HEALTH

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struc­ture “neb­u­lous,” and wanted de­tails on how it would op­er­ate within coun­ties like Queen Anne’s or Kent.

“We’re all full of data and what we re­ally want to see is some specifics that say how are we go­ing to take care of Mrs. Smith who breaks her hips ... and how are we go­ing to do that in the most cost ef­fec­tive and qual­ity way for the cit­i­zens,” Ciotola said.

He said the “over­whelm­ing ele­phant in the room” was the amount of reg­u­la­tion physi­cians ev­ery­where face when they care for pa­tients.

Ad­di­tional top­ics dis­cussed in­clud­ing bridg­ing prover­bial dis­tances between var­i­ous med­i­cal services like pri­mary care and be­hav­ioral health, what av­enues of gov­ern­ment fund­ing are avail­able and how to fur­ther pro­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tion with health care or­ga­ni­za­tions and the com­mu­nity.

“I’m en­cour­aged about what I am hear­ing about con­nect­ing in ru­ral ar­eas and re­ally tak­ing ad­van­tage of re­la­tion­ships that ex­ist,” Mizeur said. “We’re guided by what the pa­tient needs, be­cause those peo­ple are the whole rea­son why we’re here.”

She said “see­ing all the good­will at these meet­ings” gives her con­fi­dence about the plan’s de­vel­op­ment.

There were sev­eral public com­ments from au­di­ence mem­bers.

Ch­ester­town res­i­dent David Foster said Kent County is unique due to a num­ber of fac­tors, such as its small size.

“While I value very much the work this com­mit­tee does, I’d like to see a lit­tle more fo­cus on the ‘R’ word,” he said. “What it is that dis­tin­guishes ru­ral coun­ties from oth­ers?

Erin Dor­rien, MHCC chief of gov­ern­ment relations and spe­cial projects, said three public hear­ings on the de­liv­ery plan are planned for later this spring. They will be held in Kent, Tal­bot and Dorch­ester coun­ties, and led by work­group mem­bers.

The next Ru­ral Health Care De­liv­ery Plan Work­group meet­ing is set for March and will be held in An­napo­lis. The group meets ev­ery eight weeks, un­til the Ru­ral Health Care De­liv­ery Plan is due to the Gen­eral As­sem­bly in Oc­to­ber.

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