Maryland is Nation's Most Improved State in 2014 America's Health Rankings

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 10, 2014) -- The UnitedHealth Foundation today released “America’s Health Rankings 2014,” which found that Maryland had the greatest improvement of any state this year.  Maryland improved eight spots from 24th last year to 16th in 2014.  Key areas of improvement cited in the report include increased immunization rates and reductions in rates of preventable hospitalizations, smoking, and binge drinking.
 
“Over the course of the O’Malley-Brown Administration, we have made better choices to bring low-cost, high quality health coverage to more Marylanders across our State,” said Governor O’Malley.  “Today’s news shows a lot of improvement, but our work is far from finished.  We are focused on strengthening Maryland’s middle class, and helping to lift families out of poverty -- continuing to ensure that more Marylanders have access to quality, affordable health coverage is a key ingredient of that effort.”
 
“This jump in national rankings is another sign of significant public health improvement in Maryland,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  “It reflects efforts in communities and coalitions across the state to support well-being and prevent disease, as well as our strong clinical care system.”
 
The report, which is in its 25th year of production, also found that Maryland is one of the most improved states for health since 1990.  The   report noted that in Maryland:
 
  • Since 1990, children in poverty driven down by 7 percent from 16.4 percent to 15.3 percent of children.
     
  • Since 1990, infant mortality driven down by 43 percent from 11.6 to 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.
     
  • Since 1990, cardiovascular deaths driven down by 40 percent from 415.8 to 250.7 deaths per 100,000 population.
     
  • Since 1990, violent crime driven down by 38 percent from 768 to 477 offenses per 100,000 population.
     
As part of the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s 16 strategic goals to move Maryland forward, the State is working to reduce preventable hospitalizations by 10 percent by the end of 2015 and to reduce infant mortality in Maryland by 10 percent by 2017.  To date, Maryland has reduced preventable hospitalizations by 11.5 percent per 100,000 people since 2011, exceeding the state’s goal, and has surpassed the goal to decrease Maryland’s infant mortality rate by 10 percent by driving it down by 17.5 percent.
 
In April 2014, the Commonwealth Fund issued a report highlighting the substantial progress Maryland has made over the last five years.  The report noted that Maryland is one of only four states that “stand out for their net improvement across indicators.”  The State improved in fourteen indicators, while only four indicators deteriorated, making Maryland only one of two states to have a +10 differential.  Additionally, Maryland was one of five states that improved on ten or more indicators of health equity, rising from a rank of 30 to a rank of 12.
 
Additionally, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has embraced CRISP, Maryland’s statewide health information exchange (HIE).  CRISP’s Regional Extension Center for Health IT and HIE efforts serve to advance health and wellness of Marylanders by enabling healthcare providers to share clinical data with other providers and hospital systems across the State.  These initiatives, and others, were detailed in an August 2014 report from Business Insider titled, “An Amazing Healthcare Revolution Is Happening In Maryland — And Almost No One's Talking About It.”
 

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WCHD News

Fall into fitness this October and participate in the 6th Annual Making Strides for Awareness Fun Walk to be held at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3 at Byrd Park in Snow Hill, Market Street. This is a free event co-sponsored by the Worcester County Health Department and the Town of Snow Hill. The first 50 registrants will receive a HOPE stadium cup. Registration begins at 5pm. Participants will have the opportunity to complete a ½ mile, 1-mile, or 2-mile walk.

Click the image below to register for this free event. 

Public Health Officials Offer Food Safety Tips in Preparation of Potential Power Outages and Flooding Due to Hurricane Florence

(Salisbury, MD) - As Hurricane Florence begins to make way across the Eastern seaboard, health officials of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties recommend the following food safety tips for residents to help them prepare now, should local power outages or flooding occur.

• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. For more information on generator safety, visit here.

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Celebrate life and help raise awareness about suicide prevention on the Boardwalk this September with the Out of the Darkness Community Walk. On Saturday, September 22, hundreds of walkers from Maryland and across the country will gather in Ocean City to memorialize the victims of suicide, offer support to friends and family, and to raise funds for suicide awareness and mental health first aid through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This year, the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will also host the second annual “Celebration of Life” event the night before the walk, to memorialize friends and family lost to suicide.                                                                                                                                                      

Walk Date: 09/22/2018
Walk Location: Caroline Street and Ocean City Boardwalk - Ocean City, MD
Check-in/Registration Time: 9:00 am
Walk Begins: 10:30 am
Walk Ends: 12:00 pm

Click the image below to learn more or call 410-632-3366

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Residents who may have had contact should call the health department immediately


Snow Hill, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department confirms that a kitten has tested positive for rabies on August 29, 2018 on Snow Hill Rd (Rt. 12) north of Girdletree. The kitten was a female gray, black and tan striped tabby that was roughly eight-weeks-old. Residents of the property near where the kitten was found did not own the animal and the owners are unknown at this time.

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Ocean City, MD- Take a deep breath, Worcester County; this month Maryland celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act. Maryland’s Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in all indoor workplaces, including restaurants, bars, and clubs, to preserve and improve the health, comfort, and environment of residents by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke.

For more information on the Clean Indoor Air Act, click here

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