Maryland is Nation's Most Improved State in 2014 America's Health Rankings

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 10, 2014) -- The UnitedHealth Foundation today released “America’s Health Rankings 2014,” which found that Maryland had the greatest improvement of any state this year.  Maryland improved eight spots from 24th last year to 16th in 2014.  Key areas of improvement cited in the report include increased immunization rates and reductions in rates of preventable hospitalizations, smoking, and binge drinking.
 
“Over the course of the O’Malley-Brown Administration, we have made better choices to bring low-cost, high quality health coverage to more Marylanders across our State,” said Governor O’Malley.  “Today’s news shows a lot of improvement, but our work is far from finished.  We are focused on strengthening Maryland’s middle class, and helping to lift families out of poverty -- continuing to ensure that more Marylanders have access to quality, affordable health coverage is a key ingredient of that effort.”
 
“This jump in national rankings is another sign of significant public health improvement in Maryland,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  “It reflects efforts in communities and coalitions across the state to support well-being and prevent disease, as well as our strong clinical care system.”
 
The report, which is in its 25th year of production, also found that Maryland is one of the most improved states for health since 1990.  The   report noted that in Maryland:
 
  • Since 1990, children in poverty driven down by 7 percent from 16.4 percent to 15.3 percent of children.
     
  • Since 1990, infant mortality driven down by 43 percent from 11.6 to 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births.
     
  • Since 1990, cardiovascular deaths driven down by 40 percent from 415.8 to 250.7 deaths per 100,000 population.
     
  • Since 1990, violent crime driven down by 38 percent from 768 to 477 offenses per 100,000 population.
     
As part of the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s 16 strategic goals to move Maryland forward, the State is working to reduce preventable hospitalizations by 10 percent by the end of 2015 and to reduce infant mortality in Maryland by 10 percent by 2017.  To date, Maryland has reduced preventable hospitalizations by 11.5 percent per 100,000 people since 2011, exceeding the state’s goal, and has surpassed the goal to decrease Maryland’s infant mortality rate by 10 percent by driving it down by 17.5 percent.
 
In April 2014, the Commonwealth Fund issued a report highlighting the substantial progress Maryland has made over the last five years.  The report noted that Maryland is one of only four states that “stand out for their net improvement across indicators.”  The State improved in fourteen indicators, while only four indicators deteriorated, making Maryland only one of two states to have a +10 differential.  Additionally, Maryland was one of five states that improved on ten or more indicators of health equity, rising from a rank of 30 to a rank of 12.
 
Additionally, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has embraced CRISP, Maryland’s statewide health information exchange (HIE).  CRISP’s Regional Extension Center for Health IT and HIE efforts serve to advance health and wellness of Marylanders by enabling healthcare providers to share clinical data with other providers and hospital systems across the State.  These initiatives, and others, were detailed in an August 2014 report from Business Insider titled, “An Amazing Healthcare Revolution Is Happening In Maryland — And Almost No One's Talking About It.”
 

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WCHD News

As part of Pocomoke City’s 4th Friday on Sept. 27, the Worcester County Health Department will lead a free 1-mile fun walk through the historic downtown district. Registration begins at 5 pm and the walk starts at 5:30 pm.

Click the image below to register for the walk. 

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The Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk. Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants in Ocean City, MD.

Ocean City, MD − Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Worcester County are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention. The 8th annual Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019. As in years past, walkers will gather at Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, with registration beginning at 9am. After opening remarks, the procession will walk to the Inlet, turn and walk to 5th Street, then back to Caroline Street.

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Worcester Health partners with Ocean City Fire Department on “Safe Station” project
Station offers 24/7 access to recovery services

Ocean City, MD- Where would you go if you needed help with addiction right now? The Worcester County Health Department, in partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department, has launched a “Safe Station” in Ocean City at the 15th Street Fire Station for those seeking immediate help getting into recovery. The station is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for any individuals seeking treatment services.

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In the event of a storm or power outage, it is important to know safety information about food storage and operating generators. Follow the links below for tips about food and generator safety.

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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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