St. Mary’s Urges Smokers to Kick Habit

The 43rd Great American Smokeout, an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society, serves as an annual call for smokers to kick the habit. The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have joined the American Cancer Society in encouraging citizens to commit to or recommit to healthy smoke-free lives. The 2018 Great American Smokeout takes place on November 15. According to a press release: Statistics indicate cigarette smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in…

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Federal Agencies Unveil Resource Guide for Rural Opioid Crisis

The guide provides a comprehensive listing of federal programs available to help support grassroots strategies in rural communities for tackling the opioid crisis. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) have released the Federal Resources for Rural Communities to Help Address Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse. The report is one piece of a multi-prong effort by the USDA to provide resources to rural communities struggling with the…

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New Initiative Strives for Better Birth Outcomes in Baltimore County

Baltimore County has revamped its Babies Born Healthy Program to target high-risk pregnant women in low-income and minority communities. Special attention will be paid to parts of the county, such as Cockeysville and Owings Mills, where women have high rates of health issues like hypertension, obesity, and smoking, as well as a lack of local resources for pregnant women. The Baltimore Sun reports: The infant mortality rate in the county was 6.5 per 1,000 births…

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Here’s a First Look at Harford County’s 24/7 Crisis Center

The Harford Crisis Center is slated to open in Bel Air in the spring of 2019 and expected to serve 3,000 people annually. The Baltimore Business Journal reports on the public-private partnership of stakeholders behind the project as well as the services the center will provide: The health system and Harford County contributed the $1.5 million in capital to create the center. Annual operating costs will be about $4 million annually, with funds coming from…

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Deputy Health Officer Transitions from Anne Arundel to Baltimore County

Anne Arundel County Deputy Health Officer Dr. David Rose has resigned from his post and has taken a position with the Baltimore County Health Department.  Dr. Rose has served as the deputy health officer for public health in Anne Arundel County since 2013. The Capital Gazette reports: “He has served with passion and dedication to the Department of Health’s mission of preserving, promoting and protecting the health of all who live, work and visit our county,”…

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CareFirst Contributes Toward Combatting Opioids

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has awarded 11 community health organizations around $2.1 million to aid in combatting the Opioid Epidemic. The grants are spread out among D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Of the $2.1 million in grants, $582,000 went to two organizations in Western Maryland, according to a CareFirst press release. The Association for the Public Defender of Maryland (awarded $382,000) and the Western Maryland Health System Foundation (awarded $200,000) expect to use these funds to serve up…

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Food Recovery Summit Tackles Food Waste and Composting Issues

The Mid-Atlantic Food Recovery Summit and Eighth Annual Food Day tackled the challenging issues of reducing food scraps from the solid waste stream. The Summit was hosted by Bowie State University, in partnership with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on October 24 and drew several hundred attendees. MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp attended. As part of the opening comments, Maryland Secretary of the Environment…

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President Signs Bi-Partisan Opioid Package

President Donald Trump has signed into law a package of bills, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), that was passed by Congress in September. From Reuters: The legislation expands access to substance abuse treatment in Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled; cracks down on mailed shipments of illicit drugs such as fentanyl, a synthetic opioid far more powerful than heroin; and provides a host of new federal grants to address…

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City Sees a Drop in Lead Poisoning Cases

Baltimore City saw a 19% drop in lead poisoning cases in 2017. Statewide over 13,000 more children were tested in 2017 than in 2016.  The Baltimore Sun reports on the statewide and local findings from the Maryland Department of Environment's annual report on childhood blood lead surveillance: There were 2,049 Maryland children reported to have at least 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood last year, down slightly from 2,084 in 2016. ... Baltimore…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Complete Streets, Small Cell Update, Maryland Health Connection, & Prescription for Change

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally is joined by MACo's Legislative Director Natasha Mehu to discuss Complete Streets, update listeners on the recent action taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding small cell wireless siting, explain why Maryland reaps the benefits of a state-based health exchange, and discuss MACo's advocacy for re-prioritizing public health in the face of the opioid epidemic by reviving local health department funding and targeting drug treatment…

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