May 15th

Local Health Improvement Coalition Weekly Digest

Dear Howard County LHIC Members –

We hope that you had a great week . On behalf of the Howard County Health Department (HCHD), we would like to invite you and up to 2 members of your organization to the Howard County Health Survey training session at the Howard County Health Department. A qualified professional will explain the results and interpretation of the survey and also provide training on how to disseminate the findings to the members of your respective organizations.  The training is being offered on two dates to accommodate more schedules.  Please select one of the dates using the link below:

Friday, May 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

This training was developed to provide guidance to LHIC members, partner organizations, and the many diverse stakeholders on how to effectively educate and inform the public of the Health Survey and its results.  The following tools were developed to aid in informing the public: fact sheets, presentations, and website.  These materials will help local health leaders, providers, and funders understand and respond to the health needs of Howard County residents.

The 2012 Health Survey was an effort to capture a representative snapshot of Howard County’s overall health, access to health care services, and health attitudes. It gave us a large amount of data that we have never had before.  The Survey will be repeated again in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
We hope that you will attend one of the trainings and help spread the word about the Howard County Biennial Health Survey.
Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you at the training.

Attend Event

LHIC Presentation on Biennial Health Survey {new}

Howard County Biennial health Survey Media Event {new}

The announcement of results gathered from a joint telephone health assessment survey conducted by Howard County Health Department, Horizon Foundation, Howard County General Hospital and Columbia Association. 

WHO:             Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County Health Officer
                          Nikki Highsmith-Vernick, Horizon Foundation,
                          President & Chief Executive Officer                   
                          Cindi Miller, R.N., M.S., Director, Community Health Education
                          Howard County General Hospital
WHAT:           The announcement of results gathered from a joint telephone health assessment survey conducted by Howard County Health Department, Horizon Foundation, Howard County General Hospital and Columbia Association
WHEN:          Thursday, May 16, 2013
                        1:00 p.m.
WHERE:        Horizon Foundation
                        10480 Little Patuxent Parkway
                        Suite 900
                        Columbia, MD 21044
WHY:             To announce results of a comprehensive and groundbreaking biennial telephone health assessment survey conducted by local health partners

Media Contact: Lisa M. de Hernández
Public Information Officer
410-313-6353 (Office)  410-428-7294 (Mobile)

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.  

March 11th Meeting Minutes

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


Community Transformation Grant resources and upcoming webinars.

IOM: Low Sodium Intake May Also Cause Adverse Health Effects {new}
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 {new}
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 {new}
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.
CDC: Only 20 Percent of U.S. Adults Meet Aerobic, Muscle-strengthening Requirements
Just one in five U.S. adults is meeting both the aerobic and muscle strengthening components of the government's physical activity recommendations, according to a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The data rank Colorado (27.3%), Alaska (25%), Arizona (24.2%), and California and Hawaii (both 23.7%) as the most physically active states. Tennessee and West Virginia (both 12.7%), Mississippi (14.2%), Alabama (15%), and Louisiana (15.5%) were the least physically active. Data for all states are here and CDC’s press release is here.

NIH Grants $40M to Combat Racial, Ethnic Disparities in Stroke Risk
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $40 million in grants over five years to help four research centers investigate and develop strategies to reduce the risk of stroke in racial and ethnic minorities. The funds come from NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Racial and ethnic minorities are at higher risk than non-whites due to higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, according to said Walter J. Koroshetz, MD, deputy director, NINDS. For full article, click here.

People With Congenital Heart Disease Need Physical Activity
A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association serves to remind health professionals and patients that regular physical activity is important for people with congenital heart disease and should be promoted. Congenital heart disease (heart structural problems existing since birth) impacts close to 1 million children and 1 million adults in the United States. For full article, click here.
Many Americans Still Unaware of or Confused About the Affordable Care Act
Signup for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace begins in October, but a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that many Americans are still confused about the law, which will require virtually all Americans to sign up for health insurance coverage that will take effect January 1, 2014. For full article, click here.
Key poll findings include:
  • More than 40 percent of Americans aren’t aware that the ACA is the law of the land.
  • Of those who aren’t aware that the ACA is now law, 12 percent think the law was repealed by Congress and 7 percent think the law was overturned by the Supreme Court.
  • About half of the respondents said they did not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will impact their family.
  • People who are currently uninsured and those in low-income households were the most likely groups to say they did not understand how the ACA benefits them and their families. 
Single Can of Sugary Soda Can Increase Diabetes Risk 22 Percent
Drinking even a single 12-ounce can of sugary soda once a day can up the risk of diabetes by 22 percent, according to a new study out of Imperial College London. Researchers looked at the data of approximately 350,000 European residents. "Given the increase in sweet beverage consumption in Europe, clear messages on the unhealthy effect of these drinks should be given to the population," said study leader Dora Romaguera, according to Reuters. Click here for full article.

