November 20, 2013

Local Health Improvement Coalition Weekly Digest

Dear Howard County LHIC Members –

Please find below this week’s LHIC digest and corresponding attachments.  Additionally we welcome you to submit any news or events that you would like to share with the group.  The deadline for submissions is Monday by 5:00pm to  Again, we thank you for your continued support and participation as we work to achieve health equity in Howard County and to identify and reduce health disparities.  

Items Shared at Previous LHIC Meeting: 
We are excited to offer access to our new Howard County health survey video that we debuted at the last LHIC meeting.  Please help us spread the word! Howard County Health Survey video

New Patient-Centered Medical Home Expands Mental Health Services for Low-Income Marylanders

Thousands of people suffer from mental illnesses with costly and severe long-term effects that burden patients. DHMH has partnered with Way Station Inc. to expand mental health services to low-income adults in Maryland. Way Station currently serves more than 3,000 individuals in five Maryland jurisdictions and is dedicated to providing behavioral health care, housing and employment services to adults, children, adolescents, and veterans.


This patient-centered medical home program improves health and reduces costs by providing care coordination and integrating primary care nurses in community mental health clinics, which individuals with serious mental illness are most familiar. The program, originally launched in Frederick, Howard and Washington counties to help patients develop the skills to better manage their mental illness and overall health, will serve more than 20,000 individuals with disabilities in response to the Affordable Care Act.


Telemedicine robots let doctors 'beam' into hospitals, expanding access 
A growing number of hospitals in California and other states are using telepresence robots to expand access to medical specialists, especially in rural areas.  Dignity Health began using telemedicine machines five years ago for patients suspected of suffering from a stroke--when every minute is crucial to prevent severe brain damage.  To learn more about the cost of telemedicine machines and how patients interact with them, click here

US government releases series of videos entitled Refugees and the Affordable Care Act
The Office of Refugee Resettlement has released  informational videos about the effects of the Affordable Care Act on Refugees in Somali, Karen, Nepali, Arabic, Kinyarwanda, and English. The videos include a brief description of the American health care system, preventative care, and health insurance.  It then explains how to sign up for health insurance.  Click here to watch the videos.


Connection Update, Friday, November 15, 2013
Since October 1, there have been more than 410,000 unique visitors to the health benefit exchange website. Total enrollment in qualified healthplans increased 36% since the week ending November 9 and total 1,743 individuals.Including Medicaid pre-enrollment, new Medicaid eligibles, and people who have selected pre-qualified health plans, approximately 90,000  Marylanders will be enrolled in health insurance starting January 1, 2014. For more details, read the full report here.

Maryland Health Connection Opens Call Center
Maryland Health Connection has opened the first phase of its state-of-the-art customer call center in Baltimore to provide support for residents and small employers statewide. The call center assists Marylanders with general questions about health coverage and the process of enrollment. The call center will operate seven days a week during the open enrollment period, which began on October 1, 2013 and ends on March 31, 2014. The toll-free phone number is 855.642(MHC).8572, and 1.855.642(MHC).8573 for TTY service.


Healthy Howard to Help Residents Find Health Insurance
Healthy Howard's  Door to HealthCare Western Maryland is providing free help choosing affordable, quality health coverage through the state’s new health insurance marketplace, Maryland Health Connection. The Door is the official source for information in six Maryland counties, including Howard, and provides practical answers about new changes in health care, personal support for making the right choice and assistance with signing up for health insurance. Within Howard County, the Door will be working with local partners including Chase Brexton, Grassroots and the Korean Resource Center. Visit for the latest information! For more information click here.
Connecting Howard County Residents to Coverage 
Health Care Reform and You 

HC DrugFree Teen Advisory Council
The HC DrugFree is seeking high school students to advise staff and board. Teen council meets monthly. Community service hours available. For more information, please contact HC DrugFree's Executive Director, Joan Webb Scornaienchi at 443-325-0040 or

Network Care for Behavioral Health
Network of Care for Behavioral Health is an online information place for individuals, families, and agencies concerned with mental and emotional wellness, substance abuse and developmental disabilities. This online community provides critical information, communication, and advocacy tools with a single point of entry. It ensures there is "No Wrong Door" for those navigating the system of behavioral health services, those working to avoid the need for formal services, and those ready to transition out of the behavioral health system. For more information, click here.

