Jewish Community Sets Legislative Priorities

As the General Assembly kicks off its 2016 session, the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) will be in Annapolis to secure funds and to testify in support of programs that affect our community.

In addition CHANA will support a bill to strengthen Maryland’s stalking laws. This year, BJC’s priorities include:

Operating Budget

Northwest Hospital Center’s Domestic Violence Prevention Program: Maryland has the sixth highest rate of domestic violence in the country, with 23% of all reported state domestic violence crimes experienced in Baltimore County. The Domestic Violence Prevention Program (DOVE) educates medical staff and local police to recognize victims of domestic violence. DOVE offers comprehensive hospital based services, including: emergency shelter, safety planning, strangulation response, case management and therapy.

The Elder Abuse Center: An Associated Agency Collaboration Data from the 2010 National Elder Mistreatment Study indicates that 1 in 10 respondents over the age of 60 reported abuse in 2009. The Stop Abuse of Elders Program (SAFE) was established to treat and prevent elder abuse. This collaboration between CHANA, Jewish Community Services and Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital provides an effective and coordinated response for victims and their families and supplies prevention education for the community.

Supportive Community Network & Holocaust Survivor Funds: CHAI’s Supportive Community Network (SCN) helps Northwest Baltimore residents organize neighborhood-based cohorts of older adults working together to support each other’s needs and interests. The network provides enriched supportive services such as transportation, social activities, community health nurses and social workers, allowing community members to “age-in-place.” Funding is also requested in the budget to help cover the rising costs for Holocaust Survivors “aging in place.”

Capital Budget

Community Primary and Specialty Care Complex at Sinai Hospital $3 million FY17 & FY18: The State of Maryland has entered into a bold five-year health system transformation pilot program that brings hospitals and their communities closer together to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs. Quality-based financial incentives reward providers for effectively managing chronic diseases to prevent the need for hospitalization, or to provide early intervention. The complex will reduce preventable emergency room visits by combining collaborative, multidisciplinary outpatient care at the primary, specialty and subspecialty levels. In turn, this will lower costs for the state and increase the health of the local community.

Public Policy Issues

Education: With the support of Governor Hogan, we request level funding for Textbooks and Technology and Aging Non-Public School’s Programs. We also support the Maryland Education Credit, which provides a business tax credit for donations to public and non-public schools.

Advocacy Day is March 1. Contact Madeline Suggs for how you can be part of our community’s advocacy efforts.

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