Maryland Shows Significant Progress in Reducing Infant Mortality, Obesity, Tobacco Use and Other High-Priority Health Measures

Baltimore, MD (February 5, 2015) – The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released a report showing significant improvement  on several priority health measures as part of its ongoing State Health Improvement Process (SHIP).
 
Of the 41 SHIP measures, 28 either met the target goal for 2014 or showed significant improvement toward the goal. Improvement goals were surpassed for infant mortality, which declined by 13 percent in the four-year measurement period, and child and adolescent obesity, which declined by 6 percent. Goals for reducing tobacco use also were surpassed, with adults having an 18 percent decrease in use and youths having a 32 percent decrease in use in three years.
 
“It is heartening to see Maryland’s progress on key health measures,” said DHMH Secretary Van T. Mitchell. “The healthier we are, the better our collective quality of life and the more valuable our contributions to society can be.”
 
The 2014 target goals also were surpassed for teen birth rates, healthy weight in adults, alcohol-related vehicle fatalities, HIV infections, domestic violence, children receiving dental care, adolescent wellness checkups, and deaths from heart disease and cancer.  These improvements contributed to Maryland making the largest jump among all states in the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings (here) released last year. The annual rankings compare states on many of the same health measures used in SHIP. 
 
As part of SHIP, Local Health Improvement Coalitions – which cover all Maryland counties – use these measures to establish priorities for health improvement, to develop strategies and to track progress. These coalitions include hospitals, local health departments, primary care providers and other health professionals, as well as community-based organizations, schools, faith-based organizations and other community groups.   
 
The report is available here. The Office of Population Health Improvement at DHMH, which administers SHIP, will release target goals for 2017 in the coming weeks.

 
 

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WCHD News

Snow Hill, MD – The Worcester County Health Department is requesting mini-grant proposals from community-based organizations, workplaces, churches, or other interested organizations for youth teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention education: Promoting Health Among Teens-Comprehensive education (PHAT-C). To be eligible for up to $2,500 in grant funding, your program must be an organization which serves young people in Worcester County. Funded organizations will be expected to deliver the PHAT-C education program to a minimum of 12-15 Worcester County youth ages 12-19.

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Snow Hill, MD-The Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) requests smoking cessation, education and enforcement proposals for grant funding through Cigarette Restitution Funds by way of the Maryland Department of Health. Community-based organizations, churches, private groups, non-profits, and workplaces are encouraged to apply.

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(July 31, 2019 Snow Hill, MD) – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in the Whaleyville area of Worcester County recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is the first positive test for EEE in Worcester in 2019.

Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, eliminating standing water is critical for the control of mosquito populations. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.

The Worcester and Wicomico County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection with EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses:

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(Snow Hill, MD)- Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the heatwave forecasted to last through Sunday. Heat indexes for the shore are expected to rise above 100 degrees this week and exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and animals, even deadly.

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Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car.

Learn more tips for staying cool and safe during extreme heat by clicking the image below

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program