Author Archives: Jenna Mulliken

2016 Town Hall Meetings: Youth Use of Tobacco & E-Cigarettes

The Tobacco Free Living action team (TFL) of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership facilitated a 2-part Town Hall Series on underage tobacco and e-cigarette use.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Selling tobacco products to youth under the age of 18 is illegal, yet nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by the age of 18 and about 19% of St. Mary’s County high school students use tobacco; higher than state and national averages. Please join us for these open community conversation about underage tobacco and e-cigarette use in St. Mary’s County.
For more information on the TFL Action Team please visit: http://healthystmarys.com/tobacco-free-living/

The 2016 Town Hall Series on Underage Tobacco and E-Cigarette Use was a great success! Thank you to everyone who attended these community conversations. Presentations from each town hall are available below.  

Part 1: Underage Tobacco Use

Special Guest Speaker: William Tilburg, JD, Deputy Director of the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy based at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. William has authored legal synopses on local authority to restrict the sale of tobacco products and regulating tobacco products based on pack size for the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, and filed petitions and public comments to the Food and Drug Administration requesting the agency regulate cigars and other non-cigarette tobacco products and reject tobacco manufacturer applications seeking designation as modified risk tobacco products.

Click here to view the meeting presentation.


Part 2:  E-Cigarette Use

Special Guest Speaker: Olesya K. Vernyi-Kellogg, J.D., is a staff attorney with the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Olesya will present on related federal, state, and local regulations, provide a general assembly legislative update, and share some of the latest scientific studies on e-cigarette health effects.

Click here to view the meeting presentation.


For more information, call 301-475-4391

The Great American Smokeout

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Get ready to lose the habit, and become victorious over tobacco.

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society event the Great American Smokeout. The Great American Smokeout challenges people to stop using tobacco for this one day in the hope they may quit for good.

About 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. In St. Mary’s County, 25% of adults and 19% of youth are currently using tobacco products. Quitting — even for one day — has immediate and long term benefits for smokers and their loved ones.

On November 19, 2015, the Tobacco Free Living Action Team of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership did outreach throughout St. Mary’s to celebrate the Great American Smokeout. Community members were encouraged to sign a pledge to quit smoking and were offered a free Quit-Kit to help!

Over 200 individuals were reached with these efforts!

Thank you to the following locations for participating in the Great American Smokeout:

Thank you to the partners of the Tobacco Free Living action Team for coordinating this event locally. Special thanks to the St. Mary’s County Health Department, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, the Minority Outreach Coalition, Walden Behavioral Health,  the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions and MedStar Family Choice. 

There are many tools that can help people quit and increase their chances of staying quit. For more information visit http://healthystmarys.com/tobacco-free-living/ or call (301) 475-4330.

Great American Smokeout Materials 

 

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Safe Disposal of Medications

St Mary’s Drug Drop Off Initiative

(Sept 18, 2015, Leonardtown, MD)  Prescription drug abuse continues to be a growing national epidemic. Addiction overdoses and deaths involving non-medical prescription drug use, especially narcotic pain relievers, have risen dramatically over the last decade. This growth is fueled by misperceptions about prescription drug safety and increasing availability. Research shows that over half the number of people who obtained prescription drugs for non-medical use received them from a friend or relative at no cost, while another 15% bought them or took them from a friend or relative.

Consumers can help reduce prescription drug abuse rates by safely disposing of prescriptions through participation in the St. Mary’s County Drug Drop-Off Program. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has a prescription drug drop-off available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It’s located in the front lobby of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office in Leonardtownand is completely anonymous. Simply remove all identifying information on labels and place in one of the two drop boxes.

Since the Drug Drop-Off Program began in 2011, 601,015 pills, 525 controlled pain patches and 58 bottles of controlled liquids have been diverted and properly disposed. St. Mary’s County is the only community in Maryland that counts individual pills/units to provide a means of tracking over prescribed medications.

“We have the blueprint, and we know the drug take-back program works,” states Captain Daniel D. Alioto, Commander St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics.  “Although there is a national drug take back day on September 26 every year,  here in St. Mary’s County we take back every day.It comes down to a commitment from the Sheriff’s Office and the community.  This program has made an impact.”

