Sen. Cardin tours Klein Family Harford Crisis Center, pledges to help with funding

Sen. Cardin tours Klein Family Harford Crisis Center, pledges to help with funding
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin talks with Rod Kornrumpf, Executive Director of the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center, during a pause in his tour of the center in Bel Air Friday afternoon. (Matt Button / The Aegis / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center is the type of facility that’s needed to help combat the opioid crisis across Maryland and the country, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said.

“It’s a 24/7 facility to take the pressure off the emergency rooms when a person is stressed instead of going back to the street,” Cardin said during a tour of the facility Friday afternoon.


Since the crisis center opened June 10, the mobile crisis team has diverted 118 patients from a hospital emergency room, according to statistics provided by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health.

The crisis center is a partnership, made up of the public and private sectors, local and state governments,and providers and advocates, including Upper Chesapeake Health, Harford County Government, Harford County Health Department, Health Harford/Healthy Cecil, Office on Mental Health and the Affiliated Sante Group.

The outpatient services component has been operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and is expected to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week beginning Aug. 12, Executive Director Rod Kornrumpf said.

The 24/7 call center, which directs callers to various resources, has been operating since October and has taken 5,652 calls.

Upper Chesapeake is waiting on its state license to open the eight residential crisis beds at the center.

Funding a facility such as the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center is difficult because Medicare reimbursement is not enough to cover costs. The facility is expected to lose about $2.6 million in its first two years.

Cardin discussed funding for the Harford Crisis Center and other, similar facilities.

“Here in Harford County, look at what they’re doing with this crisis center — 24/7 to provide the type of services. This is such an incredible asset to the community,” Cardin said. “We want to make sure the federal government pays its fair share so this center can not only get open, but stay open 24/7.”

Fortunately, he said, Democrats and Republicans agree more needs to be done with regard to the drug crisis in the United States.

“And we want to make sure local governments have the resources and discretion to do what’s right to deal with addiction in their community,” Cardin said.

The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center can be reached at 1-800-NEXT-STEP.