State of the County, UM Capital Region Medical Center Ribbon Cutting and Forward Task Force Final Report
Dear Prince Georgians:
Last week, I laid out our vision for Prince George’s County during the 2021 State of the County Address. I want to thank Bowie State University for allowing us to use their space to deliver this important address to Prince Georgians. I can’t tell you how good it felt to be able to deliver this address in person.
For the past 15 months we’ve only seen one another over video calls, behind masks, and with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over us. We have followed the advice of public health officials and taken steps to keep our vulnerable residents safe by avoiding gathering with loved ones and making huge sacrifices to protect each other.
In many ways, 2020 was the hardest year our County has faced, yet we found new ways to meet the changing needs of our residents. We were the first in the state to have a mass COVID-19 testing site, and our Health Department launched testing centers across the County to provide health officials with the data they needed to protect residents.
In addition, we provided gap financing to those who lost their jobs, rental assistance to families, and worked with partners and volunteers to provide food distribution to thousands of residents through our Stand Up & Deliver program. The County also issued more than $41 million in grants to over 1,500 businesses, including restaurants, childcare centers, and hotels in an effort to allow many businesses to remain open that would have otherwise closed. Most importantly, Prince Georgians stepped up to keep each other safe and provide for one another, which is why we are finally in a place where we can see the end of this pandemic in sight.
During the State of the County, I also discussed important changes we continue to work on for our residents beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. We convened a Police Reform Work Group of public officials and community advocates to implement police reform and found a new reform-minded Police Chief, Malik Aziz, who works every day to make police reform a reality in our County.
I also laid out our new platform for economic development, with a specific focus on development along the Blue Line Corridor. Over the next decade, we will transform the Blue Line into an accessible, walkable, amenity-rich destination with access to transit and plenty of opportunities to enjoy time outside in nature. Our economic development team has put together a full presentation outlining our vision. Residents can view this presentation online here.
While these are just some of the points made during last week’s address, I want to invite you to watch the 2021 State of the County Address if you missed it. Prince George’s County is the Crown Jewel of Maryland, and greatness truly grows here. I am honored and blessed to serve as your County Executive, and I will continue working hard to ensure that greatness continues to grow in our County for generations to come.
Opening of University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center
On Tuesday, June 8, I was proud to join many colleagues and health officials to witness the celebration of a project that has been in the works for years – the ribbon cutting of the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center. The opening of this new medical center is a special milestone and a symbol of our collective commitment to transforming the quality of healthcare our residents receive.
For years, Prince George’s County has seen the inequities that Black and Brown communities suffer as a result of having poor access to healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic magnified those inequities, as the lack of quality healthcare and healthy food options resulted in harmful pre-existing conditions that made our residents more vulnerable to the virus. That is why the completion of this new medical center is so critical to the wellness of our community. As we transition and close the doors on the Prince George’s Hospital Center, this new facility symbolizes a new day of improved access to quality treatment and care in our County.
I want to thank the University of Maryland Medical System, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Clark Construction Group, Estime Enterprises, and Columbia Enterprises for their incredible work pushing through the pandemic and completing this project ahead of schedule. I also want to thank former County Executive Rushern Baker, local and state elected officials, the State of Maryland, and so many others who played a role in this project. Thanks to everyone’s collective efforts, we now have a nearly 600,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility that is dedicated to giving our residents high-quality healthcare.
As we move towards the future, we will be intentional about improving the overall health and wellness of our community. We are determined to not only emerge from this pandemic better prepared for the next public health crisis, but also grow and thrive as a stronger, healthier community.
Forward Task Force Final Report
Finally, I’m Prince George’s Proud to announce that the Prince George’s Forward Task Force has released its third and final report, “A Redefined Future.” This report lays out the concrete steps we are taking to position our County to emerge stronger than ever after the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank the members of the Forward Task Force for their hard work on this dynamic report. The recommendations in this report are innovative, data-driven and will guide our recovery as we look forward to an even brighter future for our residents
The final report contains 29 recommendations, which include improving the entire regulatory process for business development projects; expanding broadband access to narrow the digital divide among students; converting more public-facing services to online; utilizing community influencers to help the Health Department spread clear and concise information; and creating a hotspot hangout program so residents can access WiFi 24/7 using public facilities. The full report, along with details of each recommendation, can be found at PrinceGeorgesForward.com.
I established the Forward Task Force in May 2020 to help guide our recovery efforts. Comprised of experienced leaders and policy experts with deep ties to the County, the Forward Task Force issued recommendations in three phases, knowing there are immediate, short, and long-term steps the County can take to bolster all areas of its recovery. Over the past year, this skilled team of experts worked urgently and with purpose to recommend changes to improve the lives of our residents. We are excited to move forward with implementing their innovative recommendations in the coming months and years.
Yours in Service,
Prince George’s County Executive
Community Conversations with the Police Chief
County Executive Alsobrooks will host a community conversation with our new Chief of Police, Malik Aziz, on Monday, June 21, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Please join us in person at Suitland High School Auditorium (5200 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, MD) or virtually via YouTube. The County Executive and Acting Chief Aziz will discuss crime, community policing, police reform, and a number of other issues. Residents can ask questions directly at the town hall or submit questions in advance here.
Stand Up & Deliver
We are continuing to work hard to address food insecurity in our County, and we want to provide information on upcoming distribution locations for our Stand Up & Deliver program.
Wednesday, June 16 at 10:00 AM (Groceries)
- Maple Spring Baptist Church – 4313 Belt Road, Capitol Heights, MD
- Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School – 8201 15th Avenue, Adelphi, MD
Saturday, June 19 at 10:00 AM (Groceries)
- First Baptist Church of Highland Park – 6801 Sheriff Road, Landover, MD
- Love AME Church at Capitol Heights Elementary School – 601 Suffolk Avenue, Capitol Heights, MD
Sunday, June 20 at 10:00 AM (Groceries)
Community of Hope AME Church – 3701 Branch Avenue, Temple Hills, MD
Additional food distribution locations can be found on our website by clicking here. This map is updated regularly. If you are able to make a contribution to our Stand Up & Deliver program, please click here to donate.