First State of Health Care in Howard Huge Success

One of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce’s (HCCC) first events of 2018 was its first State of Health Care in Howard County member luncheon, which was a great opportunity for everyone in the packed ballroom to learn about the health care challenges the county faces, as well as future plans.

The HCCC’s panel of health care industry leaders, including Steve Snelgrove, president of Howard County General Hospital (HCGH); Dr. Maura Rossman, health officer for the Howard County Health Department; Dr. William Saway, internist with Columbia Medical Practice; and Elizabeth Kromm, vice president of population health at HCGH, all of whom answered a variety of questions from moderator Paul Skalny, managing partner of Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny and chair of the HCGH Board of Trustees.
Skalny began the discussion by asking each panelist to describe his or her vision for the future of Howard County’s health care system. Each of the panelists spoke about the need for more collaboration between health care providers at all levels, including primary care physicians, urgent care facilities, the hospital and the Howard County Health Department. All agreed that the only way to achieve the goals of better care at reduced costs is if all parties work together.

Rossman said the good news is that the number of uninsured citizens has gone down recently, which allows them to concentrate on quality of care, rather than focusing on access to care. She also noted that, although the opioid crisis is a problem in Howard County as it is in the rest of the country, the number of overdose deaths from opioids started to trend downward in the second half of 2017.
Rossman also revealed some big news for the community: With special funding from Gov. Larry Hogan, Grassroots Crisis Center soon will begin offering screening and referral to treatment around the clock.

Skalny closed the discussion with a question for panelists about what the business community should know about health care in Howard County. Kromm remarked that business owners are in a unique position to build a culture of health in their workplaces, and also mentioned the Healthiest Maryland Businesses program through the county’s health department that offers Workplace Wellness Specialists who can offer training, screenings and stress relief plans for a business.

Celebrating MLK, Jr., Day

The HCCC staff volunteered for the Howard County Food Bank on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day as part of the Howard County Day of Service.

Chamber staff toured the Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC) and the new, larger Howard County Food Bank, now on Gerwig Lane. They learned all about the services offered and a lot about the food and other household items that are in highest demand for their clients, including diapers, pet food and peanut butter.

HCCC staff volunteered sorting items in the food bank and taking in donations collected at area grocery stores. All told, the HCCC collected and sorted more than 5,200 pounds of food and household items.

Thank you to the Community CAC and the food bank, and to Vaughn Greene Funeral Homes for sponsoring the HCCC team T-shirts for the event.

State of Howard

Join the HCCC for the State of Howard County Address with County Executive Kittleman on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Turf Valley, Ellicott City. For information, call 410-730-4111.