Walking Minutes Help People Make Healthier Menu Choices
When menus present them with how many minutes of brisk walking it takes to burn off the calories contained in different food options, people tend to choose lower calorie meals. These were the findings of a new study presented at the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting in Boston on Tuesday. For full article, click here.
Early Obesity Dramatically Increases Men’s Risk of Poor Health, Death
Obesity in the early 20’s can dramatically increased a man’s chance of suffering from serious health problems or even dying by the age of 55, according to a new study in the journal BMJ Open. A study tracking Danish men found that approximately half of the participants who were obese at the age of 22 had developed diabetes, developed high blood pressure, had a heart attack, had a stroke, or experienced blood clots or died by age 55. Each unit increase in body mass index raised the risk of heart attack by 5 percent; high blood pressure and clots by 10 percent; and diabetes by 20 percent. For full article, click here.

New York City Moves to Ban Cigarette Sales to People Under 21 
A bill introduced to the New York City Council would ban cigarette sales to anyone under the age of 21. The current age limit is 18. "Too many adult smokers begin this deadly habit before age 21," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. "By delaying our city's children and young adults access to lethal tobacco products, we're decreasing the likelihood they ever start smoking, and thus, creating a healthier city." Though not introduced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, he does support the bill. For full article, click here.
Exercise, Healthy Eating Helps Keep Sleep Apnea in Check
The combination of exercise and healthy eating is a simple way to ease the effects of mild sleep apnea, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine. The key is weight loss. Researchers “found obese study participants who went through a one-year lifestyle intervention were about half as likely to see their sleep apnea progress to more severe disease,” according to Reuters. 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.

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


well4life® Program at Saint Agnes Hospital {free}{new}
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! {new}
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.

Breast Cancer Support Group
May 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. Meets the third Wednesday of each month. Registration is required. Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information.

2013 Mid-Atlantic Behavioral Health Conference
May 15-17, 2013 in Downtown Annapolis, MD
The Mid-Atlantic Behavioral Health Conference has become the premier event in the region for behavioral health care and somatic health care professionals including substance abuse counselors, mental health practitioners, physicians, nurses, licensed professional counselors, physician's assistants, justice system personnel, teachers, school counselors, and nurse practitioners.  Click
here for more information and to register. 

Anxiety  {free}
May 15, 2013 7:00 — 9:00 PM at NAMI Metro Baltimore
This event will be conducted by Linda Kohler, Executive Director of NAMI MB. For more information or to register, click here.

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. 

Worksite Wellness 
Webinar:  Walk and Work: Innovative Ways to Integrate Walking into Workplace and Business Practices
Friday May 17, 2013 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Join America Walks and Alliance for Biking & Walking for an informative and interactive discussion about Walk and Work: Innovative Ways to Integrate Walking into Workplace and Business Practices. For more information or to register, click here.
2013 NAMIWalk Maryland
Saturday May 18, 2013 at Baltimore Inner Harbor - Rash Field
Check-in: 10:00 am
Start Time: 11:00 am
NAMIWalks is the largest mental health education and fundraising effort in America. NAMIWalks brings together thousands of individuals and supporters to celebrate mental illness recovery, to honor those who have lost their lives to mental illness and to help raise funds, combat stigma and promote awareness. Join the thousands of people across Maryland to help raise awareness about mental illness and to raise money for the free vital support programs that NAMI offers to individuals with mental illness and their families. All the funds collected by Walkers will be used to fund NAMI’s programs here in Maryland. For information about this event, click here.


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