Makom Secures $750,000 in Federal Funding to Propel Development of Medical Clinic for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Maryland, Virginia and DC

This critical funding, made possible by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), will be used to procure the clinic’s accessible medical equipment – a vital step in helping people with IDD overcome barriers to healthcare and live healthy lives.


Rockville, MD (February 6, 2023) – Makom is thrilled to announce it will receive $750,000 in federal funding secured by Senator Van Hollen as part of the fiscal year 2023 omnibus funding law to purchase medical equipment for the development of a culturally relevant, accessible healthcare delivery system designed to address longstanding health inequities experienced by people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). Procuring accessible, highly-specialized equipment – one of the most expensive capital investments and critical components of a healthcare clinic for people with IDD – will propel the clinic’s development forward and build even more momentum toward its launch.

People with IDD have long experienced disproportionately higher rates of treatable health disparities. Research shows that about 40% of adults with IDD live with four or more comorbidities, resulting from a lack of health and wellness resources and accessible, culturally relevant primary and specialty care. As in other parts of the United States, people with IDD in the DMV region, especially adults, struggle to access primary and specialty healthcare that delivers improved health outcomes.

Recognizing this gap, Makom is leading the development of a partnership-driven system of healthcare that integrates primary care with dental, behavioral/mental health, and other specialties in a center of care that is designed by, with and for people with IDD. This Montgomery County-based, groundbreaking clinic will be modeled after similar successful models in other parts of the country, while being customized to the resources, needs and dynamics of the DMV community.

“People with disabilities too often face inequities in health care. That’s why I was proud to secure this direct federal investment to help Makom stand up a comprehensive primary care center that is fully accessible and equipped for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. This clinic will be the first of its kind in our region to address the longstanding health care gaps facing the IDD community,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“After more than 40 years of listening carefully to people with IDD, their families and their friends, it is clear that among the most stubborn barriers to lives of abundance is the lack of accessible healthcare that delivers better health outcomes,” said David Ervin, CEO of Makom. “Beyond recognizing the problem, we need to do something to address it. This is fundamentally about health equity, and we are proud to be leading the charge. We are deeply appreciative that Senator Van Hollen shares our commitment to ensuring that people with IDD enjoy healthy lives.”

Makom will continue the development of this system of healthcare over the next 2 years, expecting to launch in 2025.

About Makom

Makom is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve the quality of life to which they aspire. Makom’s programs support more than 200 people in over 80 sites throughout the DC metro area. Support is provided through Makom’s residential and transitioning youth programs.