Ellicott City Perseveres Post-Flood, County Prepares for Future

A little over a year after a flood devastated Ellicott City, Howard County officials continue to build upon what they’ve learned and plan for the future disasters.

The Baltimore Sun reports on the process the county is taking and progress they are making, including updating the Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan to prepare for future floods:

[Mark] DeLuca [chief of the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Environmental Services] updated residents on the four projects currently underway to build retention facilities and conveyance improvements in the watershed. The projects are the first wave of 18 project recommendations from the county’s hydrology and hydraulic study, completed this spring.

County officials are also updating emergency operations and community recovery plans, and implementing recommendations for improvement.

While the emergency operations plan is the county’s strategy for utilizing its resources immediately following a disaster like the 2016 flood, [Ryan] Miller [Director of Emergency Management] said the recovery plan picks up where the emergency plan leaves off, and includes strategies for bringing the community back to a “normal” state.

The article notes that officials plan to have the emergency plan finalized in the next few months and the recovery plan by the end of the year. Both plans include about 700 improvements for future responses.

Read The Baltimore Sun for more information.

Learn more about the Ellicott City post-flood recovery efforts at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference session, We’ve Got Your Back: Counties Collaborate

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Serving Seniors Supportive Services

Did you know that the MAP Hospital to Home Partnership (H2H) is an innovative initiative which helps counties divert hospital based readmissions by providing access to home and community based services for older adults?

This is but one example of how counties are working to efficiently and effectively administer valuable but limited resources while empowering senior patients to have more control over their care.

At the 2017 MACo Winter Conference learn more about how counties are leveraging public and private partnerships to improve care coordination and achieve better outcomes for their senior residents.

Title: Serving Seniors Supportive Services

Description: Counties provide a diverse array of services and initiatives to assist older adults. These individuals have a wide range of needs: screening for benefits, finding housing, health evaluations, legal resources, and accessing services in their homes and communities are just a few. Counties work efficiently and effectively to administer valuable but limited resources to help address those concerns. In this session learn how counties are leveraging local, state, and national resources as well as forming the necessary partnerships to improve the lives of older adults in their communities.

Speakers:

  • Joanne Williams, Director, Baltimore County Department of Aging
  • Linda Willis, Chief of Aging and Disability Services, Cecil County
  • Morgan Deweese, Aging and Disability Resource Manager, Cecil County

Moderator: The Honorable Sheree Sample-Hughes, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 6, 2017; 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Conduit Street Podcast, Episode #5 – The Power of Partnership

MACo’s Winter Conference will focus on intergovernmental cooperation and ways that counties can partner with entities in the public and private sector to achieve the best results for Maryland’s residents. Sessions will highlight collaboration across county lines and service areas to address priorities like the opioid epidemic, Next Gen 9-1-1, and the environment, along with other important topics like mutual aid agreements and cooperative purchasing.

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss the MACo Winter Conference and its focus on reviewing timely issues that will be relevant during the upcoming Maryland General Assembly Session.

MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the podcast.

Listen here:

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Breaking the Mold: Foster Care Collaborations That Work!

Did you know there are over 4,000 children within the foster care system in Maryland?

All 23 counties and Baltimore City provide foster care programs for these children but they don’t do it alone. As the proverb goes, “It takes a village.”

At the 2017 MACo Winter Conference session, Breaking the Mold: Foster Care Collaborations That Work!, learn how counties are forming innovative partnerships to deliver the best programs for children in foster care.

Breaking the Mold: Foster Care Collaborations That Work!

Description: Foster care programs operate in all Maryland counties to help provide short- and long-term care and support services to children who are unable to live at home, or who are without a home altogether. There are a range of reasons that children end up in foster care and each child presents a unique set of challenges, considerations, and capabilities. Counties work diligently to provide a safe and nurturing environment in the community for these children to help them transcend their circumstances and reach their full potential. In this session, learn how counties are launching innovative partnerships with public and private entities to ensure the best possible outcomes for children entering, living in, or aging out of the foster care system.

