A - Z Index |
| E |
| I |
| M |
| Q |
| U |
| Y |
Prior to 2006, low-income adults who didn’t have children were unable to receive any benefits under Medicaid in Maryland. Recognizing that limited coverage of basic services could go a long way to helping these adults stay healthy and avoid major health problems, Maryland Medicaid in July 2006, launched a program to provide coverage for basic health services for lower-income adults who didn’t have children.
Today, nearly 81,000 Marylanders are enrolled in the Primary Adult Care program, which covers primary care doctor visits, bills for emergency room visits, mental health services and substance abuse treatment – all services that can help adults address small health issues before they become big problems. PAC also covers prescription drugs with a small co-pay.
Beginning in 2014, those adults currently only eligible for PAC will be able to receive full Medicaid benefits. This change, part of Maryland’s efforts to implement the federal Affordable Care Act, means more people will be able to receive more health services without having to worry about the cost.
Even better, those adults who are already enrolled in PAC on January 1, 2014, will be automatically enrolled in full Medicaid benefits.
In the meantime, Maryland’s Medicaid program is encouraging those people currently eligible for PAC to apply so they can automatically receive full Medicaid benefits on January 1. You may be eligible for PAC if you: • Are 19 or older,• Have a limited income (up to $1,200/month), and• Are not enrolled in Medicare
If you or someone you know wants to apply for PAC, call 1-800-226-2142, or visit https://mmcp.dhmh.maryland.gov/mpac/SitePages/Home.aspx.
Research shows that about one in eight preschoolers in the United States is obese, and children are five times more likely to be overweight as an adult if they are overweight or obese between the ages of 3 and 5.
But it appears that public health policies in programs in recent years aimed at reducing childhood abusing may be making headway.
A Vital Signs report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that Maryland is among 19 states and U.S. territories showing a small decline from 2008 to 2011 in the likelihood of obesity among its low-income preschoolers. Maryland's rate dropped from 15.7 percent in 2008 to 15.3 percent in 2011.
Determining the causes of the decline can be difficult, but it's likely the result of a variety of factors, from smart choices made by individuals, families and communities, to smart public health policies. Maryland has taken steps to implement policy, systems, and environmental improvements that make healthy choices easier for families. For example, Maryland successfully encouraged all 32 birthing hospitals in the state to adopt Maryland's Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations or become certified as 'Baby-Friendly.' In addition, the state works with child care providers to implement physical activity and nutrition improvements as part of Let’s Move Child Care and participates in the CDC Community Transformation Grant program. But we are not done.
This bit of good news means doesn’t mean we can slow our efforts. Obesity rates are still high, and sustained and consistent work is needed to make a notable difference.
Addressing childhood obesity - which is linked with physical health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, prediabetes, and others, as well as psychological health issues, such as poor self-esteem - is critical to creating healthy communities.
Learn more about Maryland’s efforts to reduce childhood obesity through the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP) and see what you can do to help make a difference in your community!
In the world of public health, there is no shortage of innovative programs led by dedicated people that aim to address issues that affect our health. But when grant funding runs out, what happens to an effort that may be supporting critical public health services? In addition to the challenges associated with improving and protecting health, public health programs must also face the challenge of sustainability.
Now there's a tool that can help public health leaders think about and address sustainability. The tool aims to address “the small set of organizational and contextual factors that build the capacity for maintaining a public health program over time.”
The tool defines eight factors/domains that can contribute to the overall sustainability of a program. They are:
The tool offers a way for different programs to assess their current capacity for sustainability across these domains. The responses to the assessment will show the program’s strengths and weaknesses, and can then guide action planning for the program's future.
The tool is called the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool, and can be found at http://www.sustaintool.org/assess. It was created by researchers at the Center for Public Health Systems Science at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work – Washington University, St. Louis, MO.
This tool is a resource that may be used by state and local public health programs as they think more strategically about sustainability.
This blog post was submitted byVan Don Williams II, intern, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities
 Schell, Sarah F., Douglas A. Luke, Michael W. Schooley, Michael B. Elliott, Stephanie H. Herbers, Nancy B. Mueller, and Alicia C. Bunger. "Public Health Program Capacity for Sustainability: A New Framework." Implementation Science 8.15 (2013): n. pag. 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 26 June 2013.
How to Conduct Facility Tracking Using Google Apps
In the midst of Hurricane Sandy, local health departments across Maryland raced around the clock to ensure that vulnerable, critical care facilities—including dialysis, assisted living, hospice care and nursing homes—were not left without power.
