February 13th

Local Health Improvement Coalition Weekly Digest

Dear Howard County LHIC Members –

We hope that you had a great week.  Please find below and attached 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 anugent@howardcountymd.gov .  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.  

Please see attached document for the new meeting schedule.  
Meeting Schedule {new}

Next LHIC meeting Monday, March 11th from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Click here for calendar invitation.


How Advertising Targets Our Children {new}
An article published in the New York Times suggests that advertisements are targeting more children through television and social media. The article also suggests that advertising influences children and adolescents and directs them toward unhealthy behaviors and that it is increasingly difficult to shield them as marketers exploit the Internet and social media. For full article, click here.

USDA Aims for Healthier Snacks and Drinks in Schools 
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed updated nutrition standards for school snack foods and beverages. The proposed standards aim to help schools provide healthier fare in vending machines, cafeteria à la carte lines, and other places where foods and beverages are sold outside of the school meals programs. If implemented, the proposed standards would improve the nutritional quality of the snacks and beverages available to tens of millions of students during the school day. USDA will seek public comment on the proposal for 60 days.  For full proposal, click here.

Study: MS Risk Higher for Obese Children 
A study published last week in the journal Neurology suggested obese children, particularly adolescent girls, have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers at Kaiser Permanente found that the MS risk was 1.5 times higher for overweight girls, two times higher in moderately obese girls and almost four times higher in extremely obese girls. According to lead researcher Annette Langer-Gould, “the rate of pediatric MS cases is likely to increase as the childhood obesity epidemic continues.” For full article, click here.
Vital Signs: Smoking and Mental Illness 
The smoking rate for adults with mental illnesses is 70 percent greater than the rate for those who aren't mentally ill, according to CDC's monthly Vital Signs reort.. The report finds that 36 percent of adults with a mental illness are cigarette smokers, compared with only 21 percent of adults who do not have a mental illness. According to the report, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. – about 45.7 million people – have some type of mental illness. Click here for full press release.

Sharpened focus on Mental Health First Aid 
Interest in Mental Health First Aid was heightened this month with its inclusion in the President’s comprehensive plan to protect communities from gun violence. Launched nearly two years ago, Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based interactive 12-hour course designed to teach people a five-step process to assess a situation, select and implement appropriate interventions and help a person in crisis or who may be developing the signs and symptoms of mental illness. There's also a Youth Course for those working with teens. Click here for more information.

Roll Call, John Reichard, 02/04/2013
Big Tobacco might be the immovable object when it comes to resisting tighter legislation and regulation, but the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — despite its relatively small size — is doing a pretty good impression of irresistible force.

CDC Issues Comprehensive State Tobacco Report
Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012 offers a state-by-state comparison of adult and youth tobacco use, past-year initiation, secondhand smoke exposure, tobacco laws, tax rates and more.  Click here for full report.

Drag Seen on Smokeless-Tobacco Regulations
The Obama administration is moving forward with an effort to bolster warning labels on chew, dip, snuff and other forms of smokeless tobacco — but not fast enough for the American Lung Association.  Click title, for more information.

Office on Aging Information - MAP and SHIP {new}
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.

Community Transformation Grant resources and upcoming webinars. 

Healthcare Howard Website Launch

Healthy Howard, Inc. and the Howard County Health Department have come together to create the Healthcare Howard website at www.healthcarehoward.org.   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.

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. Please contact
 Terry Borkowicz if you would like to be a champion or want more information. 
Enrollment takes place in the  Howard County area in early June

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

Next meeting March 11th.


Creating a Career in Corporate Wellness {free}
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Corporate wellness is an exciting and emerging field for health promotion professionals. This panel will showcase representatives from several local companies that employ health educators and health coaches to transform workplaces into healthy environments. Click here to RSVP. 

Care Giver’s Support Group {free}
Saturday, Feb 16. This free support group for care givers meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at Howard County General Hospital’s Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive.  This support group is designed for people who are caring for a loved one with a chronic illness. FREE. Call 410 740-5858 for more information and to register.

Living with Diabetes 
February 15/19, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30p.m. Or February 20/21, 6:00- 9:00 p.m.
Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.  The class is held at The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. Choose either a day program or a condensed evening program. Day classes will be held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Evening classes are held Wednesday and Thursday from 6-9 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000.

Breast Cancer Support Group. {free} {new}
February 20th, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
This free, ongoing support group for Breast Cancer patients is facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C.  FREE. For more information or to register, please call 410 740-5858.

ACS GENERAL MEETING: De-stigmatizing Mental Illness and Violent Behavior
Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045
The increase in situations regarding violent behavior and the stigma that mentally ill persons are to blame, leads us to wonder how Howard County is coping with and handling the issue. ACS feels this is an important community topic to share, listen, and learn. Free for staff, board members, and volunteers of ACS Member organizations.

Health and Wellness Coaching Cafe {free}
Thursday, February 21, 2013 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Share a cup of coffee or herbal tea as you participate in a dialogue about the effectiveness of health and wellness coaching in creating behavior change; hear about the growing career options in this field; participate in or observe a simulated coaching exercise; and learn about graduate programs. Click here to RSVP and learn more.

Career Panel: Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine {free}
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Experience or observe acupuncture treatments and hear a panel of experts in the field describe their career paths and their practices. Click here to RSVP and learn more. 

"Herbs of Spring" Lecture with James Snow{free}
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Come and learn about medicinal herbs that soon will be popping up in local gardens and wild areas of Maryland. This talk will focus on local remedies for supporting detoxification and elimination, using such herbs as dandelion, burdock, yellow dock, nettles, and plantain.
Click here to RSVP and learn more. 

Tai Sophia Institute Graduate Programs Open House {free}
Saturday, March 2, 2013 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Explore all of Tai Sophia Institute’s academic offerings and learn how our programs can advance your current career or support your shift in a new direction. Open houses are scheduled monthly. For more information, call 410-888-9048 x6647 or click here.

Panel: Preventing Childhood Obesity {free}
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
In recent years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the rates of childhood and adolescent obesity, and most obese children will become obese adults. Come see several experts in the field discuss their work to lower childhood obesity through a variety of culturally-diverse and innovative programs. Click here to RSVP.

Don't Be Defeeted! {free}
March 7, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Foot, heel and ankle problems can really limit your daily activities. Join orthopedic specialist Dr. Ricardo Cook to discuss common complications and injuries, and the most effective physical therapy, medications and surgical options. FREE, but registration is required.  Call 410-740-7602 for more information.

Nutrition Expo {free} 
Thursday, March 21  6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Join us for this free, interactive event with fun activities for the entire family. The Expo includes interactive stations with hands-on activities, food preparation, tastings, and a wide variety of learning experiences—all focused on whole, healthy foods and sound nutrition. Click here to RSVP.

Career Panel for Health and Wellness Coaching {free}
Monday, March 25, 2013 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tai Sophia Institute, 7750 Montpelier Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
Hear a panel of experts in the field of health and wellness coaching describe their career paths, their practices, and how they work with individuals and populations to improve health and prevent disease. Click here to RSVP.

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, click here.

Join a Walking Club to Aid Your Weight Loss Plan 
Now that the holidays are over and you have started your weight loss plan, why not join a walking club to help trim off those pounds?  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has moved their walking clubs inside for the winter months.  For more information contact:  Tonia Smith/
trsmitty3@gmail.com  or   Arleen Tate/preventiontechnologies@gmail.com

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.

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.   Find out more at
www.well4lifeprogram.com or register for our free monthly information sessions by calling 1-866-690-9355.

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.

Free Tax Prep!
January 19th to April 13th. {free}
Mondays and Wednesdays 4pm - 8 pm, Saturdays 10am - 3 pm
Making CHANGE will offer free tax preparation to most taxpayers who earned less than $49,000 in 2012 at the new 2013 VITA site, which opened Saturday, Jan 19.  The site will offer e-filing, savings bonds and the option to receive refunds via direct deposit onto a debit card - all free! Individuals can receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper — even faster, when tax refunds are deposited directly into a bank account.  North Laurel-Savage Multiservice Center, 9900 Washington Blvd (Rt 1), Laurel, MD 20723

Appointments are encouraged!  Please call (410) 880-5917 to make an appointment; or to learn more about VITA and the documents you will need to bring, click here.

Partnership for a Healthier America “Building a Healthier Future” Summit
March 6-8, 2013 Washington, D.C.
The Partnership for a Healthier America will host its second annual “Building a Healthier Future” Summit in March 2013, which will bring together more than 1,000 leaders from public, private and non-profit organizations, all committed to solving the childhood obesity crisis in America.  Learn more about the summit here.


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 anugent@howardcountymd.gov

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