News from HCHD
Howard County Health Department Receives Grant Award to Improve Access to Health Care for Underserved Populations
The Howard County Health Department was presented a grant award check by the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) in the amount of $250,000; the Horizon Foundation contributed another $25,000. The awards will support the Health Department’s continuing effort to address health disparities and wellness in Howard County. The funds were awarded based on a submission to the CHRC which supported Local Health Improvement Coalitions to fuel local action and improve community health. “The Health Department is honored to have been chosen as a grant award winner.” said Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County Health Officer. “These funds will allow further development of innovative approaches to ensure that residents with the greatest health care needs, are able to effectively access appropriate health care services and community resources. Those who live and work in Howard County have shown they are invested in the health and wellness of the entire community. The generosity of CHRC and Horizon Foundation will greatly help us as we work towards our goal of becoming a model public health community.”
While Howard County is the healthiest County in the State and one of the wealthiest in the nation, access to appropriate health care, incidences of chronic illness and obesity are a growing challenge in an ethnically, racially and socio-economically diverse community. The Howard County Health Department’s Local Health Improvement Coalition (LHIC) will be using the funds to address local health needs and disparities by assisting in the development of a Community-Integrated Medical Home (CIMH). A CIMH is a team based health care model that addresses a patient’s overall health by comprehensive, continuous and high-quality health care. Preventing, identifying and controlling chronic disease is more successful with consistent health care services; thus a CIMH will reduce health care costs by preventing unnecessary hospitalizations and the need for specialty care. "The Maryland Community Health Commission is delighted to support the Howard County Local Health Improvement Coalition in its efforts to expand access and improve community health," commented Mark Luckner, Executive Director, CHRC. "The Commission is also delighted to partner with the Horizon Foundation to develop sustainable models to achieve population health improvement."
The Health Department and several local partners including grant award contributor Horizon Foundation, commissioned a health survey in 2012, the result of which was hyper-local health, wellness and behavioral data. Using this data, those groups and geographic areas in need can be targeted and provided with needed resources to improve their health. Improving outcomes and access to care is a clear goal expressed by all of the partners in the grant awards process. Nikki Highsmith Vernick, Horizon President and CEO said “The Horizon Foundation is committed to increasing access to health care and supporting innovative models to address our community’s most pressing health needs. Using evidence from national best practices and local health assessment data, the partnership funded by this grant will help promote better coordination of care delivery, improved health outcomes, and lower costs.”
For more information, visit the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission and the Horizon Foundation websites.
Prevention of Accidental Infant Deaths is Reason Behind Maryland’s Ban on Sale of Crib Bumper Pads
The ban on the sale of crib bumper pads is part of an ongoing public health effort to educate parents about safe sleep practices for babies. The ban applies to crib bumpers that are made of non-mesh type material, rest directly above the mattress along the length of each of the interior sides of the crib.
What are the Safe Sleep Practices for Baby?
The ABC's of Safe Sleep
A - ALONE
B - on their BACK
C - in a CRIB (WITHOUT any blankets, pillows, fluffy toys, crib bumpers or stuffed animals)
Partners Collaborate on Telephone Survey to Attack Howard County Health Needs Despite Being Healthiest in State
The Howard County Health Department and partners Horizon Foundation, Howard County General Hospital and Columbia Association announced the results of the first biennial Howard County Health Assessment Survey, a comprehensive telephone survey conducted over the course of several months during the Summer and Fall of 2012.
The categories of Healthy Weight and Nutrition, Health Care/Insurance Access, Behavioral Health, Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Usage were key areas of interest for all of the partners. The Howard County Health Assessment Survey will be repeated in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The results will indicate whether outreach, programs and other means used to address disparities are making a positive change in the health of residents.
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