January 2,  2013

Local Health Improvement Coalition Weekly Digest

Dear Howard County LHIC Members –

Please allow me to introduce the new and improved LHIC Digest.  With eye-catching graphics and appealing color scheme.    Some of the new features include: 
  • Link to the Howard County Facebook page
  • Link to the Howard County Twitter feed
  • Link to Notify Me Howard
  • A button that forward's the digest to your colleagues (bottom of digest)
  • Ability to edit your subscription information
  • Increased readability and accessibility
Moving forward, all correspondence from the LHIC will be sent in this format. As always the LHIC digest will feature topics and events pertinent to our mission and our members.   For the month of December it will be sent through outlook as well.  Please add the LHIC to your safe sender's list so you will receive it in your inbox.  

Next LHIC meeting Monday, January 14th from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Click here for calendar invitation.



Community Transformation Grant resources and upcoming webinars. {new}

Maryland Announces Launch of Access to Care Program – Deadline to submit comments Friday, January 4th {new}

As recently announced, DHMH, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, and the Community Health Resources Commission have joined forces to develop the Maryland Health Access Assessment Tool, which will help the State plan to meet the demand for health care services that is expected in 2014, when as many as 730,000 Marylanders become eligible for health insurance.  As part of that effort, we would like to enlist your help in completing a short survey, which can be accessed here.  

Study Finds Modest Declines in Obesity Rates among Young Children from Poor Families {new}
A new national study has found modest declines in obesity among 2- to 4-year-olds from poor families, a dip that researchers say may indicate that the obesity epidemic has passed its peak among this group.  The study, by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drew on the height and weight measurements of 27 million children who were part of the federal Women, Infants and Children program, which provides food subsidies to low-income mothers and their children up to the age of 5.  The study was based on data from 30 states and the District of Columbia and covered the years from 1998 to 2010. The share of children who were obese declined to 14.9 percent in 2010, down from 15.2 percent in 2003, after rising between 1998 and 2003. Extreme obesity also declined, dropping to 2.07 percent in 2010 from 2.22 percent in 2003. For the full article, click here. The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Howard County Unsweetened
At the command of Burleigh Manor Middle School students on Tuesday, we dumped approximately 10 tons of “sugar” (actually, white sand) to commemorate the launch of Howard County Unsweetened, an initiative to fight childhood obesity by providing better drink options where our kids live, learn, and play.  At the event, we were joined by County Executive Ken Ulman who announced an Executive Order that ensures Howard County government will only provide healthy drink options on its property.Physically Fit Students Do Better in School than Others, Study Finds
Washington Post, Linda Searing, 12/17/2012
The Question: Might being physically fit help young people academically?  Click here for full article.

New CHIP Fact Sheets  
The updated versions of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) fact sheets are available online. The fact sheets describe each state’s CHIP program in 2011, including eligibility and enrollment, cost sharing, and service delivery system. Information included in the fact sheets came from a variety of sources, including state reported data. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation supported the development and production of the fact sheets. Click here for the fact sheets.

Medical Home Update: Almost half of Maryland Pilot Practices received Shared Savings Payments 
Maryland has participated in two NASHP medical home technical assistance projects in the past. Continuing the preliminary success of Maryland’s Multi-Payer Program, 22 of the 52 pilot practices, all of which are NCQA-recognized medical homes, earned shared savings performance payments. The five largest commercial insurers in the state made payments, 30-50% of the savings generated by the practice, to these qualifying practices at the end of October. To qualify for shared savings, practices must achieve below expected total care costs, while also meeting quality and performance targets. 

New Brief: State Experiences with Express Lane Eligibility 
Express Lane Eligibility (ELE) is a strategy available for states to streamline enrollment and renewal today and may be a tool for states to consider using in future simplification efforts. This brief, produced for the State Health Reform Assistance Network with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, draws upon the experience of nine states using ELE. The brief highlights program and policy considerations and choices needed to implement ELE, and provides recommendations for states interested in implementing the strategy now or in the future.  For more information, click here.

Mental Health Toll Emerges Among Sandy Survivors 
Associated Press, Meghan Barr and Katie Zezima, 12/15/2012
As communities battered by Sandy clear away the physical wreckage, a new crisis is emerging: the mental and emotional trauma that storm victims, including children, have endured. The extent of the problem is difficult to measure, as many people are too anxious to even leave their homes, wracked by fears of wind and water and parting from their loved ones. Others are too busy dealing with losses of property and livelihood to deal with their grief.  For full article, click here.

Millions of Nonsmokers Exposed to Smoke From Neighbors' Apartments: Report 
HealthDay, Steven Reinberg, 12/14/2012
As many as 29 million U.S. apartment dwellers who have no smoking rules for their own homes are exposed to secondhand smoke seeping in from neighboring apartments and common areas, federal officials reported Friday.  For more information, click here.

