Below are the latest news releases from the Worcester County Health Department. For more information the media and public may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Check back for updates.

Fall into a healthier lifestyle – You CAN quit smoking!

 Snow Hill, Md.(Sept. 12, 2012) – The air is a little crisper, the leaves are starting to fall, and change is in the air. Fall is a great time to make a commitment to quit smoking and improve your health.  

New Americans Street Festival kicks off NIIC 2012

 (Baltimore, MD)  The 2012 National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) is coming to Maryland with an emphasis on strengthening diverse communities across the nation.  Baltimore will host the Fifth Annual Conference, sponsored by CASA de Maryland and the National Partnership for New Americans, September 22-25 at the Baltimore Hilton Hotel. The conference will focus on empowering immigrants to build, stronger healthier communities and ensuring the immigrants have the opportunity to become integral members of the U.S. communities they call home.

DHMH and Baltimore County Department of Health Investigating Cluster of Invasive Group A Streptococcus Associated with Cosmetic Surgery Center

 BALTIMORE (September 19, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Baltimore County Department of Health are investigating a cluster of three severe invasive Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in persons who recently had liposuction at a cosmetic surgery center, Monarch Med Spa, in Timonium, Maryland.  The procedures occurred in mid-August to mid-September.  All three patients were hospitalized; one subsequently died.

PREVENTING FALLS: HEALTHY TIPS FOR MARYLAND SENIORS

 BALTIMORE, MD (September 18, 2012)— Maryland seniors go to the emergency room for falls more than any other type of injury according to Health Service Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) hospital discharge data, says the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). To highlight this preventable cause of injury, Governor Martin O’Malley has designated September 16-22 Fall Prevention Awareness Week in Maryland.

MARYLAND KISS URGES BACK-TO-SCHOOL CAR-POOL SAFETY

 BALTIMORE (September 17, 2012) – This week is Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week, and with this season’s increase in school and extracurricular activities, Maryland Kids In Safety Seats (KISS) wants to take the opportunity to provide safety tips for car-pool drivers. 

NATIONAL HIV/AIDS AND AGING AWARENESS DAY

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA) joins The AIDS Institute, Older Women Embracing Life (OWEL),  the  Baltimore City Health Department, Baltimore City Senior Centers, and Johns Hopkins AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) in recognizing September 18, 2012 as National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD). This year’s theme is “Aging is a part of life: HIV doesn’t have to be.”

Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council to Hold a Public Meeting on Tanning Regulations

 BALTIMORE (September 14, 2012) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently collected comments on regulations for minors using tanning devices.

Request for Comment on Regulations for Summer Youth Camps

 BALTIMORE (September 13, 2012) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is requesting informal comments from the public on proposed changes to regulations for summer youth camps.  The Maryland Youth Camp Act (Health-General Article, §§14 401—14-411, Annotated Code of Maryland) and Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 10.16.06 establish the regulatory framework for summer youth camps.  The Department is proposing to look at the following questions:

Update: West Nile Virus in Maryland

 BALTIMORE (September 12, 2012) – With just over half of the surveillance season for West Nile virus behind us, 25 cases have been detected in Maryland residents, including two fatalities. The cases have been found in 13 counties; all of the infected individuals have been adults.

FDA Announces Recall of Ricotta Salata Frescolina Brand for Possible Health Risk

 Baltimore, MD (September 11, 2012) -- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and local health departments are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public health officials in several other states to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections.  There have been no deaths, although the three Maryland cases currently identified with this outbreak have been hospitalized. 

Public Comment Requested on Voluntary Industry Performance Specification on Infant Bedding and Accessories

 BALTIMORE (September 7, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is seeking public comment on a voluntary industry performance specification recently adopted for baby infant bedding, including crib bumpers, by ASTM International.

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month

 BALTIMORE (September 6, 2012) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) recognizes September as Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and will be providing education to employees and health care providers about sickle cell disease (SCD), as well as participating in community events. 

