2012 CalendarJune 29 and every Friday through October, 2:00-6:00 p.m. HCGH Farmer’s Market.  Come and pick out some fresh fruits and veggies from our Farmer’s Market.  Did you know that the products at HCGH are 100% Howard County grown or produced?

June 29, 8:00-10:30 p.m. Columbia Lakefront Stage. Movie night featuring Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two (PG-13). FREE

June 30, 8:00-10 p.m. Columbia Lakefront Stage. Listen to the original blues and sweet ballads of Cathy Ponton King.  FREE

July 2, 8:00-10:30 p.m. Columbia Lakefront Stage. Movie night featuring The Smurfs (PG). FREE

July 3, 8:00-10 p.m. Columbia Lakefront Stage. Come and listen to some of our great local talent at the Teen Open Mic Night. FREE

July 4, 5:00-10 pm.  4th of July Fireworks.  Festival and fireworks at the Columbia Lakefront. Fireworks begin at dusk.

July 7, 1:00- 4 p.m. Annual River-Rock Building in the Patapsco. Teddy Betts, one of the Patapsco River’s dearest friends and good will ambassadors will be remembered through Cairn Building (river rock building) on Saturday July 7, 2012 from 1-4pm. Enjoy spectacular views of the works in progress from the scenic bridge over the Patapsco connecting Howard and Baltimore counties. Amongst the festivity will be hundreds of artists in town, painting Historic Ellicott City’s lovely hillsides, streetscapes, river views and more. Weather permitting! For more details: 410 598-8490. Free!

July 8, 10:00- 3 p.m.  Second Sunday Market.  Visit the Courtyards behind Tonge Row and shop a selection of fresh produce, baked breads, local cheeses and much more. For more details: 410 465-5995.

July 7, 8:00-10 p.m. Columbia Lakefront Stage. Come and listen to the Billy Coulter Band.  American Rock & Roll singer/songwriter Billy Coulter’s distinctive style blurs the line between Roots Rock and Power Pop.

July 8, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.  Columbia Lakefront Stage.  Come and listen to the Retro Rockets- a six member Rock and Roll band playing the music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70s, a unique blend of rock songs, ballads, R&B music.

July 9, 8:-10:30 p.m. Columbia Lakefront Stage. Movie night featuring the Baltimore area public premier of Rob Reiner’s Flipped (PG). Rob Reiner, director of such hits as THE BUCKET LIST, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and THE PRINCESS BRIDE, brings the award-winning young adult book to life. Juli Baker believes in three things: the sanctity of trees, the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski. She has been smitten with Bryce ever since second grade but he thinks she is weird. Then, in eighth grade, Bryce begins to see that Juli’s unusual interests and pride in her family are kind of cool. And Juli starts to think that maybe Bryce’s brilliant blue eyes are as empty as the rest of him seems to be. A great family film about growing up.


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Do you know how big a Big Gulp is?  Test your assumptions to see if you are right!

A 32 ounce glass of Sprite or Coke has about 26 tsps of sugar!

On June 20, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a new policy recognizing that while a number of factors contribute to the obesity epidemic, taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks is one way to fund anti-obesity programs that educate consumers about the consumption of high- calorie beverages. The AMA is responding to a multitude of studies that have shown that drinking high-calorie drinks is strongly associated with obesity and health conditions like type 2 diabetes. The AMA says, “Sugar-sweetened beverages comprise nearly half of Americans’ added sugar intake, and reducing consumption of these beverages is a simple way to reduce intake of added sugar and empty calories.”

One recent study in the American Heart Association’s Journal Hypertension, shows that hospital visits for children with high blood pressure doubled between 1996 and 2006! The journal Pediatrics reports that diabetes is on the rise, as well. Both diabetes and pre-diabetes have skyrocketed from nine percent of all adolescents in 2000 to 23 percent in 2008.

Dr. David Monroe, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and the Director of Children’s Care Center at Howard County General Hospital, wrote a recent post for the Well & Wise blog about the growing obesity statistics for children and notes that one in five children are now obese. Howard County pediatrician Wendell McKay notes that young athletes are not immune from bad choices and cautions us about the use of sports drinks. He encourages athletes to watch their intake and encourages non-athletes to choose water, instead.

This weekend, The New York Times also weighed in on this issue and on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on supersized soft drinks in New York City. Opponents of the ban have insisted that consumers can make the best decisions for themselves. McDonald’s tweeted “We trust our customers to make the choices that are best for them.”  Pierre Chandon, a visiting Harvard Business School scholar, conducted research which challenges the assumption that the consumer knows what’s best.  Study results indicated that people can’t estimate portion sizes and consumption accurately. Even dieticians had difficulty.  You can test yourself to see if your own assumptions are dependable by taking the Well Quiz about supersized drinks.  Let us know how you did!

 

Mary Catherine Cochran is a big believer in communications and the critical role that it plays in community building.  (Although she is still adjusting to doing it in 140 characters or less!) When she isn’t busy truncating the message, she works as a Senior Communications Project Manager at Howard County General Hospital: Johns Hopkins Medicine where, among other things, she manages and writes for the Well & Wise blog.

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by Barbara Cornell

Right now my tomato plants are at different stages.  The ones we planted last are like the kid sister who just can’t grow fast enough to keep up with the big kids.  The early ones are already sporting cute little green marbles that will one day provide a deluge of wonderful, red, juicy tomatoes.  I’m bracing myself because I remember years past when I just wanted them to slow down!  It takes a good deal of time and imagination to deal with the flood of summer tomatoes. This year we have planted mostly heirloom tomatoes, so we will have a delightfully wide variety to enjoy.

Probably the best book I have found on the subject is The Heirloom Tomato from Garden to Table: Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World’s Most Beautiful Fruit by Amy Goldman, 2008.  The photographer, Victor Schrager, has a well-earned mention on the title page.  Well, I don’t know about beautiful–heirloom tomatoes run the gamut from museum-collection perfect to defiantly and proudly ugly.  The photographs are of 200 varieties Goldman has grown in her garden over the last 5 years, each reverently profiled and lovingly photographed.  If I need ideas to use up my own heirlooms, I’ll be certain to consult the 55 recipes that complete the book.

What Goldman and Schrager do for tomatoes in 2008, they already did for squashes in 2004.  The Compleat Squash: A Passionate Grower’s Guide to Pumpkins, Squashes, and Gourds is another masterpiece.  A feast for the eyes, it will make you want to head for the Farmers’ Market.

