Tag Archives: HEAL

Town Hall on St. Mary’s County Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) and St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) hosted a Town Hall Meeting to present key findings from the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for St. Mary’s County, Maryland on June 22, 2016 at the SMCPS Central Administration Office. The meeting presentation and associated fact sheets are available below for community members that were unable to attend the Town Hall.

6-22-16 Town Hall Meeting Presentation
YRBS Fact Sheet – Tobacco Use
YRBS Fact Sheet – Mental Health
YRBS Fact Sheet – Substance Use
YRBS Fact Sheet – Healthy Eating & Active Living

The YRBS is a national school-based survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in partnership with state and local-level education, health and governmental agencies. This survey monitors health-risk behaviors of the nation’s high school students which contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social issues among youth and young adults. Monitored behaviors include suicide; tobacco use; alcohol and other drug use; sexual behavior; violence; and diet, nutrition, and exercise.

The 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was administered to students in the public high schools in St. Mary’s County. Participating students voluntarily completed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire about their health behaviors. Survey procedures were designed to protect the privacy of students and adhered to local parental permission procedures.

“The aggregate YRBS data will help us identify the most pressing health concerns affecting our adolescent youth,” said Dr. Meenakshi Brewster, Health Officer for St. Mary’s County. “This information then guides community-wide efforts to provide our youth and families the services they really need.”

Community members are encouraged to review the materials from the Town Hall Meeting for a review of the results from this survey as well as information on local action to address health issues. For more information on the YRBS, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/ or the SMCHD website at http://www.smchd.org/data.

St. Mary's County Health DepartmentYRBSSt. Mary's County Public Schools

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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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!

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

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