November 15, 2019
Both MACo and the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) have submitted letters of consideration to the School Facilities Assessment and Funding Workgroup before it adopts final recommendations on November 19, 2019. MACo and MABE identified several major policy concerns with the draft report’s recommendations - MACo reiterates that although there is concern with IAC recommendations, counties strongly support the State’s commitment to school construction funding, MABE’s letter is based on input from local facilities planners from the majority of local school systems. Both associations believe that the Workgroup should defer any final funding and policy recommendations until the statewide school facilities assessment has been completed.
Conduit Street Coverage: School Boards, County Concerns

Conduit Street Podcast Corner:
On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Kevin Kinnally and Michael Sanderson discuss the latest news and notes from Annapolis, including a recap of the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education's latest meeting — which saw a deep reaction to the formula funding workgroup’s proposals to “phase-in” the Commission’s series of recommendations; the latest on a publisher's e-book embargo — and why county libraries are pushing back; and why one major airport is banning curbside passenger pickups by ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft.
Listen to any MACo Podcast Episode:
Counties In Action
Governor Hogan and NOAA Join Charles Co. to Celebrate Mallows Bay as National Marine Sanctuary
Harford Co. Shares Results of Successful Winter Wares Collection Drive on World Kindness Day
Kent & Dorchester Co. High School Students Attend STEM Day at Washington College

Corporate Partner Corner

MACo's Gold Corporate Partner Aetna , a CVS Health company, has developed a Social Isolation Index to combat loneliness and improve health outcomes.

Medical research shows that loneliness and social isolation are associated with negative health behaviors and a wide range of illnesses. In fact, the health impact of loneliness has been equated to smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad 2010). Loneliness and isolation are prevalent. A 2019 University of Michigan study found that 34 percent of Americans aged 50 to 80 feel they lack companionship, while 27 percent feel isolated (University of Michigan 2019).

To address this issue, Aetna, a CVS Health company (NYSE: CVS), has developed a Social Isolation Index to estimate each member's risk of social isolation. The Index, which is based on claims data and multi-dimensional information on social determinants of health, will help to identify high-risk Medicare beneficiaries.

"Social connection is a critical determinant of health for most people, but particularly for the Medicare population," said Dr. Robert Mirsky, chief medical officer for Aetna Medicare. "We want our Medicare beneficiaries to be able to care for themselves or have reliable support, to be safe in their homes and communities and to lead fulfilling lives. Helping our Medicare beneficiaries in this manner not only improves their quality of life, it can also delay the development and progression of chronic conditions."

The Resources For Living program, which is available to all Aetna Medicare Advantage members and their caregivers, helps address loneliness and other social needs by connecting members with important community resources. Program consultants work directly with members to understand their needs and identify local resources, such as clubs, support groups, home visitor programs, transportation, caregiver support, and many other resources. The program serves as an early point of intervention for the many non-medical issues that impact members' health.

You can read the full article about Aetna's latest program here .

For more information Aetna and their programs, visit their website .

Thank you to Gold Corporate Partner, Aetna , for co-sponsoring the Inaugural Banquet at MACo's Winter Conference !

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