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Baltimore County News

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Keyword: health department

Trash and Recycling Collection Normal, Drop-off Facilities Open

Baltimore County government offices, and the District and Circuit Courts, will be closed two days next week, Tuesday, November 8 for Election Day and Friday, November 11 in recognition of Veterans Day. Health Department clinics, and senior centers will be closed, and CountyRide vans will not operate. Libraries will be open, parking meters must be fed and Baltimore County Revenue Authority parking garages will be open as usual.

Trash and recyclables will be collected according to the normal schedule.  The County’s trash and recycling drop-off facilities will be open.  Residents can log onto for more information about recycling and trash collection, including schedules and drop-off center locations and hours.  Residents may also call the Bureau of Solid Waste Management at 410-887-2000.

Seeking to strengthen families with evidenced-based, home visiting program

Yesterday, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch and Abilities Network Director of Program Development Tomeaka Jupiter announced the planned expansion of the Healthy Families Baltimore County. This program is designed to promote child well-being, support positive parenting practices and strengthen family functioning. The expansion proposal is pending Council approval.

Healthy Families Baltimore County, which utilizes the Healthy Families America model, is an evidence-based, home visiting program that optimizes child health and development. Eligible families are referred to the program by the Baltimore County Department of Health, local hospitals, community service agencies and self-referral. Healthy Families works to engage families as early as the mother’s first trimester of pregnancy, and sustains support through the child’s fifth birthday.

“I am grateful for Abilities Network and the work they have been doing to strengthen families for over a decade,” said Kamenetz. “My administration and I are committed to the well-being and equal opportunity of all families in Baltimore County, and are excited about the increased number of families this program will impact.”

The Abilities Network is the County’s vendor for delivering the Healthy Families Baltimore County program, which has been fully accredited by Healthy Families America since 2004. Over 600 families primarily on the east side of the County, have participated in the program since its inception in 1999. With an operating budget of approximately $800,000 from federal, state, and local government funding, the program was enhanced over the last few years to include a Baltimore County Department of Health public health nurse that works in tandem with an Abilities Network family support worker.

The public health nurse has specific roles to include monitoring the health of the mother during pregnancy; providing health education; addressing health factors for the mother-to-be; assisting the family with linkage to resources such as WIC, substance use disorder treatment, behavioral health programs if needed and support services through other agencies. Together the public health nurse and family support worker collaborate as a team to assist the mother with education regarding infant care and safety, nutrition, child development, positive parenting practices, breastfeeding support and reproductive health issues and planning.

“We have the unique opportunity to partner with parents early in their child’s life by providing voluntary, comprehensive, long-term support services right in their home,” said Tomeaka Jupiter. “For many families, this is exactly what is needed for them to achieve the positive outcomes they want for themselves and their children.”

Reducing infant mortality by expanding Healthy Families

Maryland’s infant mortality rates have consistently been higher than the national rate. Both race and socioeconomic status impact the rates. Most recent data released by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) in 2015 placed Baltimore County’s overall mortality rate for black infants at 9.8 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to a rate of 4.7 deaths for white infants. According to DHMH for the period from 2011 through 2015, the average black infant mortality rate was 11 per 1,000 live births compared to an average white mortality rate of 4.1.

“Expanding the Healthy Families Baltimore County program is a vital strategy in reducing the infant mortality rate in our County,” stated Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “I believe that a program like this gives our families and babies a fighting chance to live, grow and succeed.”

To expand the program, $386,775 from the County’s general fund is being requested. The County’s Local Management Board will allocate up to $120,000 in grant funding towards the countywide program expansion. The bulk of this funding will be dedicated to Abilities Network to increase program capacity. The additional funding will also support the hiring of a second public health nurse who will work in collaboration with Healthy Families Baltimore County.

During this fiscal year, the Healthy Families Baltimore County program is slated to serve 109 families. Pending approval from the Baltimore County Council, the program will be able to serve up to 75 additional families.

For more information about the Healthy Families Baltimore County or to see if you are eligible for the program, call the Abilities Network at 410-828-7700 1228 or send an email to

Free event promotes fitness, offers guided nature tours

The Baltimore County Health Coalition, the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Baltimore County Fitness Council are sponsoring an annual Walk in the Park event September 17, at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

tree-lined park path

Enjoy a guided tour from a Naturalist/Park Ranger at the following six locations:

Benjamin Banneker Historical Museum and Park
300 Oella Avenue
Catonsville, Maryland 21228

Cromwell Valley Park
2002 Cromwell Bridge Road
Parkville, Maryland 21234

Fort Howard Park
9500 North Point Road
Fort Howard, Maryland 21052

Lake Roland
1000 Lakeside Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21209

Marshy Point Nature Center
7130 Marshy Point Road
Middle River, Maryland 21220

Oregon Ridge Nature Center and Park
13555 Beaver Dam Road
Cockeysville, Maryland 21030

The Walk in the Park event will be held rain or shine. Please wear appropriate clothing and bring water. To find more information about walking trails in Baltimore County parks, visit

Revised September 26, 2016