Tag Archives: St. Mary’s County

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Youth Drug Prevention Summit

Prevention Summit

On March 10, 2015, over 150 St. Mary’s County students participated in and facilitated the first student run

Youth Drug Prevention Summit!

The Youth Drug Prevention Summit featured interactive learning programs, information from community organizations, and keynote speaker Frank Kros from the Upside Down Organization.

The purpose of the summit was to increase awareness and educate community students about the risk and dangers associated with substance misuse. Furthermore,  student organizers and adult mentors hoped to generate discussion about future projects and engage youth in local prevention efforts that will serve to bring further understanding to all St. Mary’s County school age students about this issue.


Drug Summit Links

Youth Prevention Drug Summit Home Page

Student Fact Sheet

Upside Down Organization

Community Vendors

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Community Alcohol Coalition

MedStar Family Choice

NAMI Southern Maryland

St. Mary’s County Department of Aging &and Human Services

St. Mary’s County Health Department

St. Mary’s County Library

Walden

Drug Summit News

SMCPS Drug Summit Article

SoMdNews Drug Summit Coverage

Official Drug Summit Press Release

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