Health

Med Center Goal: Ending County’s Health Disparities

Although Prince George’s County has been recognized as one of the most affluent jurisdictions for Blacks in the country, health officials acknowledge residents should be much healthier.

To that end, the Fort Washington Medical Center, an acute care hospital established more than 30 years, wants to reduce health disparities among Blacks including some of the highest rates in the state for cancer, diabetes and HIV.

To improve health care, the center has recently created several programs to serve the more than 43,000 annually treated patients who reside in the southern part of the county:

  • Created a diabetes clinic with resources supporting eating, medication and physical activity;
  • Opened an HIV/AIDS clinic last year with a focus on awareness and prevention; and
  • Scheduled to open an 11,000-square-foot urgent care center in January 2017.

“Fort Washington Medical Center is necessary to serve the residents primarily in our community,” said Al Campbell, the center’s chief operation officer and senior vice president of Nexus Health, the company that owns the hospital. “If there was no medical center in Fort Washington, it would certainly leave a significant gap.”

The medical center celebrated an inaugural gala last weekend at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor with the theme “All Hands on Deck: Collaborating a Healthier Community.”

The center participated in a report that the county’s Health Department released this year that determined “the county lacks quality health care providers [and] surrounding jurisdictions are perceived to have better quality providers.”

But such findings could change in the next several years with the opening of the $543 million Prince George’s Regional Medical Center in Largo.

“I believe the new regional medical . . . will serve as a compliment in providing advanced technological health care services to all of the community hospitals in Prince George’s County,” Campbell said. “We believe the regional medical center will be an appropriate partner for us to be able to keep our residents in the community.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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