Another book I remember using last year is still worth mentioning–The Heirloom Tomato Cookbook by Mimi Leubbermann, 2006.  This book covers the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center’s Heirloom Tomato Festival in Santa Rosa, California.  Along with advice on pairing wines with your tomatoes, you will find recipes for “roasted cherry tomato and cinnamon-basil ice cream” and “tomato sfomatino [sic]” (sort of an Italian tomato aspic!).  Pair your tomatoes with melons and honey and make “black plum tomato marmalade.”  The sky is the limit!

Here are a few more books you may enjoy.  You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the occasional meatless meal.  Peas and Thank You by Sarah Matheny, 2011, will give you a repertoire of “Simple meatless meals the whole family will love.”  You don’t even have to cook a thing to enjoy this book.  Matheny embellishes each recipe with stories and photos that will make you love her two little girls.  Her recipes are as photogenic as her girls, and I’ve marked a few must-trys for myself.

Another is Love Soup by Anna Thomas with “160 all-new vegetarian recipes from the author of ‘The vegetarian epicure’.”  True to the title, the book is full of recipes for soups—fall and winter soups, spring and summer soups, and cold soups.  But this book is well rounded out with recipes for breads, spreads and snacks, salads, and “a few easy sweets.”  Thomas also offers a suggested menu and menu notes at the head of each chapter—great ideas for pairing her soups with her breads and salads.  For the vegan, she annotates with a V in the table of contents any recipe that is vegan-friendly.

I hope you’ll come to the Glenwood Branch to join me from 10 to 11:30, Saturday July 14 when the Farmers’ Market Chef will discuss “Tomatoes and squash, exotic and heirloom — how to handle the excess.” There will be recipes and samples from the Farmers’ Market!

Barbara Cornell joined the Howard County Library System in 1993 as Assistant Branch Manager at the new Elkridge Branch.

Since 2000 she has enjoyed a shorter commute to the Glenwood Branch.

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HCGH – Back to the Future!

Howard County Economic Development Authority Names Howard County General Hospital: Johns Hopkins Medicine, Technology Company of the Year

HCGH Nursing Staff

HCGH staff working at a Computer on Wheels (COW)

Columbia, Md. – Howard County General Hospital (HCGH), built nearly 40 years ago on the old Bassler farm, has changed a great deal, but “cows” still roam the hallways.  Not the bovine variety, but the “Computers on Wheels” variety. Nearly 200 portable COWs are in use by nurses and clinicians to provide and document patient care. Hospital staff has a little fun with these high tech machines. COWs, while not in use, are “grazing” and COWS waiting for repair are labeled “put out to pasture.”

COWs are just one of many technological advances at HCGH that led the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) to name the hospital Technology Company of the Year.

HCEDA listed some other recent advances including:

  • Mobilab – A system that allows the hospital to scan and print labels for lab orders at the bedside, reducing errors to near zero.
  • A Provider Order Management (POM) system which allows physicians to place orders electronically. (No more illegible handwritten notes by doctors!)
  • An Electronic Medication Administration Records (eMAR) system, a bedside medication tracker ensuring the 4 rights – right patient, right mediation, right dose at the right time.
Jim Young

Jim Young, HCGH Chief Financial Officer

Despite the recent technology boom, the hospital isn’t just quietly chewing its cud. HCGH continues its focus on patient care and safety and the hospital’s next frontier is Epic, the most prominent electronic medical record system for healthcare providers on the market today. The hospital is making a significant financial investment to completely convert its clinical systems to Epic – HCGH is one of the first hospitals in the Johns Hopkins Medicine system to implement the technology, expected to go-live in June 2013.

But, it’s not just about the technology – it’s really about the people, says Jim Young (left), Chief Financial Officer at HCGH.  “People are our most important resource. Even as we implement and adopt IT solutions, it is the people at Howard County General Hospital that I like most about my job.  You could have the greatest technology solutions in the world, but if you don’t have good people then the technology is nearly worthless.”


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2012 CalendarJune 22, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Traveling Bands presents Nayas for an evening of Latin Ska, and Reggae music.  Howard County Parks are the place to go this summer for concerts!  Come with family and/or friends and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series in the Park. This concert is at the East Columbia Library Park at 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

June 25, 10:15-10:45 a.m. Just For Me. 
A class at the Savage Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. No registration required.

June 25, 7:00 p.m. Forever Healthy. Learn how to treat yourself to a healthy lifestyle one step and one day at a time at the Miller Branch. Presented by Liz McNeece, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Liz McNeece is also a Personal Trainer and Spinning Instructor. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950

June 25, 7:0-8:30 p.m. Dry Eye and Ocular Surface DiseaseWilmer Institute experts discuss the causes of dry eyes and the care and treatment of conditions affecting the ocular surface.  Presented by Dr. Mahsa Salehi.  Admission is free but registration is requested.

June 26, 7:00 p.m. Nerd Camp. Author Elissa Brent Weissman invites you to Nerd Camp at the Central Branch. There’s plenty of physical as well as mental exercise; teams compete in an obstacle course and games galore. Books available for purchase and signing. Ages 8-12; 45 min. A Meet the Author event. Register online or by calling 410.313.7880.

June 27, 10:15 & 11:30 a.m. Safety First
Have a safe summer with a little help from the East Columbia Branch! Learn to protect yourself and stay safe for a happy summer vacation. Ages 8-10; 60 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 30 minutes before program.

June 27,10:15 & 11:15 a.m. Just For Me. Classes at the Elkridge Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. No registration required.

June 27, 4:30 & 7 p.m. Enchanted Gardeners
Discover the Enchanted Garden’s delights at the Miller Branch. Ages 5-8; 45 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 30 minutes before program.

June 27, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Sunset Serenades presents The Columbia Orchestra- an evening of Broadway, Film and Classical music. Come to Centennial Park with a picnic dinner, blanket and/or lawn chair and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series. Centennial Park South, entrance at 10000 Route 108, Ellicott City.

June 28, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Traveling Bands presents the U.S. Navy County Current for an evening of Country music at Western Regional Park, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville. Howard County Parks are the place to go this summer for concerts!  Come with family and/or friends and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series in the Park.

June 28, 6:00 p.m. Get Fit With The Boot Camp Girl. Stephanie Dignan runs you through your paces in the beautiful Western Regional Park. Meet at Glenwood Branch first. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

June 29, 7:00 p.m. Night Creatures Lock-in. Part of being well or wise is being prepared in the face of any event. You must master the art of survival; and if you happen to have fun in the process, all the better. Zombies and vampires – oh, my! Play games, creep-ify yourself with face paint, and prepare to survive a zombie apocalypse. Refreshments served. Permission slip required. (Click here to download.)  Register by calling 410.313.5088.


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Congratulations–as of yesterday, it is officially summer.  Just about everyone still thrills at the idea of summer, whether it’s kids truly enjoying the perks of more free time and no homework, or adults who still, through programming or nostalgia or both, think of summer as a time of fun and freedom. But as we make our vacation plans or spend time by the pool or daydream out the office window, we must remember that summer is a time of its own unique dangers, for example the sun, fireworks (check back on July 2 for more on that), and even our food.

“The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.”  According to MedlinePlus, the common contaminants that lead to foodborne illness or food poisoning are bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Almost everyone has heard a food horror story or about the amount of “acceptable filth” allowed in food.  But summer seems to be the time of year that foodborne disease runs rampant.

The FDA’s Food Inspection Service verifies that foodborne illnesses do increase during the summer. One reason is bacteria are present in soil, air, water, and in the bodies of people and animals, and these microorganisms grow faster in the warm summer months. Most foodborne bacteria grow fastest between 90 to 110 ーF. Bacteria also need moisture to flourish, and summer weather is often humid, as any Marylander will arrest.

The Food Inspection Service also indicates that food poisoning is on the rise in summer because so are outside activities. 溺ore

Fortunately, we don’t get sick too frequently from contaminated food because most of us have a healthy immune system that protects us not only from harmful bacteria in and on food, but from other harmful organisms in the environment. But food poisoning is no fun and can even be deadly (remember those lovely factoids from the CDC back in paragraph 2?). So, it is better to be safe than sorry; the Food Inspection Service offers these tips:

Clean! Wash Hands and Surfaces Often. 
Unwashed hands are a prime cause of foodborne illness. Wash your hands with warm, soapy water before handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets. When eating away from home, find out if there’s a source of potable (safe drinking) water. If not, bring water for preparation and cleaning. Or pack clean, wet, disposable washcloths or moist towelettes and paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces.

Don’t Cross-Contaminate.
 Cross-contamination during preparation, grilling, and serving food is a prime cause of foodborne illness. When packing the cooler chest for an outing, wrap raw meats securely; avoid raw meat juices from coming in contact with ready-to-eat food. Wash plates, utensils, and cutting boards that held the raw meat or poultry before using again for cooked food.

Cook to Safe Temperatures.
 Food safety experts agree that food is safely cooked when it is heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Take your food thermometer along. Meat and poultry cooked on a grill often browns very fast on the outside, so be sure that meats are cooked thoroughly. Check them with a food thermometer. Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F, all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F, and all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures. Cook meat and poultry completely at the picnic site. Partial cooking of food ahead of time allows bacteria to survive and multiply to the point that subsequent cooking cannot destroy them.

Refrigerate Promptly. 
Holding food at an unsafe temperature is a prime cause of foodborne illness. Keep cold food cold! Cold refrigerated perishable food like luncheon meats, cooked meats, chicken, and potato or pasta salads should be kept in an insulated cooler packed with several inches of ice, ice packs, or containers of frozen water. Consider packing canned beverages in one cooler and perishable food in another cooler because the beverage cooler will probably be opened frequently. Keep the cooler in the coolest part of the car, and place in the shade or shelter, out of the sun, whenever possible. Preserve the cold temperature of the cooler by replenishing the ice as soon as it starts melting. If a cooler chest is not an option, consider taking fruits, vegetables, hard cheeses, canned or dried meats, dried cereal, bread, peanut butter, crackers, and a bottle of refreshing beverage.

Take-out food: If you don’t plan to eat take-out food within 2 hours of purchase, plan ahead and chill the food in your refrigerator before packing for your outing.

Leftovers?
 Food left out of refrigeration for more than 2 hours may not be safe to eat. Above 90 °F, food should not be left out over 1 hour. Play it safe; put leftover perishables back on ice once you finish eating so they do not spoil or become unsafe to eat.

If you have any doubts, throw it out.

If you have any other concerns about foodborne illness, remember, knowledge is power.  Here are a few more resources that might be useful to keep your family safe from food poisoning during these summer months:

Food-Borne Diseases by Arthur Gillard
Food Poisoning and Foodborne Diseases by Elaine Landau
Food-borne Illness by Andrea C. Nakaya
Nutrition and Food Safety: A Guide to Nutrition by Terry L. Smith

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Summer Fun at the Pool!

I remember growing up and counting down the days until the neighborhood swimming pool would open for the summer. My favorite part was getting up the nerve to jump off the high dive. Okay, it really wasn’t my favorite part, but my brother dared me to do it. My least favorite part was when the whistle blew for adult swim. But when the whistle blew again, it was time to dive back into the water and continue playing Marco Polo with my friends.

Whether you’re playing with your friends, or training to be the next Michael Phelps, swimming is a great exercise that is fun, healthy and easy on the joints. It’s a low-impact, total body exercise that conditions the body, improves flexibility and strengthens the heart. Swimming also helps with weight control and it’s an activity that can continue for a lifetime!

But it’s not all about exercise. Neighborhood pools are also a great place for families and friends. To kick off this summer season and take a break from the heat, come to CA’s annual Kids Day on Saturday, June 23, from noon to 3 p.m. at Hopewell Mini-Water Park. All are invited to an afternoon of family fun, including a live disc jockey, face painters, a balloon sculptor, a moon bounce, games, raffles, arts and crafts and more. New activities this year will include a penny dive and a Zumba® Atomic demo. The Mini-WaterPark features a giant 18-foot-high water slide; a unique splash pad with dumping buckets, squirting features and interactive spray equipment; a wading pool; and an eight-lane swimming pool with diving board. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. If you want to connect and learn more about CA pool events, you can like the CA Aquatics Facebook page or follow @Columbia_Pools on Twitter.

 

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Dying of Loneliness

The Old Man – Rembrandt

After the age of 60 there are so many things in life that conspire to make you lonely. The death of a spouse or old friend, separation from your children as they move on to have families of their own, the loss of a home or a long-time community.  When I was in college in the 80’s, I worked for a semester at a small nursing home in Hyattsville.  The residents were well cared for and the nursing staff was kind, but even so, the loneliness was palpable.  It was the woman who, every week, waited patiently on the front porch dressed impeccably in her Sunday-go-to-Meeting clothes- her hat perched smartly on her head, her white gloves neatly folded over her straw pocketbook. Waiting, waiting, waiting for the family that never came. And it was the gentleman who had survived his eight brothers and three sisters and missed the fellowship of swapping tall stories about the good old days of favorite fishing holes and barn dances in rural Maryland.  Every soul in that old house ached together while still alone. I always thought that they were dying of loneliness, and now research shows that I may have been right.

