Baltimore hospitals to address local systemic challenges with 375 new jobs : 6 things to know

Maryland regulators have approved a smaller employment plan that will allow Baltimore residents living in struggling neighborhoods hit hard by riots last April to apply for 375 new jobs at area hospitals, according to a report from The Baltimore Sun.

Here are seven things to know about the plan.

1. Under the agreement, approved Wednesday by the state's Health Services Cost Review Commission, participating hospitals, including Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital, will fund part of the program's cost. The rest of the program's cost will be funded through hospital rate increases, according to the report. The plan calls for as much as $10 million each year in rate increases and $5 million a year from the hospital budgets.

2. The cost of the jobs is estimated to be about $40,000 each, with an average hourly pay of $15, according to the report.

3. New positions include community health workers who would connect people to healthcare services and insurance counselors who would sign people up for coverage.

4. People who take the jobs would be offered benefits, training and advancement opportunities, according to The Baltimore Sun.

5. The plan is smaller than originally proposed. Johns Hopkins Hospital administrators originally called for 1,000 new jobs to address hopelessness expressed by people in impoverished Baltimore neighborhoods following the April shooting of Freddie Gray.

6. Although the plan is smaller, supporters still praised the initiative. "We really see systemic challenges in Baltimore, and someone just saw the ability to address it," Andrew Foster Connors, senior pastor at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church and co-chair of the interfaith community organization Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, said, according to The Baltimore Sun. "It's less than the number of jobs we wanted, but it's a great start."

7. CareFirst, the state's dominant insurer, and a representative from the League of Life and Health Insurers of Maryland, declined to comment on the plan in The Baltimore Sun. According to the report, the insurers had supported a scaled-back recommendation from commission staff that called for $5 million in seed money from rate increases, and no further funding.


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Pittsburgh City Council calls for $15 minimum wage at hospitals: 4 things to know
Kadlec nurses vote for possible strike: 3 things to know
Healthcare sector to be biggest source of jobs in next decade: 4 statistics


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