February 27th

Local Health Improvement Coalition Weekly Digest

Dear Howard County LHIC Members –

We hope that you had a great week.  Please find below and attached 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 anugent@howardcountymd.gov .  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.  

New meeting schedule.  
Meeting Schedule {new}
Upcoming meetings:
  • March 11
  • May 13
  • July 8

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


'Smarter Lunchroom’ Setups Increase Kids’ Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables {new}
Improving the location and attractiveness of fruits and vegetables in school cafeterias can help kids make healthier food choices, according to a new report in the Journal of Pediatrics. Researchers at the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs, in Ithaca, N.Y. also found that simply asking kids if they want to try one of the healthier choices can increase the odds. The inexpensive “smarter lunchroom” setup "not only preserves choice, but has the potential to lead children to develop lifelong habits of selecting and consuming healthier foods even when confronted with less healthy options," said study author Andrew Hanks. For full article, click here.
Sodium Intake and Blood Pressure Among U.S. Children and Adolescents {new}
According to a new study published in Pediatrics, higher sodium intake is associated with higher blood pressure among youth. The study also found that the impact of higher sodium intake—and corresponding risk for high blood pressure—is even greater among young people who are overweight or obese.   For study highlight, click here.
How Do We Reduce Our Salt Intake and Become Heart Healthy? {new}
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), Americans should consume less sodium in order to become more heart healthy. The CDC also suggests that Americans take into account other factors that influence blood pressure and the risk for heart disease and stroke, including age, family history, excess body weight, physical inactivity, Inadequate Intake of Potassium, Fruits, and Vegetables and excess alcohol intake. For full article, click here. 

Breast Cancer in Young Women May Be Up Slightly in Past Several Decades {new}
Advanced breast cancer in women ages 25 to 39 may have increased since 1976, according to a new report in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In 2009 there were about 2.9 advanced cased per 100,000 younger women, up from 1.53 per 100,000 in 1976. The researchers say they recommend that young women see a doctor if the notice lumps or other early indicators, and not simply assume they are too young to develop breast cancer. For full article, click here.

Poll: 3 p.m. to Bedtime Offers Challenges to Fighting Obesity {new}
Parents’ and kids’ activity during the “crunch time” period of 3 p.m. to bedtime—commuting, extracurricular activities, getting ready for the next day—can make it especially difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to a new poll from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health. The poll looked at families' eating and physical activity habits. Among other results, it found that 60 percent of parents said their children ate or drank something unhealthy and that 28 percent of kids did not get enough physical activity during this time window. For full article, click here.

Study: Mediterranean Diet Good for Heart Health {new}
A Mediterranean diet—rich in olive oil, nuts, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and even red wine—is more effective than a low-fat diet at helping at helping people at high risk for cardiovascular disease to ward off health problems, according to a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers found a 30 percent greater reduction in relative risk of a heart attack, stroke or death, according to lead author Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez, MD, MPH, PhD. For full article, click here. 
Study Links Smoking Bans to Fewer Pre-term Births
Reuters, Kate Kelland, 02/14/2013 
Banning smoking in enclosed public places can lead to lower rates of preterm birth, according to Belgian researchers who say the findings point to health benefits of smoke-free laws even in very early life. For full article, click here.

Health Advocates Call on FDA to Regulate Sugar
Last week, a group of health advocates called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to consider regulating the amount of added sugars allowed in sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages. In a petition submitted to the FDA, public health advocates noted the FDA’s previous commitments dating back to the 1980s to reassess the safety of such beverages if scientific research could show that consumption had increased or sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup or sucrose were a public health hazard.  For full article, click here.

New Research Identifies Strategies to Help Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children
A new collection of studies from Salud America! The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children found that guided grocery store trips, menu-labeling at restaurants, community gardens, and videogame-based exercise programs are among several promising, culturally appropriate ways to prevent obesity among Latino children. The studies were published in a supplement to the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. For links to the studies, click here.
How Advertising Targets Our Children
An article published in the New York Times suggests that advertisements are targeting more children through television and social media. The article also suggests that advertising influences children and adolescents and directs them toward unhealthy behaviors and that it is increasingly difficult to shield them as marketers exploit the Internet and social media. For full article, click here.

USDA Aims for Healthier Snacks and Drinks in Schools 
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed updated nutrition standards for school snack foods and beverages. The proposed standards aim to help schools provide healthier fare in vending machines, cafeteria à la carte lines, and other places where foods and beverages are sold outside of the school meals programs. If implemented, the proposed standards would improve the nutritional quality of the snacks and beverages available to tens of millions of students during the school day. USDA will seek public comment on the proposal for 60 days.  For full proposal, click here.

Study: MS Risk Higher for Obese Children 
A study published last week in the journal Neurology suggested obese children, particularly adolescent girls, have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers at Kaiser Permanente found that the MS risk was 1.5 times higher for overweight girls, two times higher in moderately obese girls and almost four times higher in extremely obese girls. According to lead researcher Annette Langer-Gould, “the rate of pediatric MS cases is likely to increase as the childhood obesity epidemic continues.” For full article, click here.
Vital Signs: Smoking and Mental Illness 
The smoking rate for adults with mental illnesses is 70 percent greater than the rate for those who aren't mentally ill, according to CDC's monthly Vital Signs reort.. The report finds that 36 percent of adults with a mental illness are cigarette smokers, compared with only 21 percent of adults who do not have a mental illness. According to the report, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. – about 45.7 million people – have some type of mental illness. Click here for full press release.

