At MedStar Harbor Hospital, we recognize that health plays an important role in building and sustaining vibrant and strong communities.
Based on our community health needs assessment conducted at MedStar Harbor, we have developed programs and services that address these priority areas.
Our work involves addressing chronic disease prevention and management for heart disease/stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. We offer evidence-based courses that focus in on helping you manage chronic diseases such as hypertension, pain, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
For behavioral health, we are partnering with the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) to deliver information on mental health conditions and resources available within our community. To curb deaths from opioid overdose, we are joining efforts with the Baltimore City Health Department in the quest to train as many people as possible to administer naloxone, a life-saving medication that rapidly reverses opioid overdose.
We also know that health is a complex interplay between multiple variables of physical, social, and economic factors. We are proud to work with a number of community-based organizations to alleviate barriers to improving health status, including addressing lack of access to healthy food, transportation, and job opportunities.
These initiatives collectively allow us to focus in on population health—the improvement of health outcomes for the residents and surrounding areas that we serve.
Community health needs assessment
Our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and three-year implementation strategy identify our hospital's community benefit service area, the most important health priorities, and activities with measurable outcomes. The CHNA uses a community-driven approach that supports the hospital in planning and carrying out community-based programming to more effectively handle the health needs of underserved and vulnerable populations.
Report to the community
Health Educator, Director of Joy Wellness, Shepherd's Clinic
Regional Program Manager, Community Health
MedStar Harbor Hospital’s 340B program
Congress created the 340B drug savings program to help those hospitals serving vulnerable communities expand access to prescription drugs and support essential services for their communities. The savings generated from the 340B drug discount program are used by MedStar Harbor Hospital to help keep pace with the rapidly rising costs of prescription drugs, as well as to offer additional needed services to our community, such as the ones described below.
Access to care for vulnerable populations
MedStar Harbor Hospital recognizes the importance of early detection for cancer and has programs available for those who may not be able to afford these lifesaving screenings on their own. The hospital also provides pathways for financial assistance for individuals who are unable to afford their treatment services.
Breast and cervical cancer screening program provides free breast and cervical cancer screening programs to uninsured Baltimore City and County residents. As the hub for these programs, MedStar Harbor Hospital partnered with its three Baltimore regional hospitals to screen women—most of whom are Hispanic/Latina.
Colon cancer screening program provides free colon cancer screening programs to uninsured Baltimore City and County residents. As the hub for these programs, MedStar Harbor Hospital partnered with its three Baltimore regional hospitals to screen individuals. A majority of those screened are Hispanic/Latino.
Prescription assistance Funding and assistance with accessing prescription medications for patients in need are available.
Patient financial services provides financial assistance to uninsured patients who reside within the communities we serve by assisting with enrollment in publicly-funded entitlement programs, refer patients to State or Federal Insurance Exchange Navigator resources, and assist with consideration of funding that may be available from other charitable organizations.
Bedside Rx delivery service is a free service to eliminate barriers such as transportation, to help patients take prescribed medications as instructed, to improve health outcomes, and avoid readmission.
Health and wellness
MedStar Harbor Hospital serves as the front door to the opioid epidemic and provides comprehensive behavioral health resources through a variety of different programs. The organization also recognizes that at-risk, high-needs individuals living in our communities need access to chronic disease management and prevention education.
Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a program for screening and identification of substance use disorder, with a goal of providing referrals for substance abuse treatment. The program serves MedStar Harbor Hospital’s Emergency Department, Labor and Delivery Unit, Inpatient Behavioral Health, and outpatient OB/GYN practices. Peer Recovery Coaches provide brief intervention and referrals to community support services and treatment centers.
Opioid Survivor Outreach Program (OSOP) is an extension of MedStar Harbor Hospital’s SBIRT program. The program provides community outreach for overdose survivors in the hospital’s emergency department.
Mental health and substance use education works in partnership with community organizations, such as the Baltimore City Health Department, Mosaic Community Services, and National Alliance on Mental Illness, MedStar Harbor Hospital offers free education courses on mental health awareness, family mental health support groups, and naloxone administration.
Chronic Disease Education programs are offered to support healthy lifestyle changes for community members:
Living well self-management programs offer evidence-based six-week workshops for adults who have long-lasting health problems with ideas to help them take charge of their health and live active and enjoyable lives. Family members and caregivers are also welcome.
Diabetes prevention programs offers evidence-based year-long programs to help community members prevent diabetes through life balance and weight management.
Smoking cessation programs are offered on a quarterly basis to provide community members a forum to receive support to stop smoking.
- Narcan® Take Home Kits provide lifesaving Narcan® (naloxone) nasal spray to patients in need. Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse an overdose from opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications by blocking the effects of opioids. Distribution of naloxone is a method of harm reduction and can prevent fatal overdoses.
MedStar Harbor Hospital is an active participant in providing health education at Health Fairs across its community benefit service area.
Social determinants of health
MedStar Harbor Hospital invests in programs and partnerships that address the social needs of patients and community members.
Workforce development MedStar Harbor Hospital hires and trains individuals from high poverty and high unemployment zip codes to expand its population workforce of Community Health Workers and Peer Recovery Specialists.
Housing in collaboration with the city of Baltimore and healthcare for the homeless invest in the Supportive Housing Investment Fund to provide housing case management and tenancy support services to adults who are high utilizers of emergency departments or have co-occurring chronic health conditions, and who are experiencing housing instability or homelessness.
Start on success is a program that provides young people with disabilities the opportunity to complete an internship within a variety of hospital departments. Students in the program receive career assessments, classroom instruction, and work readiness training.
Transportation in partnership with Uber, MedStar Harbor Hospital has created a convenient ride option program with a reliable means of transportation for vulnerable patients to medical appointments and health education activities. In addition to services through Uber, the hospital provides funds for patients with transportation needs through the case management department.