A study just released in the Archives of Internal Medicine this week examined the relationship between loneliness, functional decline and death in adults over 60 years of age in the United States and found that not only is loneliness a common source of distress, suffering and impaired quality of life in older persons, it is a predictor of functional decline and even death.

The study, part of the national Health and Retirement Study, followed 1,604 participants with a baseline assessment in 2002 and follow up assessments every two years until 2008.   Subjects were asked three questions: Do you feel left out? Do you feel isolated? Do you lack companionship?   Participants who answered “hardly ever” to all three questions were rated as not lonely, but participants who answered “some of the time” or “often” to any of the three questions were categorized as lonely. The study then tracked their time of death and functional decline over the six year period, measuring decline in multiple ways, including difficulty with activities of daily living, and reduced mobility.

The study indicates that people over the age of 60 who felt lonely had a 45 percent higher risk of death than those categorized as not lonely.  The lonely people also were more likely to face functional decline including limited mobility and greater difficulty in performing basic tasks like grooming and housekeeping.  The study concluded that loneliness is an important contributor to human suffering- especially in elderly persons.

The other day, my fiercely independent mother told me that three separate people had offered to help her load her groceries into the car. She joked that she must’ve looked especially bad, and I wondered if it was due to the cheery green choose civility reminders. Joking aside, how wonderful it was for those strangers to reach out in kindness! Perhaps it is through connections- even as small as those- that we develop the cure for loneliness.

October 11, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Depression Screening In recognition of National Depression Screening Day, Howard County General Hospital offers a free, confidential screening for depression. The two-hour event includes lecture, video, self-assessment, and an individual evaluation with a mental health practitioner.
 

Mary Catherine Cochran is a Senior Communications Project Manager at Howard County General Hospital: Johns Hopkins Medicine where, among other things, she manages and writes for the Well & Wise blog.

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It’s summer–your kids are free! But free to what? On nice days, they should be out enjoying the weather, running and playing.  But let’s face it, Maryland’s weather is often unpredictable and sometimes unforgiving. You want them safe, out of trouble, and happy. Perhaps they can keep their brains sharp with reading. Don’t forget to get them signed up for the Library’s Summer Reading Club; what better incentive to read than a game with prizes?! And if the reading encourages some healthy lifestyle choices, all the better! Here are a few new titles at HCLS you may want get them to check out:

Food and Energy: Striking a Health Balance
by Kristin Petrie, a fun and positive book for school-aged children looking at energy balance, the Food Pyramid, and smart food, among pother health topics.

Healthy Eating by Megan Borgert-Spaniol, a great introduction to healthy eating for Kindergartners-third graders, lots of helpful pictures.

Healthy Food by A. R, Schaefer,  nutrition made simple and clear for your early elementary school child.

Healthy Habits by Rebecca Weber, leading your young one through a day of health, nutrition, and hygiene, also available in Spanish.

Healthy Snacks, Healthy You! by Sally Lee, simple text and illustrations, as well as examples, help kids make the right decisions for snacks with the nutrients they need.

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A caring touch, a warm smile, words of encouragement. These are the things that can make a real difference to a patient.  Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine is looking for volunteers to provide multi-denominational spiritual care for patients. The hospital’s Pastoral Care Department is offering a 15-week training program, which will be held on Thursday evenings beginning September 20. Following training, volunteers would need to commit to two hours a week for at least one year. If you’d like to learn more about this program, call Chaplain Jack Dunlavey at 410-740-7898. The registration deadline is Aug. 31.

Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine is a not-for-profit health care provider with 249 licensed beds located in Columbia, Maryland. A comprehensive, acute-care medical center, Howard County General offers a full range of services, from neonatal care and oncology to outpatient treatment and critical care.

The hospital has a professional staff of nearly 900 physicians and allied health professionals, representing more than 80 specialties and subspecialties; a workforce of more than 1,700 individuals and nearly 500 volunteers.


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2012 CalendarJune 15-30Columbia Festival of the Arts. An annual celebration of the arts in a broad spectrum of art forms and cultures, encouraging interaction among artists and audiences. Free opening weekend at Columbia Lakefront.

June 16, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. WomenFest. Howard County’s Department of Citizen Services, Office on Aging is pleased to present the 4th annual WomenFest, a wellness event for women.  WomenFest is an interactive day that focuses on health and wellness and is designed to inspire women to live balanced, healthier and fuller lives. This event will feature health screenings, demonstrations, workshops, seminars and more.  Admission is free.  Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 Rt. 97, Cooksville.  For more information contact the Office on Aging at 410 313-6410.

June 20, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. Sunset Serenades 80’s Night!  Come to Centennial Park with a picnic dinner, blanket and/or lawn chair and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for their annual summer concert series.  Join us for the season kick-off with The Reflex at Centennial Park South, 10000 Route 108, Ellicott City.

June 22, 7-8:30 p.m. Traveling Bands presents Nayas for an evening of Latin Ska, and Reggae music.  Howard County Parks are the place to go this summer for concerts!  Come with family and/or friends and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series in the Park. This concert is at the East Columbia Library Park at 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

June 25, 7:0-8:30 p.m. Dry Eye and Ocular Surface DiseaseWilmer Institute experts discuss the causes of dry eyes and the care and treatment of conditions affecting the ocular surface.  Presented by Dr. Mahsa Salehi.  Admission is free but registration is requested.

June 27, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. Sunset Serenades presents The Columbia Orchestra- an evening of Broadway, Film and Classical music. Come to Centennial Park with a picnic dinner, blanket and/or lawn chair and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series. Centennial Park South, entrance at 10000 Route 108, Ellicott City.

June 28, 7-8:30 p.m. Traveling Bands presents the U.S. Navy County Current for an evening of Country music at Western Regional Park, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville. Howard County Parks are the place to go this summer for concerts!  Come with family and/or friends and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series in the Park


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by Wendy Camassar

Even though we’ve been enjoying the warm weather and sunshine lately, I thought it would be a good time to remind people about the benefits of sunless tanning.  I think we could all use a David Letterman’s “Top Ten” reasons not-to-bake-in-the-sun-all-day/use-a-self-tanner list when tempted to be out in the sun for a long time.  Try using this list the next time you feel the urge to overexpose your skin to the sun’s harmful rays (and for more information, check out this web site):

10. “Too much sun may permanently damage my eyes.”

9.  “With a self tanner, I can avoid mosquito bites, sunstroke, sandy bottom, potentially unsanitary tanning beds, and having to wear a swimsuit in front of others!”

8.   “Wow, I could actually get sick from too much sun exposure. It can weaken my immune system.”

7.   “Sagging, wrinkled, spotty skin twenty years from now? Not a good look for me!”