DHMH Celebrates National Recovery Month

 BALTIMORE, MD (September 5, 2012) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today kicked off Maryland’s recognition of National Recovery Month at an event at Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville to recognize that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. Recovery Month is a national observance which promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment and recovery for mental and substance use disorders. Recovery Month “celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and recovery support service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all forms is possible”.

FREE HEALTH REFORM FORUMS OFFERED TO MARYLAND BUSINESSES

 Baltimore, MD (September 4, 2012) -  Healthiest Maryland Businesses, in partnership with the MidAtlantic Business Group on Health, is offering a series of free Health Reform/Healthy Business Forums for businesses around the state, with the first one on Friday, September 21, from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM at the Allegany County Health Department.

Governor O’Malley Recognizes Overdose Prevention Awareness Day

 BALTIMORE (August 31, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley proclaimed August 31, 2012, Overdose Prevention Awareness Day in Maryland, acknowledging that, despite a decline in recent years in overdose deaths in the State, Maryland still faces challenges in combating overdose deaths, particularly those resulting from prescription drug abuse.

Governor O’Malley Recognizes Overdose Prevention Awareness Day

 BALTIMORE (August 31, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley proclaimed August 31, 2012, Overdose Prevention Awareness Day in Maryland, acknowledging that, despite a decline in recent years in overdose deaths in the State, Maryland still faces challenges in combating overdose deaths, particularly those resulting from prescription drug abuse.

Maryland to Begin Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease

BALTIMORE (August 29, 2012) – On September 1, 2012, Maryland will begin newborn screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD).  There are many forms of congenital heart disease, but CCHD is any heart defect present at birth that can potentially cause serious illness or death in the first weeks of life if not diagnosed and treated. 

Synthetic Cannabinoids: Illegal and Dangerous

 BALTIMORE (August 28, 2012) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) advises Marylanders that a large number of Synthetic Cannabinoids, known by a variety of names such as “Spice” and “K2,” have been recently added to the federal list of Schedule 1 Controlled Substances. State and local health officials have long expressed concern about these products, which are marijuana-like synthetic compounds linked to potentially severe adverse reactions and abuse.

DHMH Seeks Public Comment on Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations

 BALTIMORE, MD (August 23, 2012) – August is Breastfeeding Month and, in addition to a signed proclamation from Governor Martin O’Malley, the State of Maryland is marking the month by releasing for public comment policy recommendations for birthing hospitals related to breastfeeding education, promotion and support. 

Health officials offer tips to avoid West Nile virus

 Snow Hill, Md. – Health officials of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties advise residents to take measures to protect themselves from West Nile virus in light of increased activity nationwide.

Swine Flu Detected in Humans who had Direct Contact with Pigs

BALTIMORE (August 17, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has identified the influenza virus strain influenza A (H3N2v), in six Queen Anne’s County residents (five children and one adult) who had direct contact with pigs. In addition, the Maryland Department of Agriculture identified influenza A with a similar testing pattern in pigs from four Queen Anne’s County farms with which the sick people had contact. The pig testing is preliminary and will be confirmed by additional testing. H3N2v is the same virus strain that has been found recently in a number of other states.

DHMH Recognizes August as National Immunization Awareness Month

 Baltimore, MD ( August 17, 2012)- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) and health care partners throughout the country in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The national pertussis (also known as whooping cough) epidemic highlights the relevance of immunization awareness.  

West Nile Virus Detected in Maryland Resident and Mosquitoes

 BALTIMORE, MD (August 10, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today announced that an adult in Central Maryland is the State’s first confirmed case of symptomatic West Nile virus (WNV) infection in 2012. West Nile virus was also detected in a pool of mosquitoes collected in Montgomery County by the U.S. Department of Defense. A mosquito pool is a group of mosquitoes collected at one of several trap sites across the State.

DHMH Proposes Criteria for Community-Based Health Clinic Certification

 Baltimore (August 6, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene today released for public comment proposed criteria for the certification of community-based health clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Hepatitis C infected worker arrested in New Hampshire

 Baltimore, MD – July 20, 2012 - The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has been notified that a hepatitis C-infected health care worker, David Matthew Kwiatkowski, who was arrested in New Hampshire yesterday for illegally obtaining controlled substances and potentially infecting at least 30 individuals with the hepatitis C virus at a hospital in New Hampshire, had previously worked in Maryland from 2008-2010. 

Worcester County Health Department sponsors FREE “Life Saving” Program

 Snow Hill, Md. – Get fit, lose weight, and improve your health with a free 16-week program offered Mondays and Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m., beginning Aug. 20 at the Worcester County Health Department, 6040 Public Landing Road in Snow Hill.

New Director of Community Health

 Snow Hill, Md. – Worcester County Health Officer Debbie Goeller is pleased to announce the appointment of Debra Stevens as director of the health department’s Community Health Program.

Worcester County Health Department offers heat safety advice for outdoor activities

Snow Hill, Md.– The Worcester County Health Department urges all residents to limit heat and sun exposure during the excessive
heat warning in effect through Saturday evening.

Residents urged to exercise extreme caution, check on neighbors throughout heat emergency

July 5, 2012 - Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the statewide heat emergency, which is forecast to last through Sunday. Cooling stations will be open at the following locations with extended operating hours Friday, July 6, and Saturday, July 7, to accommodate those seeking relief from the heat.

State Issues Heat Advisory for Upcoming Weekend

Baltimore City, MD -- July 5 2012-As the current weather emergency stretches into its second week, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is releasing a heat advisory covering Friday, July 6 in the Capital, Central, Southern and Western regions of Maryland, Saturday, July 7 for all of Maryland and Sunday, July 8 for the Capital, Central, Eastern and Southern regions. Heat response plans may also be activated in jurisdictions in these regions.

Maryland Board of Physicians Chair Appointed Dr. Andrea Mathias named to leadership

BALTIMORE, MD (July 3, 2012) -  Governor Martin O’Malley has appointed Dr. Andrea Mathias to be the chair of the Maryland Board of Physicians. 

Heat wave claims first victims of the year

 BALTIMORE, MD (July 2, 2012) - The recent heat wave has contributed to the first 2012 heat-related deaths in Maryland, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has announced.  One Montgomery County male adult (between the ages of 18-65), one Wicomico County male senior (65 years or older) and one Baltimore City male senior have died during this current heat wave.  High temperatures are expected to continue this week. 

 
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WCHD News

Baltimore, MD (December 7, 2017) – The 14th Annual Maryland Health Equity Conference, which focuses on needed coordination, collaboration, and available opportunities to address population health and health disparities in Maryland, was held today in Baltimore.

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The Worcester County Health Department is working with the Maryland Department of Health's Division of Outbreak Investigation to investigate an outbreak of gastroenteritis among attendees of a Beer and Oyster Festival held at Fager's Island Restaurant in Ocean City, MD on Saturday, November 4, 2017.  Read more ... Due to inclement weather, the Just Walk Making Strides event scheduled for today is rescheduled for 5-6 p.m. on October 18 at Byrd Park in Snow Hill. For more information, please call 410-632-0056.  Read more ...
Snow Hill, Md. – The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program would like to announce this year’s open enrollment period which begins on November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017 for Qualified Health and/or Dental plans. During this time, certified Navigators are available to assist individuals and families with the application and enrollment process into a private plan through the state marketplace, Maryland Health Connection.  
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Snow Hill, MD- Worcester County Health Department is pleased to announce that the agency received a three-year, federal grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to fund a Rural Health Opioid program in Worcester. 
 
The grant is $250,000 annually and will support Worcester County’s ongoing coordination and response to the local opioid epidemic. The funding will be used to support efforts to reduce heroin/opioid use and overdose deaths; utilize outreach and motivational strategies to encourage and engage individuals into treatment, provide care coordination for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD), implement a public awareness campaign to reduce stigma associated with addiction treatment, and support individuals in recovery.
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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program