.7% in Montgomery County and 9.8% statewide. While the neighborhood is rich in diversity, it is poor in economic resources. The per-capita income of Long Branch is $14,524 per year versus $35,684 countywide. More than 43% of neighborhood residents over 25 lack a high-school diploma; in stark contrast to Montgomery County as a whole, which ranks among the most educated counties nationwide.

Since 2002, Montgomery County has focused in on the special needs of Long Branch by funding an interdisciplinary Long Branch Task Force to create solutions to core neighborhood problems, including health disparities. Working in partnership with CASA and MobileMed, and Washington Adventist Hospital will announce on Thursday that it will pump $100,000 annually into providing mobile medical services at the CASA of Maryland location in the heart of Long Branch.

"All of us at Washington Adventist Hospital are committed to ensuring that our neighbors have access to high quality healthcare regardless of their ability to pay," said Jere Stocks, the new president of Washington Adventist Hospital. "Funding MobileMed to provide primary healthcare at CASA helps us achieve our mission of delivering excellent health care through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing," said Mr. Stocks.

This Thursday launches an expansion of a pilot project that had placed the mobile van at CASA one day a week for several months. That short trial period allowed providers to discover shocking information about the healthcare status of many neighborhood residents. Some patients had never seen a physician in the entire lives and many had chronic untreated conditions that, but for MobileMed, would never be diagnosed.

"The generous support of Washington Adventist Hospital will allow us to treat simple conditions before they turn into emergency room crises," said Bob Spector, Executive Director of MobileMed.

During the announcement, patients will present personal testimonials, political leaders will pledge their support, and the partnering institutions will commit to improving neighborhood health.

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