Howard County Health Department Tobacco Treatment Program and Volunteer Opportunities
Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. 
Quit Smoking Today!  FREE Tobacco Treatment Program open to anyone who lives or works in Howard County.  This is a 4-week program, 1 session per week.  A physician evaluation for medication support will be offered from 5:00-8:00 p.m., by appointment only.  Walk-in clinics for a one-on-one counseling session with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist, offered in English and Spanish will be offered on Thursdays, 1:00-4:00 p.m.  For more information, click here.

Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 
SHIP offers one-on-one counseling and assistance to people with Medicare of any age and their families. Counseling is a free service and assistance is given via telephone and face-to-face interactive sessions, public education presentations and programs, and media activities. To contact SHIP call 410-313-7392, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Cancer Prevention Study-3 Comes to Howard County
Help the American Cancer Society create a world with less cancer!  
The American Cancer Society is seeking cancer fighters in Howard County to participate in Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3), a historic, nationwide study to help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer, which will ultimately save lives.  For more information, please visit the website

2-1-1 Maryland
2-1-1 Maryland is a toll-free, 24-hour hotline that provides information on local and national health and human service resources. We serve the entire state of Maryland and are available simply by dialing 2-1-1 or 800-492-0618. The hotline is staffed by trained and nationally certified Information and Referral Specialists who assess callers' needs and then link them with appropriate resources and services. Many of you are already included in our database but others may not be included. Please use the following contact information to update current forms or submit new program forms. Kate Schulz, Information and Referral Specialist and Howard County Outreach Coordinator.  Contact number: 410-895-1452. Brandi Nieland, Database Administrator.

Powerpoint Presentation
2-1-1 Maryland Fact Sheet
2-1-1 MD Inclusion Exclusion Guidelines
New Program Form

"Together on Diabetes: Collaborating with Community Health Workers to Alleviate the Nation's Diabetes Burden" Webinar
November 20, 2-3:30pm

Join the Public Health Institute on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 2-3:30pm for a webinar entitled "Together on Diabetes: Collaborating with Community Health Workers (CHWs) to Alleviate the Nation's Diabetes Burden." The webinar will focus on the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Together on Diabetes (TOD) Initiative, and will provide perspectives from program administrators and CHWs discussing TOD grantee projects, collaborations with CHWs to ease the burden of diabetes at the clinical and community level, and three models demonstrating the value of CHWs in diabetes management and care programs. Presenters will also discuss strategies for community engagement, funding and training of CHWs, and how CHWs and peer support services may positively impact the nation's health. Click here for more information and to register.

Knitting and Crochet Support Group {free}
November 20, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Attention cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers: join us on Wednesday each week for instruction, directions, and good times for beginning or advanced knitters. Located at The Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, 21044. For more information call 410-740-5858.

Care Giver’s Support Group {free}
December 7, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m.- noon. Registration is required through the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, 21044. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.
Breast Cancer Support Group {free}
November 20, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Registration requested through the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, 21044. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.
Living with Breast Cancer Support Group {free}
November 21, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
This group facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C for patients with a stage IV cancer diagnosis meets each fourth Thursday of the month. Registration requested through the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, 21044. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

Dazzle Dash Weekend {cost varies based on group size}
November 23 & 24

Dazzle Dash is a fun-filled kick-off community event to celebrate the opening of the 20th annual Symphony of Lights.  Friends and family gather to walk to run 1.4 miles through the magical outdoor display of lights. Come and experience the excitement as they holiday season begins.  Enjoy games and activities for children of all ages, food, music, entertainment, and giveaways. Sunday, November 24th's activities include face painting, crafts, and a moodbounce.  Strollers are welcome.  No pets please. For more information visit Register here.

You Can Prevent Diabetes! 
Saint Agnes Hospital is now offering a 4-month program designed to prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes in people who test as Pre-Diabetic. The program combines the resources and expertise of the Saint Agnes endocrinologists, certified diabetes educators, dietitians, fitness professionals and other health educators in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association. A physician referral is required. For details click here or contact Roslyn Snyder, Pre-Diabetes Program Coordinator, at 410-368-3244.

Well4life® Program at Saint Agnes Hospital {free}
A holistic and comprehensive approach to weight loss and healthy living, the well4life® program at Saint Agnes Hospital provides medical oversight, your own personal health coach, educational and fitness classes, support groups, a web companion and more.  If you’d like to change your lifestyle habits and reach a meaningful health and wellness goal, we can give you the support and expertise you need. Find out more at or register for our free monthly information sessions by calling 1-866-690-9355.


Additionally we welcome you to submit any news or events that you would like to share with the group.  The deadline for submissions is Monday by 5:00pm to

 Our mailing address is: 8930 Stanford Boulevard Columbia, MD 21045