Working To Enhance The Quality Of Life
In Baltimore And In Maryland.

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Abell Brief: Winter 2020

abell brief

Working To Enhance The Quality Of
Life In Baltimore And In Maryland.



Winter 2020


New faces at the Foundation

Kevin Abell has joined the Board of the Abell Foundation, replacing his brother, Shep Abell, who stepped down in December after 44 years of service.  Kevin has had a distinguished career in business and non-profit work and will bring valuable perspective to the Foundation’s work.  

Liz Tung is our newest Program Officer in Health and Human Services, and will support projects and programs in youth development, immigration, as well as public health and health care.  Prior to joining the Foundation, Liz worked at the Family League of Baltimore for five years where she was part of the B’More for Healthy Babies initiative to improve birth and early childhood outcomes.  Earlier in her career, Liz served as a special assistant to the Health Commissioner at the Baltimore City Health Department and as a Program Officer at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva, Switzerland. She earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University and a Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ifeanyi (Ify) Oranye joined the Foundation in November as an Investment Analyst and supports Chief Financial Officer Eileen O’Rourke and Senior Vice President Francie Keenan.  Prior to joining the Foundation, he worked in the Fund Supervision Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria. Ify graduated from Boston College and Baltimore City College High School.




Prevention, Intervention, and Policy Strategies to Reduce the Individual and Societal Costs Associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) for Children in Baltimore City

Baltimore City has some of the highest rates of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, in Maryland. ACEs include experiences of child maltreatment and other family problems such as domestic violence and parental incarceration. Not only are these ACEs common, but they frequently co-occur and are associated with increased risk for a broad range of negative social outcomes, psychiatric and substance use disorders, health risk behaviors, and medical health problems. In this report, authors Dr. Elizabeth Thompson and Dr. Joan Kaufman review the state of the science on programs designed to prevent ACEs and mitigate their negative effects and survey the Baltimore City landscape in terms of prevalence of ACEs and the availability of interventions to address them.

Learn more about the report here.

An Auto Insurance Lifeline for Safe Driving, Lower-Income Marylanders

Too many Maryland drivers face obstacles to complying with the state’s mandatory insurance. Prohibitively high auto insurance premiums and racial inequities and discriminatory insurance pricing pose problems for many, especially lower-income drivers. For these residents, the options of not driving at all or driving uninsured in violation of state law each comes with deep downsides – economic immobility or expensive fines. This report finds that the state needs new approaches – such as the creation of a Maryland Lifeline Auto Insurance – to this persistent problem in order to improve economic opportunities, address inequities, and reduce the number of uninsured drivers in the state.  

Learn more about the report here.

The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Baltimore is losing more people to drug overdose than ever before. While the city has worked to implement a response, it needs a new comprehensive approach to adequately address this crisis. In this report, author Natanya Robinowitz (executive director of Charm City Care Connection) examines how Baltimore could learn from the success Barcelona, Spain, experienced in treating their city’s own significant drug epidemic in the 1990s. Barcelona created a robust network of low-barrier services aimed at reaching people who use drugs and engaging them wherever they are in their drug use, in an effort to move people toward better health. This report considers how Baltimore could follow this model.

Learn more about the report here.

Scaling Workforce Development Programming in Baltimore

Labor markets are tight, meaning skilled workers are in great demand. Baltimore should consider rapid expansion of high-quality workforce development programs to assist job seekers in obtaining the skills they need. In this report, Linda Dworak of the Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative explores opportunities to scale up effective workforce development programming in Baltimore while addressing the current effects of structural racism in the job market. The report finds an increased investment of $5 million over current funding levels to 16 organizations that provide industry sector-based workforce development services could rapidly increase the number of residents receiving occupational skills training, supportive services, and job placement by about 1,000 people annually.

Learn more about the report here.

Getting Solar Siting Right in Maryland

With the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, Maryland set a goal of achieving 50% of the state’s electric needs from renewable energy by 2030 and examining ways to achieve 100% clean power by 2040. Specifically, this law created a new requirement for solar arrays to produce 14.5% of electric power by 2030, up from the current goal of 2.5% by 2020. To achieve the goals in the Clean Energy Jobs Act, Maryland needs more and better options for generating solar energy. This report examines the current challenges and opportunities for solar siting in Maryland, what is working in other states, and recommendations for moving forward.

Learn more about the report here.