Historically, facility tracking in Maryland has presented a profound logistical challenge at the state level: each power status update needed to be manually collated from dozens of spreadsheets, each emailed in at hourly intervals from reporting local health departments, all against the backdrop of a state emergency.
During Hurricane Sandy, events unfolded differently in Maryland. We used a new facility tracking system that saved personnel time and provided better results. The system was automated and cost the state no additional financial resources to implement. The system would also be easy for any state or locality to adopt.
Instead of manually collecting the status of the thousands of facilities, we established an automated system using the freely available ‘Google Apps’ tools. Using the online spreadsheets enabled by Google, status updates made by local health departments were instantly reported into a 'Master' spreadsheet that contained information collected from all the local health departments.
Moreover, the system automatically identified the most at-risk facilities, pulling them into a separate table for instantaneous analysis.
Master Spreadsheet Automatically Culls At-Risk Facilities
The data, in turn, could be shared across the emergency operations center, allowing for real-time mapping of power statuses throughout the state. As an example, the local health department in Allegany County could enter into its spreadsheet a problem with a nursing home. Within seconds, it would appear on a map and on the tablets of key officials responsible for deploying critical resources at the state emergency operations center.
Are you interested in implementing this system—using free, online tools—in your jurisdiction? We have made templates of all ‘Google Apps’ spreadsheet files—the key components of the facility tracking system—available online.
Here is what to do with them:
First, create a copy of the “Local Tracking Sheet” for each local health department, populate it with information regarding all of the vulnerable facilities overseen in the locality (one row per facility), and share this spreadsheet with the department itself (through the ‘Google Apps’ share function).
Each Local Health Department’s Tracking Sheet Tracks All Overseen Facilities
Sharing Function Enables Dynamic Linking of Facility Spreadsheets
Second, the “Complete_List” tab on the “Master Tracking Sheet” needs to be updated in order to aggregate the information from the local health departments. This can be done using the 'ImportRange' function, which populates the rows with the data from each respective department’s spreadsheet.
ImportRange Function Enables Instant Aggregation of Local Health Department Information
Third, if desired, the master sheet should be populated with queries of interest using the vMerge tool. For instance, to set up a sheet displaying only those counties and facilities without power, the query =VMERGE(QUERY(Complete_List!A2:W100, "select I,J,B,C,D,E,F,G,Q,V,W where A=3")) is used in the template. For more details on how to use the vMerge query tool, see document 4 below (“Spreadsheet creation instructions”).
Customizable Query Allows for Facility Data to Be Selectively Sorted
Fourth, upon state “activation” of facility tracking, each local health department should record, for each overseen critical care facility, power status (on a 1-4 scale), date of update and any associated comments in its “Local Tracking Sheet.” These comments are then updated automatically on the master sheet. The state should make any response comments and record the date/time during which the status was recorded appropriately on the master sheet itself.
Recorded Local and State Comments Allow for Bilateral Communication During Emergency
Fifth, the master sheet should be leveraged to provide a complete snapshot over local facilities, and be integrated with mapping tools using GIS software to generate visual assessments of power outages throughout the state.
Master Spreadsheet Provides Instant Snapshot of Facility Statuses
Complete Integration with GIS Mapping Tools
To ensure maximum utility of the tracking system, the state office should frequently re-update the complete facilities list with proper credentials, addresses and coordinates.
More details, including key templates, are included in the attached files:
1. Local Tracking Sheet Template A -- Provides a sample template file (with ‘dummy’ data) for a local health department’s tracking spreadsheet.
 Example Local Tracking Sheet A.xlsx
2. Local Tracking Sheet Template B -- Provides another sample template file (with ‘dummy’ data) for a local health department’s tracking spreadsheet.
 Example Local Tracking Sheet B.xlsx
3. Master Planning Sheet Template -- Provides a sample template file (with ‘dummy’ data) for central/master tracking spreadsheet.
 Example Master Tracking Sheet.xlsx
4. Spreadsheet Creation Instructions (with vMerge Query Details) -- Contains a step-by-step guide for how the system’s spreadsheets can be constructed from scratch using Google Apps. Also details the use of the vMerge Query function.
 Spreadsheet Creation Instructions.docx
5. Instructions For Use -- Describes how each local tracking spreadsheet might be used during an emergency; provides template of a usage guide to distribute to local health departments.
 Instructions for Use.docx
And, though you may not plan to take a dip, it’s just as important to keep water safety in mind when boating.
For more tips on water safety, visit http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/index.html
Contact the Department |
Privacy Notice |
201 West Preston Street - Baltimore, MD 21201 - (410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464