Health Enterprise Zones: "I Believe We Can Eliminate Health Disparities" 
NewPublicHealth, 12/12/2012
The state of Maryland recently passes legislation to address health disparity issues through “health enterprise zones.” The legislation allows local non-profits, health agencies, and local health providers to work together to address this critical issue through innovative public health strategies including tax incentives, financial awards and capital improvement funding for physicians and health care organizations.  
For more information, click here.

Community Transformation Grant Resources
Please click here for full resource list.
States Spend Less Than Two Cents of Every Tobacco Dollar to Reduce Tobacco Use 
States will collect a record $25.7 billion in revenue from the 1998 state tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes this year, but will spend just 1.8 percent of it—less than two cents of every dollar—on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a new report released by a coalition of public healthorganizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  For full report, click here.
Hunger-Free Howard Program 
Did you know that the Howard County Food Bank served more than 20,000 individuals last year?  Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC) is looking for community groups -churches, schools, girl/boy scout troops, fraternal organizations, clubs, offices, or athletic associations- that would like to help create a Hunger-free Howard by collecting 1 high-need item for the Food Bank each month.  High need items include peanut butter, cereal, pasta and pasta sauce, soup, cooking oils, and personal care items.  For more information, or to become a Hunger-free Howard Partner, contact Lisa Clossin at lclossin@cac-hc.org or410-313-0703.
Well4life® Program at Saint Agnes Hospital
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 atwww.well4lifeprogram.com or register for our free monthly information sessions by calling 1-866-690-9355.
Healthy Howard Health Plan Updates 
As of January 2, 2013, the Healthy Howard Health Plan (HHHP) will no longer be accepting new applications.  Due to a long wait list and the amount of time that it takes a new member to seek medical services through the Health Plan, new applications will only be accepted through the end of December 2012.  Everyone who is on the wait list at that point will have the opportunity to enroll into HHHP in the first few months of 2013.  Additional appointments to complete an electronic application will be added in the month of December so that everyone who wants to apply to HHHP will have the opportunity to do so.  If you refer clients to our program, please make note of this change.  Any questions may be directed to Lena Hershkovitz at410.988.3737 ext. 12.

Healthcare Howard Website Launch
Healthy Howard, Inc. and the Howard County HealthDepartment have come together to create the Healthcare Howard website atwww.healthcarehoward.org.  This will provide important information about health reform and how it will affect individuals, health care providers, small businesses, and non-profit organizations in Howard County.  For the most up-to-date information, we encourage you to "like" us on Facebook (Healthcare-Howard), follow us on Twitter (@HealthcareHoCo), and sign up to receive email updates on the website.

New 'obesity calculator' predicts child's likelihood of being overweight. 
Childhood obesity has been on the rise in the United States, a trend that is putting many children at risk for a multitude of health problems – from cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure to early type 2 diabetes.  For parents looking to keep their child healthyand physically fit as they grow up, a better understanding of their child’s propensity towards obesity could be an essential tool in helping to keep off the pounds.  A new, simple formula could be the key.  Available as an online calculator, an equation developed by researchers at the Imperial College London can strongly predict a baby’s probability of becoming obese during childhood.  For full report, click here.

Next meeting January 14th.

Living Your Best Life With Diabetes Group Education Class 
Tuesday & Wednesday, January 22nd & 23rdfrom 11:00 am – 3:00 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 healthinsurances. Physician referral is required. For further details, obtain referral form, or schedule your initial appointment, call (410) 368-8448. Make your health a top priority this year!
Howard County Health Department Tobacco Treatment Program and Volunteer Opportunities, Wednesdays, 6:00pm – 7:00pm 
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, please see flyer.
Wellness at Wegman's Series, 6:00pm – 7:30pm 
Saint Agnes Hospital and Wegmans of Columbia are excited to announce a new Wellness Partnership!  The speaker series will take place on the second floor of the brand new Wegman's in Columbia (located at 8855 Mcgaw Rd, Columbia, MD 21045) on the second Monday of every month.  Complimentary light refreshments will be served.
Link: http://360.stagnes.org/community-and-events/wellness-at-wegmans/
 ·         Right Weight, January 14 
Fat free.  Low carb. No sugar. Gluten free.  Feeling overwhelmed by all of the weight loss information out there?  There is a right fit for each person--and one size does not fit all.  There are many options and the experts at Saint Agnes' Maryland Metabolic Institute are excited to present an evening discussing the options and how to pick your right (and successful!) path to better overallhealth.

Webinar: Laying the Groundwork in States for Payment Reform and More Integrated Delivery, January 3, 2013, 2:00-3:15 pm
Join NASHP in launching a webinar series that will focus on steps states can take and policy levers that are available to foster more integrated delivery systems. The first webinar will feature John Colmers, Vice President of Health Care Transformation at Johns Hopkins, and previous Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Reactors from three states will kick off discussion.  Click here to register. 



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 anugent@howardcountymd.gov

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