Bigger local role sought in health plan agency SOUTHWEST -- Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

February 17, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

The future role of the Western Maryland Health Planning Agency will be among the issues discussed tomorrow by the Carroll County and Frederick County commissioners and Mount Airy officials.

Frederick commissioners are seeking a more active role in the agency, which regulates expansion of health-related services in Carroll, Frederick and the state's other western counties, said Frederick Commissioner Gail T. Bowerman.

"We need to take a more active role," said Ms. Bowerman, who serves as Frederick's liaison to the agency. "We need to hear more of what is being discussed at the agency's [various] board meetings. I see a need for us to have a more active role."

Carroll Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said he was concerned that Frederick wanted to pull funding from the agency, which relies on money from each of the participating counties and the state. Carroll contributes about $23,000 each year, while Frederick, the largest contributor, gives about $28,000.

"I'm concerned that Frederick may make a precipitous move and withdraw from the agency entirely," Mr. Lippy said. "I don't want them to do anything they might regret and lose the equivalent of what could be hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care."

Ms. Bowerman said that Frederick does not want to pull funding from the agency, but wants to discuss seeking a more active role with Carroll commissioners.

"I see that as being very important," she said. "If we're going to be involved, let's be actively involved. Both of us need to provide the effort."

Ms. Bowerman said she has suggested the agency reschedule and consolidate meetings to allow Frederick commissioners to attend.

The oft-delayed meeting between the commissioners and Mount Airy, which straddles the Frederick-Carroll line, will be held at 11 a.m. at the town's new fire station.

The boards also will discuss a regional high school, recycling and solid-waste programs and Frederick County's New Market region update, which affects the Mount Airy region.

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