New Laws Will Strengthen Patient Protections in Maryland

 ANNAPOLIS (May 2, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley today signed three new laws that will provide critical protections for patients in Maryland. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advocated in favor of the new laws, which will allow for greater oversight and protection in a variety of settings.

These new laws will strengthen protections for Maryland patients,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH.

House Bill 1009 authorizes DHMH to adopt regulations to oversee cosmetic surgical facilities, including “medical spa” facilities. The legislation was proposed after three patients contracted severe invasive Group A Streptococcus infections following liposuction procedures at a cosmetic surgery center in Baltimore County in 2012. An investigation found the facility lacked adequate infection control procedures. The new law will allow the Department the authority to license such facilities, investigate complaints and hold facilities accountable. The law takes effect October 1, 2013.

House Bill 986 will require facilities and practitioners who either create or distribute pharmaceuticals created using sterile compounding in Maryland to acquire a permit from the Maryland Board of Pharmacy. The legislation was proposed in the wake of a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroid injections that came from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy. In Maryland, 26 individuals contracted fungal meningitis, and three died, as a result of the infected injections. The law takes effect July 1, 2013.

Senate Bill 1057 requires all health care staffing agencies operating in Maryland to be licensed by the Office of Health Care Quality. Currently, only nursing staffing agencies must be licensed, but agencies that place other health professionals are not required to be licensed. The agencies place health professionals on a temporary basis in hospitals and healthcare facilities around the state. The legislation was introduced after a healthcare worker who was infected with Hepatitis C was arrested in New Hampshire on suspicion of unlawful drug diversion activity that transmitted Hepatitis C to patients. The individual worked in several states, including Maryland. Laboratory testing has now found seven Maryland patients infected with Hepatitis C virus who were found to have virus closely related to infections linked to the case.

The Department conducted a thorough review of the case and released recommendations for strengthening legal and regulatory protections to prevent similar cases in the future. Senate Bill 1057 was a result of one of those recommendations. The new law takes effect October 1. 2013.


 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

Spring is just on the horizon and Worcester Health is encouraging residents to take part in this year's #1BillionStepsChallenge. Our team this year is WorcesterSpringSteps (#273). You can register with the link below through MoveSpring using the code APHA2019. It is completely free to register and participate.

For more information please contact 410-632-0056. Thank you!

(Click the image below to register)

Read more ...

What’s the Bottom Line on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?

  • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.1
  • E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.
  • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.

Click the image below for more information about youth vaping.

Read more ...

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds.

Take Care During Winter Storms:

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

Learn more about snow and extreme cold safety here.

Read more ...

Local Health Improvement Coalitions (LHICs) equip local jurisdictions to determine their public health priorities and address specific public health concerns. The Worcester County Local Health Improvement Coalition seeks a broad membership from the community to assist the local health department and its partners in determining local health priorities and the Community Health Improvement Plan. 

Click the image below for a full schedule of upcoming LHIC meetings:

Read more ...

Salisbury, MD- What do you picture when you think of “heart health?” We asked women across the Lower Eastern Shore to tell their stories about how heart health has affected their families and themselves, as well as the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We are sharing those accounts across social media and screening the videos at the 2019 Go Red event in February.

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program