Press Release

April 17, 2007

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded $40,000 to the Allegany College of Maryland for the Home Health Aide Program development project. There is a shortage of home health aides in Western Maryland, and this program will train at least 15 people a semester to serve as aides for elderly, convalescent, and/or disabled persons living in their own homes instead of a health facility.

“We must commit ourselves, our dollars and our programs to meet the needs of our growing and changing senior population. As our nation anticipates the retirement of 78 million baby boomers, we must look at model programs that help keep seniors at home and independent,” said Senator Mikulski. “This funding is a federal investment in Western Maryland communities today and tomorrow. I'm so proud that Allegany College will use these funds to support programs that will benefit not only their students, but members of the community who will rely on their services.”

“This federal grant of $40,000 to Allegany College will provide the needed resources to train home health aides who can assist the elderly or disabled, making it possible for them to age in place and remain at home,” said Senator Cardin. “There is a growing need for home health aides in Western Maryland and throughout the nation and Allegany College's home health aide program will help fill a very important need.”

Allegany College will use these funds to help purchase equipment for this new training program, including computer software, wheelchairs and a hospital bed. Under the supervision of nursing and medical staff at the college, students will provide health-related services to address the shortage of home health aides in Western Maryland and the nearby areas of surrounding states. Students will help with monitoring oral medications, housekeeping, and routine personal care services.

In addition to ARC funds, Allegany College will provide another $40,000 for the project, bringing the total funding for the development project to $80,000. The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.