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

 

(Snow Hill, MD)- The 22nd Annual “Tortoise & Hare Dare” 5K walk/run will be held at 9 am, on Saturday, April 6, with a rain date of April 13, at Pocomoke River State Park-Shad Landing, Snow Hill, Maryland. Registration begins at 8:30 am. This is a FREE event and is Pet-Friendly and will be led by Smokey the Bear. The first 100 runners/walkers to check-in on the day of the event will receive a free commemorative T-shirt. There is no cost to take part in the Tortoise and the Hare Dare. The Worcester County Health Department, Worcester County Department of Recreation & Parks, and Pocomoke River State Park all co-sponsor the 5k.

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(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department is pleased to announce new funding awarded through the Maryland Department of Health, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, to put into action community-based projects that support physical activity in Worcester County. This new grant funding will help WCHD create projects that line up with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Healthy People 2020 campaign.

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Worcester County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program provides consultation to parents, home owners, renters, landlords, medical offices, and other concerned community members on the lead poisoning, prevention, testing, and regulations. Education and case management is provide to parents with children with elevated blood lead levels. Call 410-632-1100 for more information. 


What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning is one of the most common environmental child health problems in the United States and effects 3 to 4 million children. Lead is especially harmful to children younger than 6, but anyone who eats, drinks, or breathes something which has too much lead can get lead poisoning. Although chipping paint and paint dust are the most common sources of lead, lead can also be found in ceramic cups and dishes, fishing sinkers, craft supplies, leaded crystal, spray paint, and even in soil and water.

Click the image below for more information.

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Flu season is fully underway but it's not too late to reduce your risk. Flu vaccines are still available in Worcester County and simple, everyday precautions such as washing your hands, staying home when you're sick, and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze can help stop the spread of the flu. To learn more call 410-632-1100 or click the image below to visit the CDC page on flu prevention. 

 

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Snow Hill Rotary partners with Worcester Health on prescription lockboxes; Health Department to launch new substance abuse awareness campaigns in Spring 2019


(Snow Hill, MD)- The Worcester County Health Department and Snow Hill Rotary Club partnered in 2019 to provide free prescription lockboxes to the community. In 2018, the Rotary conducted a needs assessment to determine priorities for where to donate their resources. After having presentations from various organizations, including the Worcester County Health Department, it was determined that the opioid crisis would be a priority area and partnering with the health department to provide lock boxes was the intervention they selected. The Snow Hill Rotary Club also participated in a Naloxone training provided by the health department.

Funded by the Rotary Club, the new lockboxes encourage residents to keep their prescription medications, such as opioids, safe and secure. In addition to promoting responsible opioid storage, Worcester Health will launch several new awareness campaigns this spring focusing on Addiction in the Workplace, Naloxone training, reducing the stigma around recovery as well as promoting the State of Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law.

“I would like to thank the Snow Hill Rotary Club for partnering with the Worcester County Health Department on the lockbox initiative,” said Rebecca Jones, Health Officer for Worcester County. “This is another avenue in which to fight the ongoing opioid crisis.”

 Pictured (left to right): Mimi Dean, Director of Prevention, Worcester County Health Department, Rebecca Jones, Health Officer, Worcester County Health Department, Marty Pusey, Snow Hill Rotary Club, Chris Welch, President, Snow Hill Rotary Club.

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