May 30

Local Health Improvement Coalition Weekly Digest

Dear Howard County LHIC Members –

The Howard County Health Department is proud to announce the release of the Howard County Health Assessment Survey (HCHAS) results.  Please view our new website which contains an executive summary, fact sheets, and links to other data sources.  We would like to thank our partners the Horizon Foundation, Howard County General Hospital, and the Columbia Association.  This was made possible by our joint effort.  The survey will be repeated again in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

Howard County Health Assessment Survey Website {new}

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.  

Next LHIC meeting Monday, July 8th from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Click here for calendar invitation.


Community Transformation Grant resources and upcoming webinars.

Healthy Eating Research Studies Examine Menu Labeling {new}
Diners at fast-food restaurants significantly underestimate the number of calories in their meals, according to a study released by Healthy Eating Research (HER) last week. Researchers found teens underestimate the number of calories in their meals by as much as 34 percent, parents of school-age children by as much as 23 percent, and adults by as much as 20 percent. According to lead researcher Jason Block, “having the [calorie] information is an important first step for anyone wanting to make changes”; another HER study released last week shows that adults and teens who used calorie information posted on menus or menu boards in Seattle-area chain restaurants purchased up to 143 fewer calories than customers who did not see or use the calorie information. 

IOM Study Examines Physical Education and Activity in Schools {new}
An Institute of Medicine (IOM) report released last week examining the status of physical education and physical activity in schools recommends that “students should engage in vigorous or moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the school day.” The report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, cites “extensive scientific evidence” that regular physical activity has multiple benefits for physical, mental, and cognitive health; the report also cites “a growing body of evidence” that children and adolescents who achieve at least the recommended amount of vigorous or moderate-intensity physical activity “may well improve overall academic performance.” Specific recommendations include adopting/strengthening physical education and/or recess policies as well as instituting dedicated classroom physical activity time.  

Study: Physical Activity Reduces Obesity Risk for Youth {new}
A study to be published in the Journal of Health Economics has found that an additional hour of physical education in elementary school reduces the probability of obesity among fifth-graders, and that the increased gym time did not replace academic time or affect test scores negatively. Researchers found that the additional hour lowers body mass index by 0.5 for all children, including 0.9 for boys. 

IOM: Low Sodium Intake May Also Cause Adverse Health Effects 
While multiple studies have shown that the average daily sodium intake for U.S. adults is far too high, lowering the intake too much could also lead to health problems, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The average daily intake is 3,400 mg, or about 1.5 teaspoons. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans call for a maximum of 2,300 mg, and even 1,500 mg for certain demographics. However, there is also some evidence suggesting low sodium levels could be harmful to people such as those with mid- to late-stage heart failure. For full article, click here.
Study: Teen’s Use of Smokeless Tobacco Steady Over Past Decade 
Despite a myriad of efforts to combat tobacco use by U.S. teens, their usage rate of “smokeless” tobacco products such as chew or snuff has remained steady since 2000, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The rate was 5.3 percent in 2000 and just barely lower in 2011, at 5.2 percent. While younger teens in the 9-14 age range have decreased their use, those in the 15-17 range have increased. The study suggests that the relatively low prices of smokeless tobacco products may be a contributor. About 9 million Americans used smokeless tobacco in 2012. For full article, click here.
Teen Girls Who Exercise Are Less Likely to be Violent 
A study from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health finds that high school girls who play sports or run have a lower risk of being in fights or in a gang. Researchers at the school reviewed results of a 2008 survey completed by 1,312 students at four inner-city high schools in New York to determine if there was an association between regular exercise and violence-related behaviors. The survey results found that girls who had exercised more than 10 days in the last month had decreased odds of being in a gang, those who did more than 20 sit-ups in the past four weeks had decreased odds of carrying a weapon or being in a gang and those who reported running more than 20 minutes the last time they ran had lower odds of carrying a weapon. Girls who participated in team sports in the past year had decreased odds of carrying a weapon, being in a fight, or being in a gang. For full article, click here.
Network of 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, 6:00pm – 7:00pm {free}
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.

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.

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


Parents: Enter To Win HC DrugFree's Drawing for a $50 Gift Card to Stanford Grill in Columbia
For the third consecutive year, HC DrugFree is holding a drawing for PARENTS of students who attended a Howard County PTSA sponsored After Prom. HC DrugFree thanks parents for keeping our children safe and not holding parties where alcohol might be served. To win a $50 gift card to Stanford Grill, please enter at before noon on Monday June 3rd. HC DrugFree is proud partners with the Howard County Public School System, the PTA Council of Howard County, the Howard County Police Department, the Howard County Dept. of Fire and Rescue Services and the Howard County Library System and provides substance abuse prevention services on behalf of the Howard County Health Department.

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.

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 goal of the program is to teach you lifestyle changes geared towards reducing your risk. The program combines the resources and expertise of the Saint Agnes endocrinologists, certified diabetes educators, dieticians, fitness professionals and other health educators in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association. This program includes eight 90-minute group-based behavioral lifestyle intervention classes, complimentary, weekly fitness classes, monthly support groups and biometric screenings at the beginning, end and 6-months post completion of the program. A physician referral is required. For details, contact Roslyn Snyder, Pre-Diabetes Program Coordinator, at 410-368-3244.
Living Your Best Life With Diabetes Group Education Class {new}
Friday & Saturday, July 26th & 27th from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm at Saint Agnes Hospital
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. 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. 

Training Opportunity: 4th Annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium
June 7, 2013, 7:45a.m.-2:00p.m., BWI Marriott Hotel.
Don’t miss one of the best attended events of the year: The Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium. Hear from experts and get the latest information on employee health and wellness, how to create a workplace wellness program for your organization, and how good employee health can generate bottom line results. Continental breakfast and healthy box lunch provided. Register now or call Carolyn Gutermuth at 410-494-2170 

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

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