Speakers:

  • Deborah S. Harburger, Clinical Instructor, The Institute for Innovation & Implementation, University of Maryland School of Social Work
  • Dina Daly-Director, Caroline County Department of Social Services
  • Linda Webb, Director, Talbot County Department of Social Services
  • Shalita O’Neal, Foster Youth Ombudsman for the Department of Human Services

Moderator: The Honorable C.T. Wilson, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, December 7, 2017; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

City Health Commissioner Urges Federal Help on Naloxone Costs

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen discussed the significant cost increase for naloxone amid national crisis in opioid overdose deaths and urged federal help. The spike in costs has led the City to ration the naloxone it has.  WBAL reports:

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said that it doesn’t make sense that the generic version has  increased at the time of a public health emergency. Wen says there is a greater need for Naxolone or Narcan because of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl and the number of people dying as a result of that drug use.

Wen said wished that the president would have called the situation across the country a national state of emergency to release the federal dollars urgently needed to help local governments. President Donald Trump last month called the epidemic a public health emergency, which opened up far less funding.

Visit WBAL to learn more.

Learn how to administer naloxone to help reverse an opioid overdose at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference. The training sessions, Learn to Save a Life, sponsored by the Maryland Association of County Health Officers (MACHO) will be held Wednesday, December 6 from  4:15 pm – 5:15 pm and Thursday, December 7 from 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm.

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Learn How to Incorporate ‘Health in All Policies’ at #MACoCon

Some of the greatest challenges counties face involve treating, managing, and improving the health of their communities. Health challenges are often entangled in a web of social, economic, and environmental factors which have a significant impact on the opportunities or hurdles that arise as governments try to improve the health of their citizens.

An innovative nationwide initiative, Health in All Policies (HiAP), aims to change the old siloed approach to improving health outcomes by encouraging government agencies to collaborate and incorporate health considerations into all policy decisions — transportation, housing, education — that they are making.

At the 2017 MACo Winter Conference learn more about how counties are incorporating HiAP to tackle complex health challenges and improve the health of their communities.

Title: Health in All Policies

Description: Communities across the country are adopting the use of a Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach to improving the health of individuals and populations. HiAP is a collaborative approach, usually led by local public health departments, that integrates health considerations into policy discussions and policy decisions across all sectors of a community to improve population health. Panelists will provide an overview of the tenets and principles of HiAP, describe how this approach is being used to improve educational attainment, housing, transportation, and neighborhood safety, while also improving health outcomes, and discuss how the approach can be used in local jurisdictions. In this session, learn how counties are building community-based partnerships and strengthening strategies to incorporate public health practices in all policies.

Speakers:

  • Bridget Kerner, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • Robert Stephens, Health Officer, Garrett County

Moderator: The Honorable Addie Eckardt, Maryland Senate

Date/Time: Thursday, December 7, 2017; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

 

Howard Explores Short and Long-Term Options for Detox Center

Earlier this year Howard County officials began taking steps towards opening a residential detoxification center in the county. They secured $250,000 in their FY 18 capital budget and formed a team to find a location for the center.

That team is now exploring short- and long-term options for the location.

In the short-term, Howard County is looking to partner with Carroll County and to use a floor of the Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville to provide services. This option would also depend on the Behavioral Health Administration approving, and potentially funding, renovations to Springfield which is a state owned facility.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

DeLorenzo said the county is looking at the possibility of using a floor of the medical and surgical building at the state-owned Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville as a way to provide some residential care in the short-term, before it can open a larger, long-term facility. The center, located in Carroll County, would be open to any state resident, but given its proximity to Howard County, would primarily serve Howard and Carroll county residents, DeLorenzo said.

The article continues to report that for the long-term option the county is in discussions with Howard County General Hospital over the possibility of having a space on the hospital’s campus.

Read The Baltimore Sun to learn more.

Prior coverage on Conduit Street:

Howard County Takes Steps Towards First Detox Center

Learn more about how counties are forming partnerships to address crises and bring projects to fruition at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference Session, “We’ve Got Your Back: Counties Collaborate,” which will be held on Thursday, December 7 from 9:00 am – 10:15 am.

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Mapping Initiative Paints a Picture of Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

The New America’s Public Interest Technology team has launched the Opioid Mapping Initiative where they partner with local governments to create an interactive map of the nation’s opioid crisis.

Government Technology reports:

As the name suggests, a foundational element of it is a visualization of the crisis, specifically a map powered by Esri that shows locations of deaths related to opioid use. Users can click on instances where opioid use has claimed a life and see where the tragedy happened, a picture of the deceased, and a story about who he or she was, essentially putting a human face on the epidemic in order to demonstrate that this is not an abstract problem, that it’s affecting people everywhere and of all different ages, genders and socio-economic backgrounds. It’s a timely effort, given that opioid use continues to worsen, claiming the lives of an average of 91 Americans a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mapping initiative is being supported by an initiative to collect the necessary data sets and to partner with a network of local governments to share their best practices.  The majority of the 10 initial participants are county governments.

For more information read the full article in Government Technology and visit the  Opioid Mapping Initiative.

At the 2017 MACo Winter Conference, you can receive hands-on training on how to recognizing and responding to opioid overdose by administering naloxone as well as how to perform hands-only CPR. The “Learn to Save a Life” trainings, sponsored by the Maryland Association of County Health Officers (MACHO), are being offered Wednesday, December 6 from 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm and Thursday, December 7 from 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm.

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

No Jail is an Island at #MACoCon

No jail is an island…at least in Maryland that is. The sufficiency and success of each county jail is dependent in part on the bridges they build and partnerships they form to offer the most comprehensive programs and services for their inmates.

At this year’s MACo Winter Conference learn more about how county jails are leveraging relationships to generate success for the jails, the inmates, and the communities they will return to:

Title: No Jail is an Island

Description: At any given point in time county jails collectively house nearly 10,000 inmates in addition to overseeing hundreds of support staff – some manage more people than a small municipality! These jails are charged with helping to protect the safety of the community and rehabilitating those behind the walls who will eventually be returned to the community. They provide an extensive list of services, everything from housing, meals, and health care services, to workforce development services, education, and life skills programs. Smooth operation is key and services need to be cohesive and connected. For the best results, jails partner with a range of public and private entities as well as each other. In this session, learn more about the importance of key partnerships that help keep your jails running safely, efficiently, and effectively.

Speakers:

  • George Kaloroumakis, Director, Wicomico County Department of Corrections
  • Guy Merritt, Chief, Community Corrections Division, Prince George’s County Department of Corrections
  • Russell Wright, Ordinance Road Correctional Center Transition Education Liaison, Anne Arundel Community College Corrections Education Coordinator

Moderator: The Honorable Jennifer Williams, President, Talbot County Council

Date/Time: Thursday, December 7, 2017; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Aging Council Releases Guide to Military Veteran Benefits

The National Council for Aging Care has released a guide to help aging military veterans navigate their benefit options.

The U.S. is seeing a growing number of seniors who are also armed services veterans. The current median age for living Americans who served in the Korean War is 69. The Vietnam veteran population makes for a new crop of seniors with special needs – including medical issues that sometimes do not present until years later. The latest U.S. Census brief puts the number of veterans over 65 at over 12.4 million.

If you have served in the military during wartime, chances are that you’ve taken advantage of education programs, career resources, and home loans available to you. But while those life issues may be behind you, there is a host of other resources to know about in your retirement years.

The online guide covers a range of benefits available to veteran seniors including:

  • Pensions
  • Life Insurance
  • Geriatric and Extended Care Services
  • Burials

To learn more visit The National Council for Aging Care’s Guide on Military Veteran Benefit Options.

Learn more about innovative initiatives targeting aging adults at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference session “H2H: Building the Bridge from Hospitals to Homes.” The session will be held from 3:00 – 4:00 pm on Wednesday, December 6.

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference: