Reach Out and Read Allows Healthcare Providers to Encourage Early Literacy

 BALTIMORE (March 21, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) today joined the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MDAAP) to promote the Reach Out and Read Program, which is currently recruiting Primary Care practices to help promote early literacy by making books a routine part of care.

n 2012, MDAAP received a four year, $1.4 million grant from MSDE as part of the Federal Race to the Top funding to bring the evidence-based program Reach Out and Read to 75,000 low-income children by December 31, 2015. To accomplishment this goal, the Chapter is establishing Reach Out and Read programs at practices/clinics in Maryland which currently do not have the program and which have a majority of patients who are low income.

Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness nationwide by partnering with pediatricians, who give new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.

“Reading is a critical part of childhood and is important for a child’s overall health,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH. “Reach Out and Read allows pediatricians to help their patients get the benefits of books from the beginning.”

“Reach Out and Read promotes healthy minds much the same way as pediatric check-ups promote healthy bodies,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. “This program offers a unique opportunity to provide Maryland’s youngest learners a running start on their education by instilling a love of books. We appreciate the support we’ve had from the Maryland Chapter of the MDAAP.”

The opportunity to participate in Reach Out and Read is something many pediatricians want, but the cost has kept many from participating. This grant has allowed MDAAP to offer the Reach Out and Read Program to its members at no cost through December 31, 2015.

According to Dr. Eric Levey, MDAAP member and chair of the statewide Reach Out and Read Council, “Many young children have more contact with their pediatrician than any other professional. Reach Out and Read utilizes this relationship to promote early childhood literacy by having pediatricians demonstrate to parents that reading to their children is critically important.”

So far, the grant has allowed the chapter to extend Reach Out and Read to nine practices in eight jurisdictions across the state. As a result, nearly 12,000 children are now receiving new books at their well visits. The Chapter is actively recruiting additional primary care practices to participate in the program.

 

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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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