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2017 Community Youth Mapping (CYM) Project Update

Submitted by: The Steering Committee for the Campaign for a Community/Youth Center

This summer, the Steering Committee for the Campaign for a Community/Youth Center in St. Mary’s County coordinated a Community Youth Mapping (CYM) project in order to: (1) to provide meaningful summer jobs for local youth, (2) to collect data to inform decisions relating to resources for families and youth, and (3) to mobilize the community to work on the Campaign for a Community/Youth Center.

Engaging Youth

The first objective was a total success! From their base at the Lexington Park library, thirty-one young people engaged in paid employment for six weeks. For some, it was their first job. This would not have been possible without the support of the County Commissioners, community donors and to Tri-County Youth Services Bureau.

For all mappers, it was a terrific opportunity to learn about their community (“I’ve lived here my whole life, but never knew about these places!”), gain the confidence to interact with adults (“They talked to us, and were interested in what we were doing!”), and commit to the Campaign. They have also expressed appreciation for what they learned during “Friday enrichment” with community partners, including personal finance and budgeting, the dangers of alcohol and vaping, and skills for job search and interviews.

Collecting Data and Presenting to Leaders

Secondly, the mappers collected a substantial amount of data and entered it into a central database. They completed over 260 place-based surveys (of local businesses, organizations and agencies) and 620 individual surveys (of county residents). The data is currently being analyzed. The youth mappers themselves will present at a meeting hosted by the League of Women Voters on Saturday, November 18th (from 9-11 a.m.) at the Lexington Park Library. This presentation is open to the public. Local organizations may contact the committee for more information on additional presentations of these findings.

Creating a Movement

The third objective was to identify members of the community to work on the campaign for a community/youth center in St. Mary’s County, and on the issues of family and youth resources. In fact, 83% of those who responded to the individual survey said that programs supporting children and youth should be given greater priority. Fully one-third, or over 200 respondents, said that they would be interested in developing new or expanded activities or programs for youth and families.

Lastly, but of great importance in terms of galvanizing the community to mobilize local resources, more than 225 people said that if the County would establish a volunteer Youth Commission to work with our county government, they would be interested in participating!

Stay tuned for more news on the CYM project and the Campaign for a Community/Youth Center in Lexington Park on Facebook at:


The Great American Smokeout

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, 14.5% of adults and 22.6% of youth are currently using tobacco products.

This year, on November 16, 2017 encourage someone you know to use the day to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

There are many resources that can help someone quit smoking:

  • FREE Smoking Cessation Classes are offered regularly throughout the community by The St. Mary’s County Health Department, call (301) 475-4330 for more information or to sign up.
  • Local Nicotine Anonymous® Meetings are held weekly at On Our Own of St. Mary’s County, call (301) 997-1066 for more information.
  • The State of Maryland offers a FREE Tobacco Quit-line (1-800-QUIT-NOW), available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to support residents who would like to quit tobacco.
  • SmokefreeTXT is a free text messaging program that gives 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips for becoming smoke free and being healthier. Sign up at:
  • Get involved in community action to reduce tobacco use in St. Mary’s County or access additional resources at:

2016 Wellness at Work Award Winners


Local Workplaces Receive 2016 Wellness at Work Awards
On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, presented a Silver level Wellness at Work award to Southern Maryland Electrical Cooperative and an On the Path award to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in work-site health promotion.
The Wellness at Work Awards took place as part of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. Easton Utilities was one of 42 businesses to receive an award. “This award is a direct reflection of our collective commitment to prioritize wellness and the level of participation in our program is exceptional,” said Hugh E. Grunden, President and CEO of Easton Utilities.
The Wellness at Work Awards are sponsored by Healthiest Maryland Businesses, the state’s initiative to support healthy workplaces. Employers may earn a Gold, Silver, Bronze, or On the Path award. To be eligible for an award, businesses are required to establish leadership support for wellness, create wellness committees, survey the needs and interests of their employees, set health improvement goals, and develop monitoring tools to track their outcomes over time.
Launched in 2010 and based at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Healthiest Maryland Businesses helps businesses create customized wellness plans, set wellness goals and monitor progress. Six regional coordinators around the state provide personalized guidance to businesses of all sizes. To date, over 460 businesses have signed on to take advantage of this program.
Visit for more information or to join.
Photo: MedStar St. Mary’s Hosipal Accepting their On the Path Award
Pictured are: Andrea Hamilton
Photo: SMECO accepting their Silver Award
Pictured are: Paulette Ager, Crystal Jackson, Van Mitchell, Victoria St. Arnold

Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership Calendar

In an effort to increase awareness of collaborative events between our partners, HSMP has created a live calendar for action team meetings and local health-focused events. This calendar offers the opportunity for community members to easily find meetings, activities and events related to health improvement in St. Mary’s County.

Members of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership are encouraged to use the calendar to promote events to a wide audience! Not a member yet? Click here for information on how to join the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership for FREE.

How to add the HSMP Calendar to your calendar

It’s easy to add the HSMP Calendar to your personal calendar! Use the address below to access the HSMP calendar from other applications. You can copy and paste this into any calendar product that supports the iCal format (e.g., Google Calendar, Apple Calendar (formerly iCal), IBM Lotus Notes, Yahoo! Calendar, Evolution, eM Client, Lightning extension for Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey, and partially by Microsoft Outlook and Novell GroupWise)

Using Google Calendar? Just follow these step by step instructions so that you never miss an HSMP meeting!

How to post your event to the HSMP Calendar

To post a training event to the calendar using Google Calendar:
  1. Create an event in your own Google Calendar. Tip: Make the title descriptive, such as “Free Community Health Fair in Lexington Park”
  2. Enter the time of the event
  3. Enter the event details including the street address, website or contact information and registration requirements if applicable.
  4. Add as a guest
  5. Allow HSMP to modify the event by selecting the option “modify event” under Guests can
  6. Save the event and send an invitation to guests (HSMP)

The event will appear on the HSMP Calendar after being reviewed by the administrator. The HSMP Calendar is operated by Google, but other email and calendar hosts should be able to post events with this or a similar process. If you are experiencing trouble creating an event, contact to generate one on your behalf.

Please note: All posts will be reviewed for approval by the administrator prior to posting. Collaborative and health focused events hosted by HSMP Partners will be given priority and HSMP retains the right to delete event posts that are deemed inappropriate, offensive or unrelated to its mission.
EXTERNAL LINKS DISCLAIMER: The appearance of external hyperlinks & events does not constitute endorsement by HSMP of the linked websites, or the information, products, or services contained therein. HSMP does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.


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: