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December  31, 2014 

LHIC News and Updates

Hello LHIC members!

New Year's Resolution
In the new year, the LHIC staff have made a resolution to highlight every LHIC organization at least once through the LHIC Digest. This could be in our Member Spotlight, in our Howard County or Health in the News sections, or through an event in Upcoming Events. Several members send us information regularly, but many do not. Please remember the LHIC Digest as a way to advertise your programs, events and news items! We will be keeping track and will report to you on how we are doing!
For our meeting on January 22nd, the LHIC and Health Care for All are partnering to bring you a forum on the new All-Payer Model for Maryland. Hospitals are shifting to new financing structures and investing in strategies to help patients be well and stay well and make health care more affordable for all. During this event you will have the opportunity to learn more about this critical change in the way the Health Services Cost Review Commission will pay hospitals and, eventually, all health care providers, under the new model. The meeting will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 at The Meeting House at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center, Room 200, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD 21045. Note that work groups will not meet on the 22nd. We look forward to seeing you there. 

Share Your News!
We would like to share more about what our member organizations are doing. If you have news or events to share, please email them to Alvaro, LHIC Program Manager, at aortiz@healthyhowardmd.org.

Howard County 


Health in the News

Healthy Weight
Public health coalition recommends healthier drinks for kids' meal menus
A coalition of public health and community advocacy groups, including Howard County's Horizon Foundation, wants Maryland legislators to eliminate the state's sales tax on bottled water and require restaurants to offer healthier drink options as part of their kids' meal menus.

The group, Sugar Free Kids Maryland, made the announcement this month and released poll results which indicated that both proposals had broad support from Maryland voters.The proposals are the latest effort by groups at the county and state level to limit sugary drink consumption, based on research that suggests sodas and other high-calorie beverages are big contributors to growing rates of childhood obesity and diabetes.

"Kids are now being diagnosed with previously adult diseases, and because of this we have gotten to the point where, without change, this generation of youth will not live as long as their parents," said Robi Rawl, executive director of Sugar Free Kids.

Click here for the full article. 
Behavioral Health
Shining a fresh light on mental illness trends with the help of Twitter posts
Johns Hopkins computers scientists, who have already used Twitter posts to track flu cases, say their techniques also show promise as a tool to gather important information about some common mental illnesses.

By reviewing tweets from users who publicly mentioned their diagnosis and by looking for language cues linked to certain disorders, the researchers say, they've been able to quickly and inexpensively collect new data on post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.

In research presented at three scientific conferences this year, the scholars described how their techniques of mining public data have yielded fresh numbers on cases of these illnesses, allowing for analyses that were previously difficult or expensive to obtain. The scholars emphasized, however, that their findings did not disclose the names of people who publicly tweeted about their disorders.

Please click here to read the entire article. 

Access to Care
FDA approves drug that extends survival in the most common type of lung cancer
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug to treat non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), offering people new hope in fighting the disease. Lung cancer is expected to lead to more than 150,000 deaths in the United States this year alone, and NSCLC accounts for about 85 percent of all lung cancers.

The drug, Cyramza (ramucirumab), was tested on more than 1,200 people with NSCLC whose cancer worsened during or after first-line chemotherapy. The research was conducted as part of a multi-year, Phase 3 clinical trial at UCLA and other centers in 26 countries on six continents. This is the first study in a decade to demonstrate a survival benefit in people with that type of lung cancer who had already received treatments.

here to read the full article. 
From Our Members 
HC DrugFree
HC DrugFree’s Teen Advisory Council (TAC) meetings will be held on Monday, January 12, and Monday, February 9, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., at The Barn in the Oakland Mills Village Center, 5853 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia. For a TAC application, please visit www.hcdrugfree.org/teenadvisorycouncil.html.
Point in Time 2015 - Call for Volunteers
Volunteers and groups of volunteers are needed for the Annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count 2015 Resource Fair on January 26, 2015, from 11 AM to 6 PM.  The Resource Fair will be hosted by Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia to attract and count any person or household experiencing homelessness in our community. The Resource Fair will provide services and connect those experiencing homelessness to needed resources. Services provided will complement the Day Resource Center's (DRC, in Laurel) activities, and will include: hot meal, food pantry, clothing, cold weather gear, health information and screenings, and haircuts. Local agencies, including the Department of Social Services and the Howard County Public Schools, will be available to assist and assess households' needs. Additionally, transportation to and from the church will be provided to the homeless. Volunteer opportunities are available for various tasks. Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old by the date of the Resource Fair and will be required to attend a training. Preference will be given to volunteers with experience working with the designated population.  Sign up here if you are interested in volunteering: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0f44aeae23a5f58-point.

The Columbia Association
The Columbia Association is developing a new program: Optimal Health for My Baby and Me. The program will offer a 12-week Package Plan Plus membership, specialized exercise classes, nutrition consultations, and wellness coaching. The program is scheduled to begin January 2016. I invite all LHIC members to join our planning committee. Please let me know of your interest. Our next meeting will be in February, but has not been scheduled yet.

Shawni Paraska
Director, Community Health Sustainability
10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044
410-715-3128  Fx: 443-283-4247
Upcoming Events 
Looking to Lose Weight?
Monday, January 12, 2014
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center
10710 Charter Drive
Columbia, MD
In part one of the Healthy Weight, Healthy You series from Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, a certified nutritionist and registered dietitian will discuss physiology and health challenges that affect your weight. Learn to plan meals that taste great, provide balance in your diet, and promote health.

Click here if you would like to register. 
General Pediatrics and Special Needs: The Chinese Medicine Approach
Thursday, January 15
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Maryland University of Integrative Health
7750 Montpelier Road 
Laurel, MD 20723 
Chinese medicine principles have been used to diagnose and treat childhood conditions since the first millennium. Many conditions can be addressed safely, effectively and holistically with acupressure and acupuncture. This program will cover the basic principles of childhood health challenges and the use of pediatric acupuncture. It will also add an emphasis on special needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADD/ADHD.

here to register, and click here for a complete listing of MUIH events. 

Kitchen Wisdom: Nutrition and Delicious Meals
Monday, January 19, 2014
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center
10710 Charter Drive
Columbia, MD
They say that variety is the spice of life! In part two of the Healthy Weight, Healthy You series from Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, you will sample foods and learn how to spice up healthy meals with herbs and spices for a variety of taste.  

If you would like to register please click here. 

Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center
Lots of other classes available, please click here for a complete listing.

Upcoming LHIC Events

Full LHIC Meeting: Maryland’s All-Payer Model
Public Forum for Howard County

The Meeting House at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center
Room 200
5885 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045
Thursday 1/22
8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Contact Us

Jeananne Sciabarra
LHIC Program Director

Alvaro Ortiz
LHIC Program Manager
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