Welcome to Healthy Howard's Fall 2014 newsletter! Our last year has been one of incredible progress and impact on the health of residents of Howard County and throughout Maryland.
  • As the Western Maryland Connector Organization for Maryland Health Connection, we've been working with partners throughout the state to prepare for the second year of Open Enrollment through the new and improved marketplace. 
  • In Howard County, we've been developing new strategies to integrate clinical care services with quality community prevention to improve the health of residents with chronic conditions through our Community Care Team. 
  • We've been advocating for nutrition policies that make healthy food/beverage choices more available, and continuing to promote healthy environments through innovative outreach and education efforts.
All this has been possible because of your individual and organizational hard work, dedication and support for our mission of supporting healthy living and improving access to quality health care and coverage. I look forward to continuing to work with you as we build on our success of enrolling more than 43,000 people in to health coverage they need, assisting residents with managing illnesses and creating opportunities for residents to live in healthy environments.

Be Well,
Christine Hall, MPH
Executive Director

The Door is preparing for 2015 Open Enrollment, beginning November 15th.


Maryland Childcare legislation inspired by Healthy Childcare program!
The Door to HealthCare had an exciting and very successful first year of open enrollment. Throughout the Western Region, 43,199 people were enrolled in Medicaid or a private health plan between December 2013 and April 2014. Of those who enrolled, 13,824 were Howard County residents.

Howard County is now on the path to having one of lowest rates of uninsured residents in Maryland. This is a great accomplishment and we look forward to assisting more uninsured residents to enroll in health coverage during the second year of Open Enrollment.
Healthy Howard's Healthy Childcare program, with critical funding and support from The Horizon Foundation, served as a model for statewide legislation to ensure that all Maryland childcare centers provide healthier drinks to children, give better support for mothers who are breastfeeding, and reduce non-educational screen time. Read more about this legislation

Planning is underway for Healthy Howard's 2015 Advocacy Agenda. The agenda will guide Healthy Howard's work in 2015 advocating for health policy change in Howard County and in the Maryland General Assembly.

New workplace wellness toolkit unveiled at forum.


Schools begin work for 2014-2015 Healthy Schools program.

Healthiest Maryland Businesses sponsored a forum in September focused on designing, implementing and evaluating a meaningful health fair. Over 30 individuals from 25 organizations attended, in addition to twenty local, regional and national vendors

A new toolkit for businesses to develop and implement a workplace wellness program has been produced and is now available. This comprehensive guide gives excellent guidance to improve employee productivity and satisfaction, reduce health care costs, and create affordable and enjoyable programs for employees.

Over fifty schools attended the 2014-2015 Healthy Schools orientations and webinar. This year's criteria and evaluation process will include a clear, objective and quantifiable evaluation process. A new platinum certification will be added to the existing bronze, silver, and gold categories. We will also present Innovation Awards to outstanding schools in different categories of nutrition and fitness within each class of elementary, middle, and private/parochial schools

Empowering Howard County residents to get healthy and stay healthy.

  LOCAL HEALTH                             IMPROVEMENT COALITION

Strengthening partnerships for continued improvements in community health.

The Community Care Team of nurses and certified community health workers continues to help patients get healthy after spending time at Howard County General Hospital. The team has expanded their capacity to meet the increasing number of patient referrals. 

In addition to HCGH, the CCT has partnered with the primary care offices in Howard County to accept direct referrals. Those practices are Chase Brexton Columbia Center, Columbia Medical Practice, and Desai Medical Center. These partnerships will help the CCT target more individuals who are in need of help managing multiple chronic conditions.
The LHIC recently completed its 2014-2015 membership recruitment and has more than 100 participants from more than 40 organizations. Our members represent all sectors of the community: government agencies, hospitals, the public school system, higher education, for-profit and non-profit businesses, and providers of mental, somatic, and oral health services. 

The LHIC's three work groups - Access to Care, Behavioral Health, and Healthy Weight - are closing out the 2012-2014 Action Plan and identifying strategies and activities for the 2015-2017 plan.

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