In many ways, Ben Steffen seems like the perfect person to head up a work study group on the future of Maryland’s rural hospitals. While he certainly has the professional experience to carry out those duties, including his current role in running the Maryland Health Care Commission, his most unique qualification is the fact that he grew up in the isolated farmland of Northeastern Iowa. It was in that kind of health care environment that Ben experienced first hand the special requirements of rural health care and the complexity of deliveries those services.
Now he is faced with the extremely challenging task of managing a state task force to decide what Maryland needs to do for the rural hospitals in towns like Chestertown and Cambridge to meet those special needs. Over the course of only one year, he will need to share with his 36 member committee the extraordinary data collected on these health care centers as well as guide them through a decision-making process to develop long-term recommendations for the Mid-Shore.
In his Spy interview, Ben talks about the Maryland Health Care Commission’s interest in rural hospital issues, the process of the workgroup, and his thoughts about rural hospital solutions, including “critical care” models and transportation challenges.
The first meeting of the workgroup will be held at Chesapeake College August 30th from 1pm to 5pm.
This video is approximately fifteen minutes in length