Health Coverage Kickoff Event Scheduled for November 15, 2014

Snow Hill, Md. – The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program and Tri-County Council will host a Health Coverage Kickoff Event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 15 at the One Stop Job Market in Salisbury.


Open enrollment for Maryland Health Connection, the state’s insurance marketplace, kicks off this month. The November 15 event is an opportunity for the public to learn about open enrollment and browse the new health plans being offered for 2015. A computer lab will be open at the One Stop Job Market to view the new and improved MarylandHealthConnection.gov website and speak with certified staff about open enrollment. Presentations about Maryland Health Connection will be provided at the top of every hour throughout the event.

The event will also feature exhibit booths about local community resources, health screenings, and free snacks.

Attendees will not be able to enroll into health coverage during the event. Enrollment assistance is available by appointment with navigators of the Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program beginning Monday, November 17. Individuals may enroll themselves online beginning Wednesday, November 19. Open enrollment ends February 15.

For those who enrolled last year, they will need to re-apply by December 18 to continue receiving a discount on their health care coverage.

Shore Transit will be offering free bus rides on all routes to and from the event. The One Stop Job Market is located at 31901 Tri-County Way, Salisbury, MD 21804.

The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program is administered through the Worcester County Health Department and serves uninsured and underinsured residents of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. The program provides education and assists with the Maryland Health Connection enrollment process. For more information visit www.lowershorehealth.org or call the program call center at 855-445-5540.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 11:52
Ebola Update
The Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) recognizes that the public is concerned about the current outbreak of Ebola in the West African region and that cases have arisen in the United States. We are working in partnership with Atlantic General Hospital, local health care providers, Worcester County Emergency Management and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to respond in the event there is ever a suspected case of Ebola in Worcester County. 

To date, there has been one death in the United States attributable to the Ebola virus. A small handful of active cases are also being monitored. So far domestic infections are directly related to the first case in Dallas though there has been positive identification of Ebola in a health care worker returning from West Africa. New observation and tracking procedures have been implemented in Maryland to monitor anyone flying into the state from Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia.
The Worcester County Health Department is taking these and other steps in preparing to respond to a case of Ebola in our County by: 
  • Creating a 24/7 Case Investigation and Response Team in order to investigate and monitor any potential Ebola cases. The Response Team will assure that appropriate isolation is in place when needed.
  • Training On-call staff   to assure an appropriate response to any Ebola related calls they may receive. 
  • Accessing local, state, and national resources for support should it be needed.
  • Coordinating with local Fire/EMS and law enforcement staff to assure that our local responders have the appropriate equipment and are trained in its use.
  • Establishing an Incident Command team that is meeting regularly to review and refine our response plans or activities. 
  • Participating in DHMH and CDC sponsored trainings, conference calls, or meetings regarding the Ebola outbreak.
  • Providing information on the WCHD website (www.worcesterhealth.org) as well as the public health information phone line (410-632-4321). This information will be updated regularly as warranted. 
  • Training appropriate staff in proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Preparing quarantine procedures.
There is additional information about Ebola provided by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ( http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/SIPOR/SitePages/ebola.aspx ) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ ) web sites.

Maryland DHMH - Ebola Virus Disease– General Information

What is Ebola virus disease?

Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal, viral disease. For the most current information regarding Ebola and outbreaks caused by Ebola, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/. 

What are the symptoms of Ebola virus disease?

Ebola virus disease symptoms usually include fever. Other symptoms may include headache, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, joint and muscle aches, stomach pain, lack of appetite and bleeding. The symptoms can be similar to other, more common, infections. Symptoms appear 2-21 days after exposure to the virus, but most commonly occur 8-10 days after exposure. 

How is Ebola spread?

Individuals who do not have a fever are not contagious and cannot transmit the disease to another person. The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person with symptoms or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids. Transmission can also occur from directly handling bats, rodents or primates in areas where Ebola occurs. 

Who is at risk for Ebola?

Individuals who have recently been in a country with known Ebola, and who also have:
  • Contact with blood or other body fluids of a patient or dead body known to have or suspected to have Ebola, or
  • Direct handling of bats, rodents or primates.
If someone has symptoms of Ebola virus disease and a possible exposure, that person should see a health care provider. 

What is the treatment for Ebola?

There is no specific treatment for Ebola; treatment is limited to close monitoring and supportive care in a hospital. 

What is the risk of Ebola in Maryland?

Currently, the risk of acquiring Ebola in Maryland is extremely low. If a case is identified, there are established infection control guidelines to prevent transmission. 

What is the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) doing?

DHMH is monitoring the national and global situation and is in frequent communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DHMH is conducting disease surveillance and regularly communicates with and distributes guidance to Maryland hospitals and health care providers. DHMH works with health care providers and local health departments to quickly investigate reports of possible Ebola infections. 

