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

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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