6. “Ooh, using a sunless tanner will instantly conceal my ugly cellulite!”

5. “I look and feel so much better after I apply a self tanner.  And I didn’t have to suffer through sunburn first before looking tan!”

4.. “The best part, no nasty peeling!”

3.  “Wow, I had no idea how easy it is to apply a self tanner.  I just followed the simple instructions after exfoliating my skin, and viola–I now have a great looking tan!  Plus, the self tanner wasn’t expensive.”

2. “There’s the whole skin cancer thing-which could be deadly.”

1. “I’ll never have to look like this guy leaving the pool/beach/tanning booth:”

Photo by: Erik J Gustafson

Wendy Camassar is an Instruction and Research Specialist at the Central Branch of the Howard County Library System.  Prior to joining HCLS, she worked as a freelance makeup artist for several years.  She enjoys hiking with her family, exercising, reading, and organic foods and skin care products.

 

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Columbia Maryland Lakefront

Lakefront, Columbia

As a stay-at-home mom for years, I try to find interesting things for my children to see and do around the area during the summer vacation. While there certainly is no shortage of activities for kids, I like to keep an eye out for free events because I am not bringing in a second income.

One of the activities I knew my youngest son would especially enjoy is the Lakefront Lunchtime Concert Series sponsored by the Columbia Association (CA). There are performances every Wednesday in May and June, from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront (Lake Kittamaqundi).

My youngest son is a first-grader and has been learning in school about jazz and the many jazz instruments. Plus, he’s recently taken a fondness to more adult-like music. When I mentioned going to the concert at the lake, he got excited. He asked, “Is there going to be a double bass there?” I said, “I don’t know. Let’s check out the band.” And we did. He was then running all around the room in excitement upon seeing that yes, indeed, this band had a double bass player. Now we could go see a live double bass being played — something he’s never seen in person. Ah, a learning moment for him we could share together.

We also live with my mother-in-law, and I’m always trying to find activities that are of interest to her, especially activities she can enjoy doing with her grandkids. And who doesn’t love jazz, outdoors, on the lake, on a late spring afternoon?

Basically, these concerts are good for everyone: an outdoor lunch break for those working nearby, a place for the older set to meet up and even something the young kids can enjoy. Even if the kids aren’t crazy about music, they’ll be crazy about hanging out on the boardwalk looking at the fish jump, going up and down the fun spiral stairs and chasing after any brave ducks and geese.

Columbia Lakefront Family

Columbia Lakefront

While we were at the concert, I ran into an informal mom’s group. This group of friends started coming to the lakefront concert series as well as CA’s movie nights (part of the Lakefront Summer Festival). After a bit, friends of friends and family of friends started informally gathering, too. Each week the blend of people might be different, but the group grows and shifts, and new friendships keep forming of mostly moms with young kids. What a great way to meet new people. I think I know where I’m sitting next week!

And it’s free. Pack a lunch or buy lunch at one of the several restaurants along the boardwalk and enjoy a lovely spring afternoon outdoors listening to live music.

 

 

 

Melissa Sinclair works in the Communications & Engagement Division at the Columbia Association (CA). Melissa recently moved to Columbia with her three-generation family. She has lived in more than a dozen cities and is looking forward to making Columbia, Md., her permanent home! Over the past year she has worked on losing weight, getting fit and doing volunteer work; she is now looking forward to working for CA after staying home with her family for the last several years. Melissa has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in educational administration.

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Lightning strike over Harris Creek

Growing up in once-rural Howard County was a different experience then it is today. Summer thunderstorms came in fast and furious and often knocked out our electricity for hours. We lived on the top of a hill and though our old farmhouse had lightning rods attached to the metal roof, several of the taller trees took hits over the years. In one memorable year, the Fifty-Scatter Tree that served as home base was renamed the Lightning Tree.

Thunderstorms would often roll in at the end of a long hot day and we learned to watch the clouds to gauge the danger. If the clouds began piling up and the skies turned a menacing gray we all knew what to do. Fill the tubs and the sinks in case we lost power- and thus water.  Make sure the candles and flashlights were at the ready.  Close the windows on the side of the house where the rain would enter. Stay inside and away from the windows and if you were caught outside- stay away from tall trees, and water and make yourself small. But, as is often the case- “knowing” and “doing” are two separate things.

I was about ten years old one particular late-afternoon when a storm rolled in. My friend, Melissa and I had been walking through a neighbor’s field on our way back to my house when we saw, in the distance, the first lightning strike crackle through the summer heat. We counted our slow Mississippis and we reached three before we heard the thunder rolling towards us across the meadow. The storm was still three miles away, or so we figured.*  Time enough to make a dash for the safety of the house. (We were wearing our Jack Purcell sneakers-  a near guarantee that we would be speedy enough to make it).  As the first raindrops fell, we tore across the field and ran past the pond towards the wooden ladder that rose up and over the barbed-wire fence.  The rain now came in sheets and I pushed my friend ahead of me and began to scramble up after her.  Suddenly every hair on my body stood on end and I could smell electricity in the air.  An explosion of sound and light knocked me backwards off the ladder and I lay momentarily stunned and deafened.  Fearing for my friend on the other side of the honeysuckle-covered fence, I stumbled up and began to climb the ladder again.  As I reached the top, I saw Melissa, wide-eyed and in mid-scream, coming back over the ladder to check on me.  We couldn’t hear to communicate but instinctively we ran low to the ground, away from the pond and the tallest trees to the house that stood only 50 yards away.  To this day, I believe that we avoided the direct strike and instead only felt the repercussions of a strike to the pond behind us.

We were lucky. According to the National Weather Service, over the last 30 years the U.S. has averaged 500-600 people hit by lightning each year.  Of those,  about 10 percent of people struck by lightning, are killed.

Fast forward 40 years and you will see how some things have changed and some things remain the same. Howard County children are more likely to experience thunderstorms on the softball diamonds, and soccer fields of our local parks than in sheep pastures and farm fields, but  “knowing” and “doing” are still two separate things. We have lightning detectors on most public fields that flash and alarm to alert players and parents when it is time to take cover. And most officials and leagues have policies in place that require everyone to shelter in cars until an all-clear is sounded. Unfortunately, policies are unenforced and I often see coaches and kids under picnic shelters or pop-up canopies, which offer no shelter and are more likely to attract lightning.

In honor of The National Weather Service Lightning Safety Week, which begins on June 24, I encourage you to print out this comprehensive safety brochure, review it with your children and consider sharing it with their coaches and camp directors. As my daughter’s former softball coach and former Airborne Ranger Vinny Garza used to say, “Stay alert, stay alive.”