Where can I learn more?

For more Ebola information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ and dhmh.maryland.gov/ebola.
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Toll Free 1-877-4MD-DHMH – TTY/Maryland Relay Service 1-800-735-2258
www.facebook.com/MarylandOPR • www.twitter.com/MarylandOPR • http://preparedness.dhmh.maryland.gov
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 October 2014 08:10
SNOW HILL, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department urges all residents age 6 months and older to get vaccinated for the 2014-2015 seasonal flu.
This year’s vaccine provides protection against three strains of flu virus expected to circulate this season.  All people, including pregnant women and those with medical conditions, are strongly recommended to get a flu vaccine each year.
People age 65 years and older have a choice of two flu vaccines available to them at the Worcester County Health Department. They can choose to receive a regular flu vaccine or a high dose flu vaccine which may result in a stronger immune response against the flu. 
Flu vaccine is available for Worcester county residents at the health department locations in Pocomoke, Snow Hill and Berlin. Community clinics will be held from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the following dates:
·         Wednesdays, October 29, November 5, and November 12 at the Pocomoke Health Center.
·         Thursdays, October 30, November 6, and November 13 at the Berlin Health Center
·         Fridays, October 31, November 7, and November 14 at the Snow Hill Health Department.
Worcester County Health Department will bill Medicare and Medicaid for flu vaccine.  Medicare or Medicaid cards must be presented at the time of service.  For all others, the suggested donation for the flu vaccine is $15. No one will be denied service due to inability to pay.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 14:47
Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program Ramps Up for Open Enrollment Year 2
Snow Hill, Md. – The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program is ramping up outreach efforts in preparation for the second year of open enrollment for Maryland Health Connection, the state’s health insurance marketplace.
The Worcester County Health Department was awarded a grant from the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to implement a program to help educate, determine eligibility and enroll uninsured residents of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties into private health plans or Medicaid.
Open enrollment of the new state system, MarylandHealthConnection.gov, launches in mid-November.
All consumers shopping for health insurance on the exchange for the 2015 calendar year — even those who currently have a qualified health plan through the exchange — should re-enroll between November 15 and December 18 in order to compare plan prices and receive an advanced federal tax subsidy that could significantly lower their costs.
Local, certified staff are scheduling appointments for people who want assistance with the health insurance renewal process. Contact the local call center at 855-445-5540 to ask questions or schedule an appointment for open enrollment.
Throughout October, Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program staff will set up information tables for the public. The schedule of this public outreach is below:
Wednesday, Oct. 1: Riverside Pharmacy in Salisbury, 10 a.m. – noon
Wednesday, Oct. 1: Milford Street Pharmacy in Salisbury, 1 – 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 1: Making Strides for Awareness Fun Walk in Snow Hill, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 1: Princess Anne Elementary School, 4 – 6 p.m. 
Saturday, Oct. 4: AGH/PRMC Health Fair at Ocean Pines Community Center, 8 a.m. – noon
Monday, Oct. 6: Mount Hermon Health Mart in Salisbury, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 6: Princess Anne Library, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 7: McCready Hospital in Crisfield, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 8: Worcester County Health Department, 6040 Public Landing Rd. Snow Hill, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 8: Deal Island Elementary School, 4 – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 11: Downtown Pocomoke Fall Festival, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 11: Collins Temple Church in Snow Hill, 9 – 11 a.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 14: McCready Hospital in Crisfield, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 15: Worcester County Health Department, 6040 Public Landing Rd. Snow Hill, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 17: Third Friday in Salisbury, 5 – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 21: McCready Hospital in Crisfield, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 22: Worcester County Health Department, 6040 Public Landing Rd. Snow Hill, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 23: Salisbury Chamber of Commerce Job Fair at the Centre in Salisbury, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 28: McCready Hospital in Crisfield, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 29: Snow Hill Christian Church Community Day,10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 29: Worcester County Health Department, 6040 Public Landing Rd. Snow Hill, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Organizations interested in scheduling an educational opportunity or presentation may call our main office at 410-632-9230 ext. 1646.
For more information on our program and a continuously updated list of events, please visit us at lowershorehealth.org.  
Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 15:02


Baltimore, MD (October 30, 2014) --    As consumers prepare for Halloween, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Maryland Board of Examiners in Optometry want to issue an alert, especially to teens and young adults, about the dangers of using non-prescription cosmetic contact lenses.


Baltimore, MD (October 29, 2014) – The White House Office charged with leading the country’s fight to reduce drug use is praising the efforts of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to combat substance use and its consequences in Maryland.
BALTIMORE, MD (October 27, 2014) -- Governor O’Malley announced that starting Monday, October 27, Maryland will directly monitor the health of all returning travelers from the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, which are battling a serious Ebola outbreak. This effort will build on extensive outreach and monitoring already underway by the state and local health departments of the state.

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