Institutes for Behavior Resources
will open a new clinic this summer to provide primary health care services to substance abusers and their families, with $1.4 million in funding from state and foundation grants.
It is part of the state’s efforts to have services in place by the time the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is fully implemented in 2014.
The nonprofit is using the grants to renovate the institute’s 1920s era, six-story building at 2104 Maryland Ave. in Charles Village and to open the clinic on the currently vacant fourth floor. The institute's COO Reid Blank says he expects the clinic renovation to be finished by next month with an official opening in July. Blank says it is looking to hire eight to 10 employees for the health care clinic, including nurses, counselors, receptionist and part-time physicians to add to its staff of 40.
The nonprofit will provide clinic patients and their families with screenings, tests and medical treatment as drug addicts may not have primary care physicians or get regular medical treatment. The clinic will serve as a model for other states in preventive health care, a key tenet in Obamacare. In addition, the clinic will be available to patients at other substance abuse programs in Baltimore, such as Man Alive Inc.
"The grants enable us to expand services to patients and their families. Our patients have other health problems that are not always addressed, and that delays progress in treating their addiction," Blank says.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene contributed $898,000 to the project. Other funders are the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, $270,000; The Abell Foundation, $200,000; and France Merrick Foundation, $50,000. The institute is paying the remainder of the total $1.5 million project.
Besides its REACH program for substance abusers, the 51-year-old institute works with government agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and Department of Defense as well as commercial airlines, railroads, transit and trucking companies on the issue of fatigue.
Source: Reid Blank, Institutes for Behavior Resources
Writer: Barbara Pash