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Mercy Medical Center awarded more than $10 million in federal aid to expand coronavirus treatment

Mercy Medical Center was awarded more than $10 million in federal funding Tuesday to help continue the fight against the coronavirus, congressional leaders said.

Authorized under the Stafford Act from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the funding will help create 32 new isolation and treatment rooms for COVID-19 patients in the Mary Catherine Bunting Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, lawmakers said.

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The funding of $10.4 million was announced by U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Reps. Steny Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Andy Harris, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone.

“This emergency funding to expand COVID-19 treatment rooms will help ensure the dedicated professionals at Mercy Medical Center can continue their vital work, while increasing Maryland’s hospital capacity and reducing overcrowding to keep healthcare workers and Marylanders safe,” the lawmakers said in a news release. “We remain committed to securing additional federal funding to provide our healthcare workers and hospitals with the resources they need to get us through this public health emergency.”

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The new funding comes on the heels of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announcing new initiatives to help address concerns about a possible shortage of hospital beds as the number of coronavirus cases rise after the Thanksgiving holiday.

In July, the hospital lost Joseph Costa, the chief of the critical care division, to the coronavirus. The doctor worked on the front lines during the pandemic and was described by his husband as a scientist who “lived through his brain” and loved his job more than anything in the world.

Lawmakers secured approval in March to allow emergency resources to be deployed to hospitals across Maryland. More than $39.4 million has previously been allocated by the delegation to help MedStar Health and the University of Maryland Medical System battle COVID-19.

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