 

*Things I know now that I didn’t know then is that If thunder can be heard at all, then there is a risk of lightning. The Flash to Boom (F-B) ratio is a two-step calculation. The second step- after counting seconds is to divide by 5 to determine the distance in miles-  our storm wasn’t three miles away; it was right on top of us!

 

Mary Catherine Cochran is a big believer in communications and the critical role that it plays in community building.  (Although she is still adjusting to doing it in 140 characters or less!) When she isn’t busy truncating the message, she works as a Senior Communications Project Manager at Howard County General Hospital: Johns Hopkins Medicine where, among other things, she manages and writes for the Well & Wise blog.

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It’s probably not a coincidence that National Safety Month, a time dedicated to educating the public about causes of preventable injuries and deaths, is June–the month most kids across the United States are getting out of school summer break. Summer seems to be a time when we all let our hair, as well as our guard, down just a little. This year, however, the National Safety Council (NSC) is breaking National Safety Month up a bit, week by week, and focusing on the professional environment a bit more. Last week their focus was Employee Wellness; this week the focus is Ergonomics.

For those not in the know, here’s a little help from our friends at About.com: Ergonomics derives from two Greek words: ergon, meaning work, and nomoi, meaning natural laws, to create a word that means the science of work and a person’s relationship to that work.”

The International Ergonomics Association elaborates: Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of the interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theoretical principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well being and overall system.  Practitioners of ergonomics, ergonomists, contribute to the planning, design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, organizations, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people.

So just why does the NSC want us to “work ergonomically”? Well, according to OSHA:
Common examples of ergonomic risk factors are found in jobs requiring repetitive, forceful, or prolonged exertions of the hands [like at a keyboard]; frequent or heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying of heavy objects; and prolonged awkward postures. Vibration and cold may add risk to these work conditions. Jobs or working conditions presenting multiple risk factors will have a higher probability of causing a musculoskeletal problem. The level of risk depends on the intensity, frequency, and duration of the exposure to these conditions. Environmental work conditions that affect risk include intensity, frequency and duration of activities.
If this sounds like anything you do at your job, raise your hand…if you still can. Among common injuries caused or exacerbated by poor ergonomic design are tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, strains & sprains, trigger finger, tennis elbow, ganglion cysts, and, your favorite and mine, chronic back pain. So what’s a poor, aching body to do?

Well, there are lots of books and resources on the specific medical conditions, but there are also some on ergonomics and methods to help prevent the conditions in the first place.  There’s everything from the International Occupational Safety and Health Catalog and The Monthly Labor Review Online to Yoga Therapies: 45 Sequences to  Relieve Stress, Depression, Repetitive Strain,Sports Injuries and More and Healthy Employees, Healthy Business: Easy, Affordable Ways to Promote Workplace Wellness, and even Ergonomics: Making Products and Places that Fit People for those of you who really want to get into the details.

There are also helpful apps: ErgoMinder, Ergo Timer, Posture Coach, and StretchPro, to name a few. NSC is also offering a Webinar, Mastering the Tools of the Ergonomics Trade 
June 13, 2012, 11:30am-12:30pm (free to NSC members, $119 for non-members), and links to helpful office stretches from the Mayo Clinic. Besides finding ways to prevent ergonomic conditions, NSC suggests ergonomic conditions are best dealt with when they are caught early. So, know the common signs: pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, tenderness, clicking, and loss of grip strength. And, if you are experiencing any of them, make sure to see your physician as soon as possible.
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2012 CalendarJune 9, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. HCLS 5K and Family Fun Run. Lace up your sneakers and bring your family, friends, and neighbors to the 5K and Family Fun Run benefiting the Library.  The course begins and ends at East Columbia Branch. Register online.

June 9, Various Times and Branches. Calling All Volunteers. Helping others is good for you! Make reading fun for kids and earn service learning hours. Volunteers assist HCLS instructors with the summer reading club and other tasks. To register for this orientation session, submit a volunteer application to the teen instructor at the branch where you would like to volunteer. Accepted applicants will be contacted to confirm registration. Contact the specific Branch for the training session you are interested in to register.

June 9, 2-3pm. You, Me, And The Cheasapeake Bay: Let The Rain Soak In. Master Gardener Barb Schmeckpeper comes to the Miller Branch to teach how your backyard connects to the Chesapeake Bay and why it’s important to be Bay-Wise. Discover what makes streams healthy, how we affect water quality, and how the water cycle is involved.  Visit the Enchanted Garden. Ages 8-11. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

June 10, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Second Sunday Market at the Courtyards at Tonge Row in Historic Ellicott City – just off 8267 Main Street.  Fresh produce and baked breads and cheeses and much more. Call 410-465-5995 for more information.

June 11, 10:15-10:45am. Just For Me. A class at the Savage Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. No registration required.

June 11, 10:15 & 11:30am. Dream Big. Classes at the Miller Branch for children ages 4-6 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 30 minutes before program.

June 11, 12:30-3pm. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at the Savage Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital. 2nd Mondays. No registration required.

June 12, 11:00am. Herbal Apothecary. Anne Roy presents an overview of the historical use of plants with medical and cultural applications at the Miller Branch. Discover books that explain the role of herbal plants in healing, perfume making, and cooking. You are invited to discuss your own culture’s culinary use of herbs and spices. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

June 12, 12:30pm. Multi-sensory Plants. Anne Roy comes to the Miller Branch to discuss ways to enjoy a garden through smell, touch, and sight. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

June12, 7:00pm. How To Write A Resume. The current job market is tough and stressful. Alleviate some of your stress by getting some free resume-writing assistance at the Central Branch. Topics include sentence structure, proper grammar, and effective placement of work and educational history. Presented by Constance Higdon, MPA and Adjunct Professor at NYU. Register online or by calling 410.313.7800.

June 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m. From Medications to Fall Prevention: What You Should Know About Elder Safety.  Join us for this informative session geared towards caregivers.  Knowledge is the key in decision-making. Elder safety is focused on four areas; Medication management, mobility, nutrition and medical care. Learn about this and more from our experts, Dr. Anirudh Sridharan and Francie Black, RN, CRNP.

June 13,10:15 & 11:15am. Just For Me. Classes at the Elkridge Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. No registration required.

June 13, 1 & 2pm. Tiny Tigers. Sykesville Tae Kwon Do Academy instructors demonstrate moves for Tiny Tigers at the Miller Branch. Ages 3-5; 30 min. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950

June 13, 7:00pm. Drip Irrigation For Your Vegetable Garden. Bring a rough sketch of your garden to the Glenwood Branch and learn how to increase production with drip irrigation. Presented by Kent Phillips. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

June 15, 7:00pm. Kick-off Lock-in. Celebrate the start of Summer Reading with an evening of live performances, games, and activities at the East Columbia Branch. Sign up for Summer Reading and collect book bucks for participating. Permission slip required. Register by calling 410.313.7700.

June 15-30Columbia Festival of the Arts. An annual celebration of the arts in a broad spectrum of art forms and cultures, encouraging interaction among artists and audiences. Free opening weekend at Columbia Lakefront.

June 16, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. WomenFest. Howard County’s Department of Citizen Services, Office on Aging is pleased to present the 4th annual WomenFest, a wellness event for women.  WomenFest is an interactive day that focuses on health and wellness and is designed to inspire women to live balanced, healthier and fuller lives. This event will feature health screenings, demonstrations, workshops, seminars and more.  Admission is free.  Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 Rt. 97, Cooksville.  For more information contact the Office on Aging at 410 313-6410.

June 20, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. Sunset Serenades 80’s Night!  Come to Centennial Park with a picnic dinner, blanket and/or lawn chair and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for their annual summer concert series.  Join us for the season kick-off with The Reflex at Centennial Park South, 10000 Route 108, Ellicott City.

June 22, 7-8:30 p.m. Traveling Bands presents Nayas for an evening of Latin Ska, and Reggae music.  Howard County Parks are the place to go this summer for concerts!  Come with family and/or friends and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series in the Park. This concert is at the East Columbia Library Park at 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.

June 25, 7:0-8:30 p.m. Dry Eye and Ocular Surface DiseaseWilmer Institute experts discuss the causes of dry eyes and the care and treatment of conditions affecting the ocular surface.  Presented by Dr. Mahsa Salehi.  Admission is free but registration is requested.

June 27, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. Sunset Serenades presents The Columbia Orchestra- an evening of Broadway, Film and Classical music. Come to Centennial Park with a picnic dinner, blanket and/or lawn chair and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series. Centennial Park South, entrance at 10000 Route 108, Ellicott City.

June 28, 7-8:30 p.m. Traveling Bands presents the U.S. Navy County Current for an evening of Country music at Western Regional Park, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville. Howard County Parks are the place to go this summer for concerts!  Come with family and/or friends and join the Department of Recreation & Parks for this annual summer concert series in the Park


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Father’s Day is coming up soon, which means the majority of teenagers and twenty somethings are going to spend at least ten minutes in the near future wondering what, exactly, makes for a good tie and then ultimately buying the first one they see.

It’s also, as advertisers go into overdrive trying to think about what guys typically want or need or like, a time for you to think about what your health needs might be. Because whether or not you are a father, everyone could be healthier in one area or another, whether that be diet, exercise, or overall wellness.

On Saturday, June 9, there is  an excellent opportunity to check in on your health and learn more about improving it, all without giving up your actual Father’s Day.

Join Councilman Calvin Ball as he hosts the 4th Annual Men’s Health Fair Saturday, June 9 10am-2pm at Howard High School (8700 Old Annapolis Road, Ellicott City) in partnership with Howard County General Hospital.  This event is free to all attendees.  Enjoy live music, free screenings (kidneys, spinal, pulmonary function, dental, vision, blood pressure and BMI to name just a few), healthy food samples and opportunities to engage with fitness and health professionals.  The 92Q Street Team will be there 11am-1pm with games and giveaways.

Whether or not you make it out to Howard High School on Saturday, the library has a number of great health resources aimed at men:

Work Out
The Men’s Health big book of exercises
Real men do yoga : 21 star athletes reveal their secrets for strength, flexibility and peak performance

Eat Well
The Men’s health big book of food & nutrition : your completely delicious guide to eating well, looking great, and staying lean  
The eat-clean diet for men : your ironclad plan to a lean physique!
Flat belly diet! for men : real food, real men, real flat abs

Lifestyle
100 questions and answers about men’s health : keeping you happy & healthy below the belt
The male body : an owner’s manual : the ultimate head-to-toe guide to staying healthy and fit for life
Younger next year : a guide to living like 50 until you’re 80 and beyond

Health Concerns
Heart 411 : the only guide to heart health you’ll ever need
The definitive guide to prostate cancer : everything you need to know about conventional and integrative therapies

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Hopkins doctors focus the social network on a difficult problem

 

A crisis in our country

Today, 18 Americans will die waiting on a transplant list for an organ that doesn’t come.  Over 100,000 Americans wait on the list and still the gap between donations and those waiting has only widened over the last decades.  In fact, over the last twenty years, despite the efforts of many in the public health arena, the number of donors per year has remained essentially unchanged while waiting recipients have increased almost tenfold.  This crisis in our country is largely a social problem which requires increased efforts in education and discussion.

 


Why don’t people register to become donors?

Some may have not thought about the topic, or feel uncomfortable discussing the issue of their own mortality.  Some may not have had a convenient or appropriate opportunity to register or may be confused by the process.  Others may be under misconceptions that consent will result in a less vigorous attempt to save their life when ill, or that the transplant system is somehow unfair.  When polled, the American public is overwhelmingly supportive of donation and organ transplantation (95% in favor) but ultimately only 30-50% in any given state are registered by the DMV.  As each donor has the potential to save eight or more lives with donation, changing donation rates would have a major impact on the problem.

The Facebook Organ Donor Initiative

On May 1st, Facebook altered their “Timeline” platform to allow users to select “organ donor” as part of their profile status.  (Here’s a link to show you how to do it! It’s easy!) When a person selects the organ donor option on Facebook, two important things happen.  First, they are given a link to their state donor registry.  This quick, easy, and free process takes just 2 minutes and makes it official.  Secondly, when a person selects “organ donor” on Facebook, their friends are made aware of this decision and are given the option to do the same themselves.  If someone considering organ donation remains unsure about the decision, Facebook offers links to provide information on the facts and myths of the organ donation process.  It is our hope that discussion and awareness on the great need for organ donation goes viral on Facebook and we can turn the tables on this problem.

How are we Doing?

In the first couple of days after Facebook started offering “organ donor” as a profile status over 100,000 members chose the option.  We have examined state donor registries in all 50 states for the first week of May and see a 1,000% increase in donation rates across the country!  Facebook plans to roll out the organ donor option in every country on the planet and soon all of Facebook’s one billion users will have easy access to donor registration.  Discussion and communication “amongst friends” may be the way to get people thinking about organ donation and agreeing to share the gift of life.  Together we can work together, share life, and solve the crisis that we face, today!

Learn more at these four links about the Facebook Organ Donor Initiative by visiting these sites: The New York Times, National Public Radio News Station WYPR, The Baltimore Sun  and ABC News.

