January 23,  2013

Local Health Improvement Coalition Weekly Digest

Dear Howard County LHIC Members –

Please allow me to introduce the new and improved LHIC Digest.  With eye-catching graphics and appealing color scheme.    Some of the new features include: 

  • Link to the Howard County Facebook page
  • Link to the Howard County Twitter feed
  • Link to Notify Me Howard
  • A button that forward's the digest to your colleagues (bottom of digest)
  • Ability to edit your subscription information
  • Increased readability and accessibility
Moving forward, all correspondence from the LHIC will be sent in this format. As always the LHIC digest will feature topics and events pertinent to our mission and our members.

Next LHIC meeting Monday, February 11th from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Click here for calendar invitation.


Smoke-free Laws Linked to Drop in Child Asthma Attacks {new}
Reuters, 01/21/2013
Introducing laws banning smoking in enclosed public places can lead to swift and dramatic falls in the number of children admitted to hospital suffering asthma attacks, according to a study in England published on Monday.
For full article, click here.

Black, Low-Income Youth Consume More Sugary Drinks Than White Peers {new}
According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, black children and adolescents are nearly twice as likely to consume more than 500 calories a day in sugary beverages compared to their white peers. “Heavy consumption”—defined as drinking at least 500 calories of sugar-sweetened beverage per day—dropped among teens and young adults overall between 1998 and 2008, but rose among 2-11 year olds. The study also found that soda remained the most widely consumed sugary beverage among all age groups except for children, while low-income children of all races drank almost twice as many sugary beverages as children from wealthier households. Click here for full article.

Resource: New Year’s Feature from CDC – Commit to Quit Smoking in 2013
New Year’s is a time when many people make resolutions to quit smoking. To leverage this once-a-year opportunity, CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) has communications activities and products that can help people commit to quit smoking in 2013. Below is a list of them. We hope your organization can use the materials and resources to support those in your community who want to quit. We encourage you to share this information with your tobacco control partners so that they can use them, too. 
Click here for resources.

Coca-Cola Addresses Obesity in New Ad Campaign

Coca-Cola kicked off an advertising campaign to address the nation’s obesity epidemic, the first of its kind from a major beverage company. The campaign’s first ad (click here for video)  began airing yesterday on cable news channels CNN, Fox News and MSNBC—focuses on Coca-Cola’s record with respect to calorie count labels, offering new options in school vending machines, and funding physical activity programs. The second ad – scheduled to debut during “American Idol” this week and again prior to the Super Bowl – will highlight activities customers can do to burn off the calories in a can of Coke.   For full article, click here.

AAP: Recess Should Complement, Not Replace, Physical Education
In a policy statement released last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) voiced its support for recess in schools, citing the “crucial role” it plays in children’s overall cognitive, academic, social and physical development. The AAP statement added that unstructured recess should complement rather than replace physical education, and that it “should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons.” A
brief from Active Living Research released in January 2012 noted that children can accumulate up to 40 percent of their total daily physical activity during recess, while recess breaks throughout the day can improve students’ classroom behavior and attentiveness. For full statement, click here.

Fresh Fruit Tops Chocolate, Potato Chips as Nation’s Top Snack
A report from NPD Group – a consumer market research firm – has found that fresh fruit is the most popular snacking food in America. “Snacking in America” reports that fresh fruit is preferred by Americans ten times more than chocolate and twenty-five times more than potato chips. Researchers attributed the rise in preference for fresh fruit to several factors, including Americans’ increasing focus on their health and fruit being a particular favorite among children and senior citizens, among other age groups. For full article,
click here.

Community Transformation Grant resources and upcoming webinars. 

Howard County Unsweetened 

At the command of Burleigh Manor Middle School students on Tuesday, we dumped approximately 10 tons of “sugar” (actually, white sand) to commemorate the launch of Howard County Unsweetened, an initiative to fight childhood obesity by providing better drink options where our kids live, learn, and play.  At the event, we were joined by County Executive Ken Ulman who announced an Executive Order that ensures Howard County government will only provide healthy drink options on its property.

Healthy Howard Health Plan Updates 
As of January 2, 2013, the Healthy Howard Health Plan (HHHP) will no longer be accepting new applications.  Due to a long wait list and the amount of time that it takes a new member to seek medical services through the Health Plan, new applications will only be accepted through the end of December 2012.  Everyone who is on the wait list at that point will have the opportunity to enroll into HHHP in the first few months of 2013.  Additional appointments to complete an electronic application will be added in the month of December so that everyone who wants to apply to HHHP will have the opportunity to do so.  If you refer clients to our program, please make note of this change.  Any questions may be directed to Lena Hershkovitz at410.988.3737 ext. 12.

Healthcare Howard Website Launch
Healthy Howard, Inc. and the Howard County HealthDepartment have come together to create the Healthcare Howard website at
www.healthcarehoward.org.  This will provide important information about health reform and how it will affect individuals, health care providers, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in Howard County.  For the most up-to-date information, we encourage you to "like" us on Facebook (Healthcare-Howard), follow us on Twitter (@HealthcareHoCo), and sign up to receive email updates on the website.

Next meeting February 11th.

Living Your Best Life With Diabetes Group Education Class 
January 22 & 23 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm 
In this eight-hour class, you’ll learn how to manage your diabetes to help prevent complications and live your life to the fullest. Our Saint Agnes experts will offer useful, realistic tips for nutrition and exercise, stress management and blood sugar control. To attend these classes, all patients must first schedule an individual diabetes appointment for initial assessment at St. Agnes Hospital. Diabetes education and classes are covered by most health insurances. Physician referral is required. For further details, obtain referral form, or schedule your initial appointment, call 
(410) 368-8448. Make your health a top priority this year!

Living with Breast Cancer. 
{free} {new}
January 24, 7-8:30 p.m.
This group is designed to meet the needs of breast cancer patients with a Stage IV diagnosis. This safe, welcoming group provides encouragement, support and education and meets on the 4th Thursday of each month. FREE. HCGH
Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center. Call 410 964-9100 x5 for more information and to register.

 Together We Thrive.
{free} {new}
January 26, 10-11:30.
Patient support group offered for men and women diagnosed with cancer, where participants can share, explore, and be encouraged in a safe environment. This group meets the 4th Saturday of each month. FREE. HCGH
Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center.  Call 410 740-5858 for more information and to register. 

Kitchen Wisdom: Nutrition and Delicious Meals. 
January 28, 7-8:30 p.m.
They say that variety is the spice of life!  In part 2 of the Healthy Weight, Healthy You series, sample food and learn how to spice up healthy meals with herbs and seasonings for a variety of taste.  FREE. HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia. 410 740-7810.  For more information,
click here.

Smoke-Free Lungs.  {free} {new}
January 29, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Do you want to give up smoking but don’t know where to begin? Learn tips for quitting your tobacco habit and master long-term success.  This program provides support and education for those wanting to quit as well as support for those who already have quit. Attend one or more sessions- according to your needs. FREE. HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia.   For more information,
click here.

 Adult, Child and Infant CPR/AED. {new}
January 30, 5:30- 9:00 p.m.
This course will teach you the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and teach you how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). At the successful completion of this course, you will earn a two- year American heart Association completion card. $55.  HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive Columbia.  For more information,
click here.

Howard County Health Department Tobacco Treatment Program and Volunteer Opportunities 
Wednesdays, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
{free} {new}
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 5:00pm -8:00pm, 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, 1:00pm - 4:00pm.  For more information, click here.

Join a Walking Club to Aid Your Weight Loss Plan 
Now that the holidays are over and you have started your weight loss plan, why not join a walking club to help trim off those pounds?  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has moved their walking clubs inside for the winter months.  On Saturdays they walk in the Columbia Mall. The department stores will not be open, please use the main entrance next to Lord & Taylor and assemble in front of Lord & Taylor on the lower level. If you are an early riser you can meet Ardra Bailey at 7:00 AM.    If you are later riser you can meet Tonia Smith at 8:00 AM.   Contact:  Tonia Smith/
trsmitty3@gmail.com  or   Arleen Tate/preventiontechnologies@gmail.com

If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes...  {free}
Dates: 1/18, 1/23, 2/15, and 2/20
Day Program: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Evening Program: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes--or even if you have been living with diabetes for some time and would like to make a commitment to improve your health--this course will teach you how to change your habits and will give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy. Our diabetes specialists will not tell you what to do--instead they will empower you with information and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle.  This is a two-day, interactive group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist and exercise specialist. The class is held at The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center in the hospital. Choose either a day program or a condensed evening program. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000.

Wellness at Wegman's Series, 6:00pm – 7:30pm 
Saint Agnes Hospital and Wegmans of Columbia are excited to announce a new Wellness Partnership!  The speaker series will take place on the second floor of the brand new Wegman's in Columbia (located at 8855 Mcgaw Rd, Columbia, MD 21045) on the second Monday of every month.  Complimentary light refreshments will be served.

Well4life® Program at Saint Agnes Hospital
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
www.well4lifeprogram.com or register for our free monthly information sessions by calling 1-866-690-9355.

Hunger-Free Howard Program 
Did you know that the Howard County Food Bank served more than 20,000 individuals last year?  Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC) is looking for community groups -churches, schools, girl/boy scout troops, fraternal organizations, clubs, offices, or athletic associations- that would like to help create a Hunger-free Howard by collecting 1 high-need item for the Food Bank each month.  High need items include peanut butter, cereal, pasta and pasta sauce, soup, cooking oils, and personal care items.  For more information, or to become a Hunger-free Howard Partner, contact Lisa Clossin at 
lclossin@cac-hc.org or410-313-0703.

Free Tax Prep!
January 19th to April 13th. {free} {new}
Mondays and Wednesdays 4pm - 8 pm, Saturdays 10am - 3 pm
makingCHANGE will offer free tax preparation to most taxpayers who earned less than $49,000 in 2012 at the new 2013 VITA site, which opened Saturday, Jan 19.  The site will offer e-filing, savings bonds and the option to receive refunds via direct deposit onto a debit card - all free! Individuals can receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper — even faster, when tax refunds are deposited directly into a bank account.  North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center, 9900 Washington Blvd (Rt 1), Laurel, MD 20723

Appointments are encouraged!  Please call (410) 880-5917 to make an appointment; or to learn more about VITA and the documents you will need to bring, click here.

2013 Maryland Million Hearts Symposium
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This day-long summit will focus on initiatives that save lives from heart disease and stroke with a focus on strategies to address hypertension control in various community and healthcare settings. Click here for registration information.

Partnership for a Healthier America “Building a Healthier Future” Summit {new}
March 6-8, 2013 Washington, D.C.
The Partnership for a Healthier America will host its second annual “Building a Healthier Future” Summit in March 2013, which will bring together more than 1,000 leaders from public, private and non-profit organizations, all committed to solving the childhood obesity crisis in America.  Learn more about the summit here.

DHPE Webinar: Basics of Social Media 
Social media can be a powerful tool for individuals and organizations in extending outreach capabilities beyond their web site. This session will cover the bare bones basics for Twitter, Facebook and Linked In, and discuss other online outlets. We will cover setting up accounts, posting, sharing, tweeting, liking, hash tags, fan pages, groups, photos, and best practices.  For registration information, click here.

Webinar: New Nutrition and Wellness Handbook: CACFP Creating Healthier Child Care Environments
January 24, 2013, 2:00-3:00 PM
The new USDA and HHS Nutrition and Wellness handbook for early childhood programs has been released. Join the Food Research and Action Center and USDA for a webinar to learn how you can create healthier child care environments with the new “Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program” and “CACFP Wellness Resources" web page. This is an opportunity to learn, ask questions and to express your views via a webinar survey.  
Click here for registration information. 

Webinar: Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties Webinar—Goal II: MyPlate, Your Place
January 30, 2013, 3:00-4:00 PM

Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) was established to assist local elected officials in accomplishing specific goals that promote improved nutrition and increased physical activity.  Over the next year, LMCTC sites have the opportunity to earn five gold medals.  Gold, silver, and bronze medals, with associated benchmarks, have been established to encourage progress in achieving the LMCTC goals.  When an LMCTC site achieves a benchmark, thereby earning a medal, their site will be publicly recognized by National League of Cities (NLC).  Join us to learn how local elected officials through Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) can prominently display MyPlate in all municipally- or county-owned or operated venues where food is served. 
Click here for registration information.

Developed by: Maryann Thomas


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 anugent@howardcountymd.gov

 Our mailing address is: 7178 Columbia Gateway Dr., Columbia, MD 21046