November 13, 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: 
Community Based Care Team Presentation 
 Hotspotting Video 


In the next few issues of the LHIC Digest, we will feature brief information about new projects under development by the Howard County Health Department that will have an impact on the LHIC. Last week we featured information on the Community Based Care Team.
Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH)

Our PCMH project will organize the primary care component of the Community Integrated Medical Home model. Various types of primary health care practices and professionals around the county will be engaged to transform their practices into the PCMH model, offering coordinated care and long-term support for patients. By increasing the number of PCMH practices in the county, patients will be connected to other needed clinical and community services in a more seamless manner. For more information, contact Erica Haller-Stevenson at (410)313-6231.

Obama Administrations releases long-awaited Mental Health Parity Law regulations
On Friday, the Obama administration released the final rules for the Mental Health Parity Law.  This law expands mandatory mental health and substance abuse care coverage for insurers. In 2008, the original Mental Health Parity Law was expanded to cover people with addiction problems, not just mental health issues.  While the laws were passed in 2008, the Obama administration just released these details of what the law will mean under the new insurance exchange. The administration confirms that co-pays and deductibles for mental health and substance abuse cannot be higher than those for physical problems. Additionally, insurers cannot have different caps on the number of visits for behavioral health than they do for physical sickness.  To learn more about the law and its implications, see the Kaiser Health News article.

Days of Taste Encourages Baltimore and Howard County Children to Eat Healthy

With childhood obesity on the rise, schools in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County are participating in the Days of Taste program to teach children the importance of eating healthy. Days of Taste is a free, interactive program for fourth and fifth grade students developed by the American Institute of Wine and Food. The three-day course teaches children to build a food and nutrition vocabulary, shows them to use all five senses to taste differences in food, takes them to a farm to show them where food comes from, and shows them how to make a healthy meal. The program serves as a tool for the reduction of childhood obesity rates in Maryland through the collaboration of dedicated chefs, food professionals, farmers and teachers to guide elementary school children through an exploration of food and nutrition.  Click here for more information about the Days of Taste Program.


Connection Update, Friday, November 8, 2013
Since October 1, there have been more than 400,000 unique visitors to the health benefit exchange website and over 54,000 calls to call centers. As of October 31, 2013, more than 4,500 Maryland households have chosen to enroll through Maryland Health Connection. Nearly 84,000 Marylanders will be enrolled in Medicaid starting January 1, 2014 through Medicaid expansion. For more details, visit the “News” section of the website.

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.

New Resources on Maryland Health Connection Website 
Maryland's new health insurance marketplace:, has been updated. New and expanded content areas provide information for individuals, families and small businesses. Including: Videos in English and Spanish with closed caption, Fact sheets on Maryland Health Connection and health insurance basics, Information on consumer assistance, Glossary of health terms, Small business tax credit calculator, and Helpful links on health coverage.
MHC Overview 
MHC Fact Sheet 
MHC Tax Credit for Small Businesses 
MHC SHOP Fact Sheet 


Howard County Health Department’s Columbia Health Center, WIC and Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse Bureau to Move
The Columbia Health Center, WIC and Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse Bureau will join other Health Department Bureaus and services with a move to the new Health Department facility located at 8930 Stanford Blvd. in Columbia, MD (off of Snowden River Parkway). The move will take place on Friday, November 15, 2013
Columbia Health Center, WIC and Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse Bureau (those offices ONLY) will be CLOSED on Friday, November 15, 2013 for the move.  They will RE-OPEN on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 8:00 a.m.
When offices re-open, their phone numbers will remain the same:
For additional information, visit or call 410-313-6300.

School Breakfast Summit for Parents and Community Leaders {free}
November 19, 9:00-11:30 a.m.
Join the MD/VA/DC Action for Healthy Kids team for breakfast while listening to presentations by MD Hunger Solutions, MSDE, and other local school breakfast experts who will:
* Identify the importance and central components of school breakfast.
* Discuss the current changes in school breakfast meal patterns.
* Discuss local school breakfast programs and initiatives.
* Identify and evaluate methods of parent and community involvement in the expansion of school breakfast.
At the USDA National Agricultural Library, 10301 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, 20705. Register online.

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

Knitting and Crochet Support Group {free}
November 13, 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.

“Giving Thanks” Luncheon and Dance {$12}
November 14, doors open 10:30 a.m., lunch at 12:00 p.m.
At Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane in Clarksville, 21029
The Howard County Office on Aging will present this annual luncheon and dance for older adults which features a special performance by the Retro Rockets. Tickets are $12 and are on sale at all Howard County Senior Centers. Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Howard County Food Bank. For more information, call 410-313-5440. To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations to attend this event, call 410-313-5980 (voice/relay) or email by November 7. To request transportation, call HT Ride at 800-270-9553 (press 3) by November 5.

Smoke-Free Lungs {free}
November 14, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Education and support for those wanting to quit or who have quit. Attend one or all sessions, 9/26, 10/17 or 11/14. Located at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Road, Columbia, 21044.

Essentials in Babysitting {$50}
November 16, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Teens 11-14 will learn to manage children, create a safe environment, and apply basic emergency techniques. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia.

Care Giver’s Support Group {free}
November 16, 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.

Look Good…Feel Better {free}
November 18, 6:30 p.m.
This American Cancer Society program provides a free workshop by a licensed cosmetologist. Women undergoing cancer treatment learn to manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment and receive a complimentary bag of cosmetics. At Howard County General Hospital Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia. To register, call (888)535-4555.
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