 

Andrew Cameron is an Associate Professor of Surgery and the Director of Liver Transplantation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Cameron attended the Johns Hopkins Medical School and trained in surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He pursued fellowship training at UCLA studying liver transplantation and now focuses on hepatobiliary surgery. His clinical interests include End Stage Liver Disease, Hepatitis C, and hepatocellular cancer. Dr. Cameron runs a basic science laboratory studying models of immunosuppression free transplantation as well as novel approaches to expanding transplantation via the use of social media.

 

 

 


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Sorry to get you excited if you thought this was another new offering of Notes from the Farmers’ Market Chef. Rest assured, there will be more Notes before the month of June is over. However, now is the time to plan if you want to experience the FMC’s wisdom in person with one of her wonderful classes. Before visiting the Glenwood Farmers’ Market, the FMC can help you discover creative ideas for using seasonal produce or CSA shares. And if that’s not enough, samples will be available.

Mark your calendars:

Jun 16 – Join her at WomenFest at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center for herb samples and books on growing your own.

Jul 14 – Back to the Glenwood Branch for tomatoes and squash, exotic and heirloom — how to handle the excess.

Aug 11 – Preserving the bounty of the season at the Glenwood Branch. 

Registration is required for each class. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

And remember, even if you can’t attend one of the classes, there will be lots of advice forthcoming from the FMC here. Plus there are other places to get ideas to make the most of our wonderful farmers’ markets; for example, you can always check out something like the Farmers’ Market Cookbook: A Fresh Look at Local Flavor.

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2012 CalendarJune 1, 5:00-9:00 p.m. First Friday in Historic Ellicott City. Bring your friends and family to town for a fun filled night of free live music, sales, specials and surprises. For info: 410-465-6400

June 2, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Fitness & Sports Medicine ClinicJoin Howard County General Hospital: Johns Hopkins Medicine at Center Court at the Mall in Columbia. Talk to physicians and sports medicine specialists, participate in screenings and learn fitness tips and ways to incorporate movement into your life. Screenings include blood pressure, ankle/foot, knee, shoulder, pain management, Body Mass Index (BMI), pulmonary function and more. Seminars include information on nutrition, MRSA prevention and smoking cessation.

June 2, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Summer Reading Kickoff. How do you keep them reading and thinking this summer when school’s out? Encourage them to win prizes for reading or listening to books, magazines, or newspapers, when they join Howard County Library System’s summer reading club. Kick off summer reading on Saturday, June 2 at Miller Branch. Sign up for a summer reading club and participate in a day of fun including children’s stories, face painting, crafts, and activities for children, teens, and adults. Library staff will be on hand to recommend great books for teens and adults.

June 3, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Family Wellness Day. A fun free event for the whole family brought to you by Get Active Howard County!  Events include exercise classes, exhibits and demonstrations. Wellness screenings by Howard County General Hospital.  Check out the whole schedule or the event flyer or re-read this week’s blog post about the event!

June 4, 10:15 & 11:30am. Dream Big. Classes at the Miller Branch for children ages 4-6 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 30 minutes before program.

June 4, 3:30-5:30pm. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at the Glenwood Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital. 1St & 3rd Mondays. No registration required.

June 5, 7:00pm. Why Acupuncture? Come to the Miller Branch to learn how the ancient art of acupuncture can help with modern ailments. Part of the Acupuncture Series presented by Star Ferguson, M.Ac., L.Ac. In addition to her Master’s degree in Acupuncture, Star Ferguson holds a Professional Certificate in Energetic Healing and is faculty at Tai Sophia Institute. She and her husband co-own their practice, Sage Center for Wellness, in historic Ellicott City. Register online or by calling  410.313.1950.

June 6-8, Various Times and Branches. Calling All Volunteers. Helping others is good for you! Make reading fun for kids and earn service learning hours. Volunteers assist HCLS instructors with the summer reading club and other tasks. To register for this orientation session, submit a volunteer application to the teen instructor at the branch where you would like to volunteer. Accepted applicants will be contacted to confirm registration. 
Contact the specific Branch for the training session you are interested in to register.

June 6, 7:00pm. Drip Irrigation For Your Vegetable Garden. Bring a rough sketch of your garden to the Savage Branch and learn how to increase production with drip irrigation. Presented by Kent Phillips. Register online or by calling 410.880.5980.

June 8, 3:00pm.  Bridging The Gap. Broaden your mind and meet some of the area’s wisest citizens. Get to know them at the Savage Branch by swapping stories, playing bridge, checkers or video games, and enjoying refreshments together. No registration required.

June 9, 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. 4th Annual Men’s Health Fair of Howard County. Join Councilman Calvin Ball as he hosts a Men’s Health Fair at Howard High School in partnership with Howard County General Hospital.  This event is free to all attendees. Enjoy live music, free screenings (kidneys, spinal, pulmonary function, dental, vision, blood pressure and BMI to name just a few), healthy food samples and opportunities to engage with fitness and health professionals. The 92Q Street Team will be there 11am-1pm with games and giveaways.  This event is a great opportunity to increase health awareness among all residents of the County and provides information on ongoing health topics related to men. Howard High School, 8700 Old Annapolis Road.

June 9, 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. HCLS 5K and Family Fun Run. Lace up your sneakers and bring your family, friends, and neighbors to the 5K and Family Fun Run benefiting the Library. The course begins and ends at East Columbia Branch. Register online.

June 10, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Second Sunday Market at the Courtyards at Tonge Row in Historic Ellicott City – just off 8267 Main Street. Fresh produce and baked breads and cheeses and much more. Call 410-465-5995 for more information.

June 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m. From Medications to Fall Prevention: What You Should Know About Elder Safety.  Join us for this informative session geared towards caregivers. Knowledge is the key in decision-making. Elder safety is focused on four areas; Medication management, mobility, nutrition and medical care. Learn about this and more from our experts, Dr. Anirudh Sridharan and Francie Black, RN, CRNP.

June 15-30Columbia Festival of the Arts. An annual celebration of the arts in a broad spectrum of art forms and cultures, encouraging interaction among artists and audiences. Free opening weekend at Columbia Lakefront.

June 16, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. WomenFest. Howard County’s Department of Citizen Services, Office on Aging is pleased to present the 4th annual WomenFest, a wellness event for women. WomenFest is an interactive day that focuses on health and wellness and is designed to inspire women to live balanced, healthier and fuller lives. This event will feature health screenings, demonstrations, workshops, seminars and more. Admission is free.  Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 Rt. 97, Cooksville. For more information contact the Office on Aging at 410 313-6410.


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