Opportunities for safe disposal include:

  • Two drop boxes located in the front office at the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office in Leonardtown. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services Health Fair, Friday, October 30th, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California.
  • For St. Mary’s County residents facing mobility challenges, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office will offer a pick-up service to retrieve unwanted prescription medications. Contact the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services at 301-475-4200, ext. 1050 to register. Uniformed deputies will pick-up your unwanted medications and safely transport them to the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, September 26th. Last day to register for pick-up is Thursday, September 24th.

In addition to proper disposal, proper management of medications can also help prevent drug misuse and abuse.   Keeping medications out of sight and out of reach from others in the household; never share prescriptions or take someone else’s medication, and only take medication as directed.  A survey released by the National Community Pharmacists Association found that 75% of adults do not always take their prescription medication as directed.  Many forget to take their medication, take less than the prescribed dosage, or stop taking it before the supply runs out. In more than half the cases, the patients made these decisions without talking to a healthcare professional.

Working in support of the prescription drug drop-off program and other overdose response initiatives are the St. Mary’s County Department of Aging & Human Services, St. Mary’s County Health Department, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, and Walden Sierra Behavioral Health. With additional input from local pharmacies and medical practitioners, the Behavioral Health Action Team was formed. The team is a subcommittee of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership. Its goal is to identify specific issues related to substance abuse and mental health, formulate solutions, and seek funding to assist with services.

For more information: http://healthystmarys.com/behavioral-health/smartrx/

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Breastfeeding Feature

Guest Contributor: Angela Deal, Healthiest Maryland Businesses Healthiest Maryland Logo

 

Angela is the Regional Coordinator (Charles, Calvert, & St. Mary’s) for Healthiest Maryland Businesses (HMB). HMB is a partner organization of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership and provides assistance to local businesses that want to create a healthier workplace for their employees.
Click here for information on HMB and more healthy workplace initiatives!

August is World Breastfeeding Month!

 

Why offer support for breastfeeding in the workplace?

According to the CDC’s Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies, mothers are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. labor force. In 2012, 57% of all mothers with infants were employed. Working full-time outside the home is related to lower rates of breastfeeding and shorter duration of breastfeeding. This is unfortunate, because breastfeeding has many benefits for mothers, babies-and employers.

Research shows that support for nursing moms at work benefits not only families but employers as well by improving productivity, enhancing the employer’s public image and decreasing absenteeism, health care costs, and employee turnover.

How can your business support breastfeeding mothers?

Make your business breastfeeding-friendly by offering some of these employee benefits and services:
  • Develop a corporate policy to support breastfeeding women.
  • Provide a designated private space for women to breastfeed or express milk.
  • Allow flexible scheduling to support milk expression during work.
  • Offer mothers options for returning to work, such as teleworking, part-time work, or extended maternity leave.
  • Provide on-site or nearby child care.
  • Provide a high-quality, multi-user breast pump
  • Allow babies at the workplace.
  • Offer professional lactation management services and support.

Factors to Consider When Setting Up a Workplace Lactation Program

  • Population: The number of women who need support, the resources available, and the settings in which female employees work.
  • Space: A lactation room can take many forms, from a converted office or private space to a formal nursing mothers’ room. This space cannot be a bathroom.
  • Time: Employers can use many different strategies to make sure mothers have enough time to breastfeed or express milk. Examples include flexible work schedules and locations, break times for pumping, on-site child care services, and job sharing.
  • Support: Educating all employees on the important benefits of breastfeeding creates a supportive atmosphere for employees who breastfeed. Involve human resources managers, employee health coordinators, insurers, and health care providers in supporting  breastfeeding  as part of an overall employee wellness program.

Need more information?

The Business Case For Breastfeeding from the Health Resources and Services Administration Program offers several resources, including tool kits and guidelines, to help employers understand the benefits of making accommodations for breastfeeding mothers.

National Business Group on Health: Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies is a toolkit that covers the essential information employers need to understand the components of breastfeeding programs, getting started, and measuring success. Valuable resources include breastfeeding program options, employer case studies, and materials for employees.

The Making It Work Toolkit is an online resource for breastfeeding mothers developed by the New York State Department of Health with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children returning to work or school. The toolkit is designed to provide assistance to breastfeeding mothers, as well as tools and information for businesses and families. A helpful Checklist for Employers is included in the Making it Work: For Employers section to assist supervisors’ plans for employee lactation accommodations requests.

SPOTLIGHT ON HMBs

Joining Healthiest Maryland Businesses is free and workplaces receive many benefits for signing up including: access to training, information, consultation, technical assistance and more!

This July, three HMBs were awarded funding to support Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace initiatives – Congratulations to the Charles County Department of Health, St. Mary’s County Department of Health, and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital! 

Overdose Response Program

What is the ORP?

The Overdose Response Program (ORP) is a program designed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to train community members to do the following:
  • Recognize an opioid overdose
  • Respond to an opioid overdose (e.g., call 9-1-1, use the recovery position, perform rescue breathing)
  • Know how to use naloxone in the event of an overdose

Who should participate in the ORP?

  • Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible beahero
  • Anyone with close contacts (e.g., family members, friends, housemates, neighbors) who are using opiates
  • Anyone who may be in a situation (e.g., work, volunteer, social) where an overdose may occur
  • Anyone currently receiving methadone
  • Anyone with an opiate prescription
  • Anyone with a history of opiate abuse
  • Anyone suspected of using opiates for non-medical reasons

Where can I get trained?

The St. Mary’s County Health Department will be offering the Overdose Response Program for free to community members who may be able to save the life of someone experiencing breathing problems from opioid overdose.

Visit http://www.smchd.org/overdose/ to register.

Successfully trained individuals will receive a certificate allowing them to obtain a prescription for naloxone (Narcan®), a life-saving medication that can quickly restore the breathing of a person who has overdosed on heroin or prescription opioid pain medication like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl or methadone.

Who Should Receive a Naloxone Prescription?

  • Anyone who has completed the Overdose Response Program
  • Anyone with a known history of IV drug use or misuse of prescription opiates
  • Anyone who receives high-dose opiates or receives opiates chronically
  • Anyone who has been hospitalized for opiate overdose
  • Anyone who uses opiates with antidepressants, benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other drugs
  • Anyone who uses opiates with a history of major organ dysfunction (renal, hepatic, cardiac, pulmonary)
  • Anyone using opiates with a history of mental illness
  • Anyone receiving treatment for substance use disorder

Naloxone


Learn more about Overdose Prevention in Maryland

Don’t Be a Friend, Be a Parent Workshops

Workshop Flyer

 


(Maryland) Don’t Be a Friend. Be a Parent. (PSA)

This video is intended to educate parents and other adults about the harm and risks associated with allowing alcohol to be served to minor in their homes (social hosting) and to depict the unexpected problems that can occur in that situation. It is designed to be introduced by local community prevention leaders to stimulate discussion about the dangers of social hosting, and intended to be shown at venues such as Back to School Night, PTA meetings, parent workshops, and other school events. This video was produced through the SAMHSA/CSAP Underage Drinking Prevention Education Initiatives (UADPEI) in an ongoing collaboration with States and Territories to produce videos that support local underage drinking prevention communications efforts. Across the Nation, every State and Territory is unique and so are their approaches to preventing and reducing underage drinking. The video project supports the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Strategic Initiative #1: Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness, which states, “… prevention of underage drinking [is] a priority for States, Territories, Tribal entities, universities and communities.”

 

More to Explore 2015

Discover what is just outside the door or around the corner while walking your way to wellness!

 

The More To Explore” Passport Program encourages all community members to get outside and explore the amazing parks, historic sites and farmer’s markets that St. Mary’s County has to offer!

The program runs from June 21 – August 14, 2015.

 

How it works:

  1. Pick up your passport at any St. Mary’s County Library or print one here!
  2. Use the passport as your guide to get out and explore beautiful St. Mary’s County! When you visit a site listed in the passport, complete the marker rubbing in your booklet.
  3. Once you have visited 10 or more sites (22 total) you can bring your passport to the library to receive a prize and be entered into additional prize drawings.

Don’t Forget to Share Your Adventure on Facebook

 


About this initiative:

This initiative is a collaborative effort of the Healthy Eating & Active Living (HEAL) action team of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership. The HEAL action team brings together community organizations and community members to coordinate local action around healthy eating, active living, and weight management.

Healthy Eating and Active Living are essential in the prevention and control of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. These chronic diseases contribute to the leading causes of death nationally and here in St. Mary’s County. By focusing on healthy eating and maintaining a physically active lifestyle, residents can help prevent these chronic diseases (and many other conditions) as well as the complications associated with them. When communities focus on strategies to support healthy eating and active living for their residents (like More to Explore), they improve population health and minimize the financial burden associated with chronic diseases. The HEAL action team meetings are open to any interested community members or organizations, visit healthystmarys.com to learn more.

We have so many opportunities to get active in our community! The HEAL team hopes that this program guides St. Mary’s County residents to locations that support healthy eating and active living all year round.

So what are you waiting for? Get out and Explore!

Inaugural HSMP Meeting: Tobacco Free Living Session

The Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership will host its first annual meeting on Thursday June 4, 2015 from 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center in Leonardtown, Maryland. The meeting is only one month away – Register to save your seat now!

This meeting will be an opportunity for participants to network, learn from experts on the local health priority areas and to receive updates on coalition-wide business.

Spotlight – Tobacco Free Living

Kathleen HokeElectronic Cigarettes: Past, Present and Future

Kathleen Hoke, JD, Law School Professor and Director, Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy

The rapid rise in use of electronic nicotine delivery devices, or e-cigarettes has generated questions and concerns in communities nationwide. This session will provide an overview on e-cigarettes, current and anticipated regulations, and opportunities for local action.

Kathleen Hoke, JD, is a Law School Professor and Director of the Network for Public Health Law, Eastern Region and the Center for Tobacco Regulation at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Hoke provides technical legal assistance to Maryland state and local health officials, legislators, and organizations working in the development of public health policy and tobacco control.  Recent work has focused on the regulation of cigars and the development of sound policies to create smoke-free multi-unit housing.

Learn more about Kathleen

Additional Forum Topics:

  • The Partnership and Local Health Improvement Planning
  • Access to Care
  • Behavioral Health
  • Healthy Eating & Active Living

Join us after the event for an optional Social Hour at the Oldetowne Pub in Leonardtown!

HSMP Seeks Public Comments on Healthy St. Mary’s 2020 Draft

Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership Seeks Public Comments on Draft Plan for Local Health Improvement

LEONARDTOWN, MD (April 21, 2015) – The Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership (HSMP) is seeking comments on its DRAFT 2015 – 2020 Local Health Improvement Plan for St. Mary’s County, Maryland “Healthy St Mary’s 2020”.

HSMP members and community partners have engaged in a strategic planning process to draft Healthy St. Mary’s 2020. This process was informed by local and state data, both quantitative and qualitative. Healthy St. Mary’s 2020 will provide a framework and consensus-based recommendations for improving the health of St. Mary’s County residents. It will provide insight into long-term health solutions and present a road map for achieving optimal health for all community members.

Public participation will help shape Healthy St. Mary’s 2020, its framework, objectives, and targets. HSMP will provide opportunities for public input periodically to ensure that Healthy St. Mary’s 2020 reflects current public health priorities and public input. The updated set of Healthy St. Mary’s 2020 objectives will be published on www.healthystmarys.com and will reflect further review and deliberation by the HSMP Steering Committee.

Written comments will be accepted until 6:00 PM ET on Tuesday May 5, 2015.

Comments may be submitted via the Online Public Comment Form or:

Mail:      Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership
                 c/o St. Mary’s County Health Department
                 Attn: Jenna Mulliken
                 P.O. Box 316
                 Leonardtown, MD 20650
Fax:        (301) 475-4350
Email:    stmaryspartnership@gmail.com

HSMPThe Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership was established in 2013 to serve as the local health improvement coalition for St. Mary’s County. HSMP is a community-driven coalition of partners working together to improve health in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. The coalition mobilizes members through four action teams to address the priority health issues in St. Mary’s: Access to Care, Behavioral Health, Healthy Eating & Active Living and Tobacco Free Living. For more information on the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership or to become a member, visit http://healthystmarys.com/

Healthy Business Forum

Healthiest Maryland Businesses will host their 2nd Annual Healthy Business Forum for Southern Maryland on April 24 in Hughesville.

Register Here


Event Details

  • Location: Southern Maryland Association of Realtors
  • Time: 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Let’s Think and Talk About Worksite Wellness…

Topics Include:

  • Healthiest Maryland Introduction and progress of project.
  • Do you know if you are getting the most value from your health care dollars?
  • Do you have a clear picture of the health of your workforce and its impact on your health care costs?
  • Do you know the strategies and vendors that will work hardest for you and your budget?
  • Are you making the most informed purchasing decisions?
  • Local Success Story
  • Making stress your best friend
  • How do I become a Healthiest Maryland Business?
Speakers Include:

John Miller, MidAtlantic Business Group on Health

Cliff Long, Longevity Studios

Victoria St. Arnold, SMECO

Angela Deal, Charles County Department of Health

Healthy Business Forum