Sharpened focus on Mental Health First Aid 
Interest in Mental Health First Aid was heightened this month with its inclusion in the President’s comprehensive plan to protect communities from gun violence. Launched nearly two years ago, Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based interactive 12-hour course designed to teach people a five-step process to assess a situation, select and implement appropriate interventions and help a person in crisis or who may be developing the signs and symptoms of mental illness. There's also a Youth Course for those working with teens. Click here for more information.

Office on Aging Information - MAP and SHIP 
Maryland Access Point (MAP)
MAP is Howard County’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). We help identify a person’s strengths, needs, situations and preferences and help them make informed decisions through a service known as Options Counseling. In addition to our telephone assistance, we can make home visits or meet a person in an alternate location such as a senior center or library.  To contact MAP call 410-313-5980 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or visit the statewide searchable database at
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.

Community Transformation Grant resources and upcoming webinars. 

Healthcare Howard Website Launch

Healthy Howard, Inc. and the Howard County Health Department have come together to create the Healthcare Howard website at www.healthcarehoward.org.   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.

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. Please contact
 Terry Borkowicz if you would like to be a champion or want more information. 
Enrollment takes place in the  Howard County area in early June

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

Next meeting March 11th.


Adult, Child and Infant CPR/AED {new}
Thursday, Feb. 28, 20135:30 pm - 9:00 pm
A course to will teach you the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and 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.  This course is for community members and does not meet the qualifications for health care provider. Cost is $55.00. Wellness Center Medical Pavilion, Suite 100 10710 Charter Drive , Columbia, MD 21044. For more information or to register, click here.
Frontiers in Health Communication & Marketing for Tobacco Control {free} {new}
Friday, March 1, 2013 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center & The George Washington University's Health Communication & Marketing Program present an invitation to hear from leaders in tobacco control about some of the latest innovations in tobacco control. Location: Ross Hall, across from the GWU Hospital, Room 117, 2300 Eye Street, NW Washington DC. For more information or to register, click here.
Tai Sophia Institute Graduate Programs Open House {free}
Saturday, March 2, 2013 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Explore all of Tai Sophia Institute’s academic offerings and learn how our programs can advance your current career or support your shift in a new direction. Open houses are scheduled monthly. For more information, call 410-888-9048 x6647 or click here.

Panel: Preventing Childhood Obesity {free}
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
In recent years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the rates of childhood and adolescent obesity, and most obese children will become obese adults. Come see several experts in the field discuss their work to lower childhood obesity through a variety of culturally-diverse and innovative programs. Click here to RSVP.

Don't Be Defeeted! {free}
March 7, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Foot, heel and ankle problems can really limit your daily activities. Join orthopedic specialist Dr. Ricardo Cook to discuss common complications and injuries, and the most effective physical therapy, medications and surgical options. FREE, but registration is required.  Call 410-740-7602 for more information.

Living With Diabetes
Friday, March 15 or Tuesday, March 20th. 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000 or click here.

Nutrition Expo {free} 
Thursday, March 21  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Join us for this free, interactive event with fun activities for the entire family. The Expo includes interactive stations with hands-on activities, food preparation, tastings, and a wide variety of learning experiences—all focused on whole, healthy foods and sound nutrition. Click here to RSVP.

Common Gastrointestinal Conditions {free}
Monday, March 25, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Learn about common gastrointestinal issues, screening recommendations, and treatment approaches to conditions that can be a sign of something more serious. Presented by gastroenterologist Preston Kim, M.D. Howard County General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine Wellness Center. 10710 Charter Drive.
For more information or to register, click here.

Career Panel for Health and Wellness Coaching {free}
Monday, March 25, 2013 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Hear a panel of experts in the field of health and wellness coaching describe their career paths, their practices, and how they work with individuals and populations to improve health and prevent disease. Click here to RSVP.

The ABCs of Adult Blindness {free}
Wednesday, March 27, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Age-related Macular Degeneration, Blepharoptosis (drooping eyelids), Cataracts and more. Are you always the last one in the car to read the road signs? Wondering why you can't read the newspaper anymore? Join us as we explore common reasons for vision impairment and find out what can be done to improve your eyesight. Presented by Vanessa Lima, M.D. Howard County General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine Wellness Center. 10710 Charter Drive.
For more information or to register, click here.

Shouldering the Burden {free}
Tuesday, April 23, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
Having difficulty raising your arm or lifting things? Common shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff and labrum tears, as well as degenerative conditions like arthritis can cause joint pain and limit motion. Johns Hopkins orthopedic surgeon Dr. Uma Srikumaran will discuss surgical and other options to lighten your load. Howard County General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine Wellness Center. 10710 Charter Drive.
For more information or to register, click here.

Howard County Health Department Tobacco Treatment Program and Volunteer Opportunities 
Wednesdays, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
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.  For more information contact:  Tonia Smith/
trsmitty3@gmail.com  or   Arleen Tate/preventiontechnologies@gmail.com

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.   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}
Mondays and Wednesdays 4pm - 8 pm, Saturdays 10am - 3 pm
Making CHANGE 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.

Partnership for a Healthier America “Building a Healthier Future” Summit
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.

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