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December 18, 2013

LHIC News and Updates

Firstly, I would like to correct last week's typo--our next full LHIC meeting will be Monday, January 13, 2014. As we got feedback that the North Laurel Community Center was inconvenient for many, this upcoming January meeting will be held in the Health Department/Healthy Howard building at 8930 Standford Blvd., Columbia, MD, in the Executive Conference Room on the first floor.  Please encourage other LHIC members to attend!  We're in the midst of taking great strides as a coalition and we need high member attendance to make the changes you want to see.

Remember, we're now on
Facebook!  Please "like" us and spread the word about the LHIC.  Check the page for LHIC updates, local and national health news, as well as information about local events here in Howard County. If you have something you'd like to post on the page, email Alisha at

Maryland Health Exchange Updates
Connection Update, Friday, December 13, 2013

This week has seen a sharp increase in enrollment, enrolling nearly twice the number of individuals enrolled last week. This represents the most enrollments, by far, than any week since the site was launched. This week 87,556 people in the Primary Adult Care program were successfully converted into full Medicaid benefits, effective January 1. These individuals -- low income adults who do not have children and were not previously eligible for full Medicaid benefits, will now automatically have full coverage. Since October 1, there have been 558,000 unique visitors to the health benefit exchange website. Total enrollment in qualified healthplans have increased to a total 5,179 individuals. Including Medicaid pre-enrollment, new Medicaid eligibles, and people who have selected pre-qualified health plans, over 110,000  Marylanders will be enrolled in health insurance starting January 1, 2014. For more details, read the full report here.

Howard County News

The Door to HealthCare, the official source for consumer assistance through Maryland Health Connection, has extended its hours to help the uninsured and underinsured community get enrolled.

The week of December 16th the Door is open from 8:00AM to 8:00PM attending all of those that have scheduled appointments or walk in. Additionally, on Saturday, December 21st, the Door will be open from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

The week of December 23rd, the Door will continue offering its extended hours of 8:00AM to 8:00PM, and will offer hours on the 27th and 30th from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

The Door to HealthCare is the official source for free help finding insurance that is right for you. Call 855-288-DOOR (3667) to make your appointment or visit us at

Health in the News
Healthy Weight
The best time to prevent obesity is likely in utero, and through the first year of life. That’s the takeaway from an article in last month’s New England Journal of Medicine, written by Dr. Matthew Gillman of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Insititute and Dr. David Ludwig of Boston Children’s Hospital. The article posits that overweight and obese women, whose ranks are growing, tend to gain excessive weight during pregnancy. This excessive weight is not just unhealthy for them, but can alter fetal growth and metabolism, leading to obesity in childhood. The piece argues that pregnancy may also be the best time for intervention because mothers are especially willing to change behavior for the good of the baby. A third reason to launch obesity prevention efforts before birth is that it is a time when women have frequent contact with their health care providers. Learn more about this targeted intervention idea here.

Behavioral Health
Hispanics and other minority populations are less likely to seek mental health services due to lack of access to care, lack of education or awareness about mental illnesses, and the stigma associated with mental health. In order to reduce the disparity and improve utilization of mental health services by Hispanics, researchers investigated why minorities are less likely to seek available mental health services. Research findings of the Improving Access to Mental Health in Primary Care Program funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) suggest that the need for culturally relevant care and outreach programs is critical. Since the Hispanic population in the U.S. is expected to triple by 2050, cultural competency is essential in order to better coordinate care. Click here to view the full report.

Access to Care
Young Invincibles is a new non-profit based in Washington DC that helps to address the issues facing young people. They are largely focused on encouraging and assisting young people age 18-30 to enroll in healthcare.  Check out their website and their initiatives to encourage young people to enroll, as well as other empowering initiatives such as lowering student debt.

Upcoming Events 
Commission to Build a Healthier America
New Recommendations Release     FREE

January 13, 2014, 2:30 pm ET

Building on its original work from 2009—which helped advance a national movement to address non-medical factors that affect our health—the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America will release new recommendations on Monday, January 13, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. ET, during a live online event. During the event featuring Commission Co-Chairs Mark McClellan and Alice Rivlin, Commissioners will offer recommendations covering three key areas:
1. Prioritizing investments in America’s youngest children
2. Encouraging leaders in different sectors to work together to create communities where healthy decisions are possible.
3. Challenging health professionals and health care institutions to expand their focus from treating illness to helping people live healthy lives.

To sign up for this online event, click

Starting (and keeping!) a healthy, active lifestyle        $30
January 15 from 7-8:30pm
The Handelman’s Conference Center at 10280 Old Columbia Road #220 • Columbia • 21046
Capitalize on the New Years motivation to make changes in your daily life that will move you closer to your health and fitness goals than ever before. This class will include tips on how to set realistic goals, how to fit fitness into your busy life, ideas for small changes in how and what you eat that can make a big difference, and resources to help you along the way. Email or call 443-794-7187 for more information.

Breast Cancer Support Group FREE
December 18 and 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m. 
Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. 
This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Registration requested. Call Claudia Meyer at 410-740-5858 for more information.

New Years Eve Event
December 31, 5-7:30 p.m.
Midnight at 7 Back by popular demand! Midnight at 7 is a fun filled, family friendly New Year’s Eve event and you won’t find anything quite like it in Howard County. Ring in the New Year with an exciting fireworks display (weather permitting) at 7pm. Walk through the Symphony of Lights, enjoy the toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors and more! For more information visit

Upcoming LHIC Events

Monday, 1/13/14
10 am - 12 noon

Next full membership LHIC meeting at 8930 Standford Blvd., Columbia, MD in the Executive Conference room 
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