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Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford Announces Maryland Mobile Wellness Initiative in Anne Arundel County

February 26, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today joined state and local leaders to announce the Maryland Mobile Wellness Initiative, a mobile health vehicle to support Anne Arundel County’s array of substance use disorder care. The lieutenant governor spoke at a press conference at 100 Community Place in Crownsville, joined by Executive Director Steve Schuh of the Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC), Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips of the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), representatives from the Anne Arundel County Executive’s Office and the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, as well as numerous other state and local officials and substance use disorder advocates.

“Today I am pleased to announce the launch of the Maryland Mobile Wellness Initiative, a mobile wellness vehicle that will link individuals to community service providers for help with substance use disorders,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “As we know, the decision to voluntarily enter treatment requires a significant level of engagement and readiness, and this will offer another way for individuals and their families to seek help in a local, non-threatening environment.”

Supported with funds from the OOCC and MDH, the Maryland Mobile Wellness Initiative engages individuals in the community, offers prevention and treatment, and then links individuals to ongoing care and recovery resources.

“Maryland Mobile Wellness is the exciting result of Anne Arundel County’s innovation and the state’s strong support, delivering much-needed services in the community,” said Deputy Secretary Phillips. “This state-of-the-art vehicle with expert staff will provide critical health services in easy-to-access locations. Maryland Mobile Wellness offers prevention education, counseling, testing, immunizations, and naloxone, and connects people experiencing substance use issues to medication-assisted treatment.”

“The Maryland Mobile Wellness Initiative is another tool in our toolbox to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic that is affecting every part of our state,” said Director Schuh. “We hope this will serve as a promising practice for other jurisdictions to review and possibly implement.”

Services will be available in the wellness vehicle on Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot of the Arundel House of Hope, located at 514 Crain Highway North, Suite K, in Glen Burnie. It will be staffed by a certified registered nurse practitioner, registered nurse, and peer support specialist. The nurse and peer support specialist will be available during business hours to support clients and refer them to care. The vehicle has a client intake area, two exam rooms, and private blood work/discussion area.

“Fighting opioids is not a one-way street. There are many paths and proven strategies designed to offer practical, non-judgmental support to people experiencing substance use disorders,” said Acting Anne Arundel County Health Officer Billie Penley. “Together with our state and county partners, the wellmobile and other innovative programs will help guide individuals successfully on the road to recovery.”

Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to this epidemic and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery. Marylanders grappling with a substance use disorder can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org or by calling 211 and pressing 1. Individuals also can call 211 and press 1 or text their zip code to 898-211 to speak with knowledgeable crisis call specialists.

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