Category Archives: HEAL

CALL FOR POSTER ABSTRACTS

The Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership (HSMP) is requesting abstract submissions for the Poster Showcase at the 2017 HSMP Annual Meeting, set for September 21, 2017, in California, MD.

The HSMP Annual Meeting is an opportunity for participants to network, learn from public health experts and receive updates on coalition-wide business. The HSMP Annual Meeting features learning sessions from distinguished presenters on topics related to the four health priority issues in St. Mary’s County: Access to Care, Behavioral Health, Healthy Eating & Active Living and Tobacco Use. For more information on the HSMP Annual Meeting, please visit: http://healthystmarys.com/hsmpannual2017.

This year, we want to hear how you or your organization is working to improve local health! The Poster Showcase is an open session featuring visual presentations of recent program initiatives, research findings, and other information of interest and importance to the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership action teams. These visual presentations allow the author(s) to meet and speak informally with interested viewers, facilitating a greater exchange of ideas and networking opportunities than with oral presentations. The Poster Showcase will be staged in the Center Hall Gallery, a very high visibility area during the event.

Please review the following information for the Poster Showcase and then submit your poster proposal by 5:00 PM EDT on Friday, July 14, 2017 for consideration. The HSMP Steering Committee will review poster proposals and make selections for presentations at the Annual Meeting. An email to confirm acceptance status will be sent by July 31, 2017.

Let 2017 be your year to share exciting information on an innovative program, effective outreach strategies, noteworthy research, or other news with your colleagues. For questions or assistance, please e-mail: stmaryspartnership@gmail.com


2017 HSMP Annual Meeting

Poster Showcase & Abstract Information


Important Dates

  • July 14, 2017– Deadline for abstract submissions
  • July 31, 2017 – Applicants notified by e-mail of presentation acceptance or rejection
  • September 15, 2017– Deadline to submit final poster copy in PDF format
  • September 21, 2017– Presentation of accepted posters

General Information for Poster Presenters

  • You must be a registered attendee of the HSMP Annual Meeting to present your poster. Register at: https://hsmpannual2017.eventbrite.com
  • You are responsible for all of your own materials, including the printing of your poster and any handouts to support your presentation
  • A PDF version of final posters must be submitted on September 15, 2017 and full poster content will be published on the HSMP website approximately one week after the event

Poster Session – September 21, 2017

  • Posters will be on display in the foyer area near program sessions.
  • Presenters will be pre-assigned a display area. Additional information on poster layout, size requirements, printing options and handout materials will be provided with confirmation of poster acceptance on July 31, 2017.
  • Presenters must set up their posters between 7:30 – 8:00 a.m. the day of the event
  • Poster presenters must be at their boards from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. for discussion and questions. It is suggested that presenters also be available to answer questions during break times scheduled throughout the event.
  • Presenters may take down their posters after 1:00 p.m. and no later than 3:00 p.m.

Criteria for Poster Abstract Submissions

  • The poster presents information on research findings, program implementation and results, or innovative solutions related to health improvement
  • Poster content is relevant to one or more of the priority health areas in St. Mary’s County: Access to Care, Behavioral Health, Healthy Eating & Active Living or Tobacco Use/Exposure to Secondhand Smoke.
  • Priority will be given to presentations that specifically address objectives or strategies in the Healthy St. Mary’s 2020 local health improvement plan.

A committee will review all submissions and evaluate them on: 

  • Relevance in terms of the priority health issues facing St. Mary’s County
  • Substance and clarity of content

How to Submit an Abstract

  • Complete the online submission form for your poster at: http://bit.ly/PosterAbstractHSMP2017 by July 14, 2017.
  • Submissions require contact information, a brief poster description and identification of which HSMP 2020 topic, objective or strategy are addressed.
  • Incomplete or late submissions will not be reviewed.

2016 Wellness At Work Awards

HEALTHIEST MARYLAND BUSINESSES LAUNCHES WELLNESS AT WORK AWARDS

White Plains, MD (March 24, 2016)—Healthiest Maryland Businesses, the state’s initiative to support healthy workplaces, is seeking applicants for the Wellness at Work Awards. The purpose of the awards is to recognize Maryland employers for their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion.  Employers may be eligible to earn a Gold, Silver, or Bronze award.

Launched in 2010 and based at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Healthiest Maryland Businesses assists businesses by creating customized wellness plans, setting wellness goals and monitoring progress. Six regional coordinators around the state provide personalized guidance to businesses of all sizes. To date, over 400 businesses have signed on to take advantage of this free program.

“Our goal is to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice,” explains Angela Deal, coordinator for the Southern Region, which includes Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. “Workplace wellness programs can help employees eat healthier foods, get more physical activity and make other lifestyle changes that improve their health.”

To be eligible for an award, businesses must be a current member of Healthiest Maryland Businesses and must complete an online application. Deadline to apply is April 29. The application and additional details can be found at http://www.healthiestmdbusinesses.org/

The Wellness at Work awards will be given at the 7th annual Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium on June 10 at the BWI Marriott. The annual symposium, presented by Business Health Services, is the largest workplace wellness gathering in Maryland, focused on discussing timely health and wellness topics for employers. Registration information may be found at: http://marylandwellnesssymposium.com/

For more information about the Wellness at Work awards, contact Angela Deal at 301-609-6885 or angela.deal@maryland.gov

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American Heart Month Feature

ucm_465189Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Maryland, accounting for 25% of all deaths. Sadly, in St. Mary’s County our numbers are even higher than state averages.

The good news?

Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Through lifestyle changes like smoking cessation, healthy eating, exercise, and managing diabetes, blood pressure and stress, you can greatly reduce your chance of heart disease.

This year, make control your goal!

Use the resources below to help you control your diabetes, blood pressure or other habits that increase your risk.

Smoking Cessation


Healthy Eating


Physical Activity


Managing Diabetes


Controlling Blood Pressure

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! 

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!

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

County Health Rankings

County Rankings St. Mary's

Positive Report for St. Mary’s

LEONARDTOWN, MD (March 26, 2015) – St. Mary’s County ranks as the fifth healthiest county in Maryland, according to the sixth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. This ranking reflects an improvement from eighth in 2014.

The County Health Rankings are an annual report that grade the overall health of nearly every county in the United States. The Rankings provide a snapshot of a community’s health, and helps to identify issues and implement solutions to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play. The St. Mary’s County ranking was positively impacted by local improvements in social and economic factors, quality of life, and premature death.  Since the 2011 Rankings, premature death in the county has decreased by 13 percent.

“Community partners, county leadership, health care providers, and our residents should take pride in knowing that work done to improve their own health, as well as the health of our community, has yielded such positive results,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “The rankings also reaffirms priority areas that our local health improvement coalition, the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership, has identified and continues to address—access to care, healthy eating and active living, behavioral health, and tobacco-free living.”

The Rankings allow for relative comparisons between counties within a state on overall health and well-being. These comparisons are based on an assessment of four areas that influence health: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment. These factors are rated using local-level data from 30 measures that include smoking, education, physical inactivity, preventable hospitalizations, and the availability of primary care physicians.

Rates of adult smoking and obesity, preventable hospitalizations, and the ratios of residents to health professionals, including primary care physicians, dentists and mental health providers were areas where St. Mary’s County ranked low when compared to the other 23 Maryland counties.

“While the trend of an improving county health ranking for St. Mary’s is very encouraging,” said Dr. Brewster, “I am concerned about the challenges we face with access to care and risk factors leading to chronic illness. With the help of community stakeholders and the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership, we continue to seek solutions for these issues.”

The Rankings are available online at www.countyhealthrankings.org. For additional information visit the health department’s website at www.smchd.org or the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership website at www.healthystmarys.com.

Keeping Kids Healthy

Healthy Kids

Healthy Kids St. Mary's CountyAt a very young age, children develop the habits and behaviors that will influence their life-long health.

Parents and caregivers play a key role in making healthy choices for children and also in teaching them to make healthy choices for themselves, which helps them grow into healthy adults!

Use the tools below to help guide your kids in making choices that will lead to healthier lives.


Tips for Healthy Eating

 Healthy kids need healthy foods!

download
Myplate: Healthy Eating Resource for Parents and Professionals 

Tips for Parents: Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight

Southern Maryland Farmers’ Market Guide

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program


Get Active in St. Mary’s

Healthy kids need to get up and move!

CDC – How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?

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Content Sources: Centers for Disease Control, ChooseMyPlate.gov, St. Mary's County Tourism, HSMP Partners

Workplace Wellness

Workplace Wellness

Your health is important wherever you go! And now that many people are spending most of their day sitting at a desk or inside an office, implementing health programs at the workplace has become vital to ensuring healthy lifestyles.  


What is Workplace Wellness?

“Workplace Wellness” is a term used to describe efforts by businesses to improve the health of its employees through use of program offerings and incentives. Working Marylanders spend an average of 9.2 hours per day at work leading to a decrease in the amount of time available for exercise and healthy eating. In part, this has led to an increase in the burden of chronic disease, much of which is preventable. Rising rates of chronic disease contribute to skyrocketing healthcare costs, which affect both employers and employees.

Workplace Wellness initiatives support employees and their families to make healthier choices so we can reduce chronic disease and our collective healthcare costs. These programs tend to focus on healthier food choices, increasing physical activity in and out of the workplace, and smoking cessation. By eating healthy, being physically active, and not smoking we can drastically reduce the human and economic toll of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

A comprehensive employee health management strategy will help to prevent and control chronic disease and other conditions that are identified to be a problem for your workforce.  Preventing and controlling chronic disease improves quality of life and a company’s bottom line.

Need a Wellness Program at Your Office?

Ask your employer if they offer a wellness or health promotion program. If not, suggest implementing one at your office. One way to start is by joining Healthiest Maryland Businesses (HMB).

Healthiest Maryland Businesses are taking the first step towards creating an environment that supports healthy employees, an economic driver of your business’ fiscal health! Having a wellness program ensures that everyone wins – employees and their families are healthier, and companies save on health care costs and absenteeism.

Benefits of Joining Healthiest Maryland Businesses:

  • Consultation with certified work-site wellness personnel
  • Access to HMB e-news and training events
  • Technical assistance on how to implement policies and programs
  • Connection to evidence-based resources
  • Peer-to-peer support from neighboring businesses
  • Promotion as a member in this leading, statewide initiative

For more information, contact dhmh.healthiestmaryland@maryland.gov.

Additional Resources:

Workplace Health Promotion – CDC Toolkit

Healthiest Maryland Businesses – NEW WEBSITE!

Exercise at Your Desk – WebMD Feature

Stairwell Toolkit – Workplace Wellness Initiative


 

Content Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene