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December 11, 2013

LHIC News and Updates

The LHIC digest has a new look! What do you think? Let us know! Email LHIC Director Alisha Wolf at with your thoughts about the digest update.

As announced in our last digest, 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

Remember, this Monday, December 16th is our monthly Executive Committee meeting.  I hope to see all EC members there!

Maryland Health Exchange Updates
Connection Update, Friday, December 6, 2013

Since October 1, there have been 508,593 unique visitors to the health benefit exchange website. Total enrollment in qualified healthplans have increased to a total 3,758 individuals. Including Medicaid pre-enrollment, new Medicaid eligibles, and people who have selected pre-qualified health plans, over 101,000  Marylanders will be enrolled in health insurance starting January 1, 2014. For more details, read the full report here.

In the news

Howard County
Howard County recently opened its first school-based wellness center at Bollman Bridge Elementary School. The center is staffed by the Howard County Health Department and includes a full-time pediatric nurse practitioner, a medical office assistant, a licensed social worker, and a part-time pediatrician. Available services include health assessments, immunizations, and physicals for athletic activities. To see a video from the wellness center's opening, click here.

School-based wellness centers are effective in diagnosing and treating illness as well as managing chronic health conditions. Research has shown that school attendance and student achievement increases in schools with wellness centers since students are able to access care in the school setting rather than missing class for off-site doctor's appointments.

FluView, the CDC weekly influenza update, shows that Maryland's region is experiencing fewer influenza cases than the national average. Nationally, 10.1% of outpatients tested positive for flu, while in region 3, comprised of DE, DC, MD, PA, VA and WV, only 3.6% of outpatients tested positive for the flu in the past week. To read the full report, click here.

USDA: SNAP Participants Make Healthier Choices with Nutrition Education 
Well-designed nutrition education programs can lead to healthier food choices by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries, according to a report released last week by the Department of Agriculture. Researchers found that children participating in SNAP’s Nutrition Education (SNAP-Ed) initiatives increased their daily fruit and vegetable consumption at home and were more likely to choose low-fat or fat-free milk.

Upcoming Events in Howard County

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.

Adult, Infant and Child CPR and AED   $55
December 16, 5:30-9:00 p.m.
Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.
Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. 

Medicare 102: Why Medicare Isn’t Enough
December 17, 10-11:30 a.m. 
Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD.
Learn about Medicare Advantage/Health Plans (Part C) and Medicare Supplement Policies (Medigap). What should you consider when deciding which Medicare choices are right for you? Understand how plans vary, your costs, and when is the best time to enroll. Learn how to protect yourself and Medicare from healthcare fraud. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on Aging. 

Breast Cancer Support Group FREE
December 18, 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.


Upcoming LHIC Events

Executive Committee meeting, 8930 Standford Blvd, Columbia, MD 21045

Next full membership LHIC meeting
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