The purpose of MACo’s President’s Healthy Counties Best Practices Award is to recognize Maryland county programs that enhance the health of a county through best practices and innovative programs and partnerships that enrich services to citizens while improving upon the fiscal wellness of the county. Nine county programs applied and two winners have been selected.
Congratulations to the President’s Healthy Counties Best Practices Award Winners:
- Rural County Award:
Garrett County Early Care System of Care
- Urban County Award:
Prince George’s County Comprehensive Summer Crime Initiative
Garrett County Early Care System of Care
Garrett County Health Department
Babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and being a good parent does not always come naturally. Garrett County Early Care Programs are a System of Care designed to support emotional and physical health, and self-sufficiency in young families and to encourage healthy children who enter school ready to learn. Services are voluntary and free of charge.
The system incorporates four evidence based home visiting programs including: Healthy Families, Nurse Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers and Early Head Start. Additional supports are incorporated including: the Triple P “positive parenting program” which assists parents to find solutions to child behavioral challenges, testing and tutoring in adult basic education to obtain a Maryland GED or External Diploma, assistance to enroll in and retain Medicaid or MCHP, lactation education and consultation, child birth education, socialization/play date activities, “warm line” phone support, Children with Special Health Care Needs Nurse Case Management, and a lending library and linkage to other community programs.
Home visits focus on physical and emotional health, nutrition, child emotional and physical development, life course development, and creating a safe environment. Through home visits, therapeutic relationships are built, and support is provided building on client strengths and promoting self-empowerment to assure healthy families, the foundation of healthy communities.
Comprehensive Summer Crime Initiative
Prince George’s County
The 2011Summer Crime Initiative began on May 22, 2011 and concluded September 1, 2011. For four months, the Initiative took an intensive multidisciplinary approach to reducing violent crime by concentrating traditional police resources in areas identified by data analysis as persistently plagued by violence and innovatively partnering them with representatives from every component of County government. The broad strategy was to achieve permanent “structural” reductions in crime defined as a significant reduction that is durable, being maintained by a dual focus on offender and environment that prevents recurrence. As with all prior crime reduction initiatives, the Summer Crime Initiative began with an offender centered enforcement model and then the scope of activities was broadened to include addressing a variety of contributing factors found in the environment in which they operated such as illicit nightclubs. Environmental factors identified by the police officers conducting enforcement operations were referred to the appropriate agencies within the County during a weekly coordination meeting. Once a factor was identified, solutions were crafted and implemented collaboratively and were tracked by the team until resolved.
It should be noted that due to fiscal limitations, police patrol resources were reallocated for the Summer Crime Initiative during their normal tours of duty. This eliminated the need for overtime funding in patrol for this effort and the following results were achieved within the budget established for police patrol operations.
The Initiative resulted in County government as a whole reducing violent crime by -12.2% in 2011, or slightly less than twice the national average as noted in the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report which cites the reduction nationally in 2011/2010 as -6.4%*.
*FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report January-June 2011, Table 3 available at http://www.fbi.gov, cjis/ucr.
Awards Committee: The Honorable Thomas Duncan, Council Member, Talbot County, MACo Second Vice President; Ruth Maiorana, Executive Director , Maryland Association of County Health Officers; and Gregg Todd, County Administrator, Queen Anne’s County.
MACo would like to thank all of the applicants for their hard work! This truly was a difficult decision to make: Allegany County – Planning 2.0: Increasing Citizen Involvement with Web-based Maps; Baltimore City – Virtual Supermarket Program; Charles County – County Animal Response Team (CART) and Charles County Marine Unit; Garrett County Health Department – Garrett County Early Care System of Care; Howard County – The DOOR to Healthcare; Montgomery County, Maryland – Safe Transitions – Managing Hospital Discharge for Residents Who are Homeless; Prince George’s County – Community Partnering Program and Comprehensive Summer Crime Initiative.