Baltimore, Md.—An abrupt and severe cut in funding for the Governor’s Wellmobile program will force the closure of several of the program’s sites, effective Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009. These include sites in Glen Burnie, Cumberland, and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Wellmobile program funding of $570,500 for Fiscal Year 2010, appropriated by the legislature through the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), was cut in half by the Maryland Board of Public Works, as of July 23, 2009. The remaining MHEC funding will support a redesigned, scaled back Wellmobile project that will aim to fulfill the program’s core mission of providing services to populations in need. The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) will continue to manage the program.
“This was a successful nurse-run clinic that provided primary care, education, and advocacy to local underserved populations,” said Susan Antol, MS, RN, director of the Wellmobile program and assistant professor at UMSON. “The loss of this local resource will place pressure on other local health care providers to assume care for these individuals.”
Community partners, patients, and local health officers, as well as staff members whose positions have been eliminated, have been informed about the Aug. 15 closure date. Current Wellmobile patients are being referred to Federally Qualified Health Centers and other organizations to make transitions in care and services as seamless as possible.
The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked seventh nationally. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.