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Baltimore County News

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Date: Sep 5, 2019

"Just in Time" Database to Be Used by the Departments of Health, Police, Fire and Corrections.

The Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received a $2.6 million federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to address the opioid epidemic in Baltimore County, with the possibility to receive subsequent funding. Initial grant funds will support the development of a “Just In Time” database to be used by the Departments of Health, Police, Fire and Corrections, who are on the frontlines of responding to substance abuse disorders and fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses.

“The opioid epidemic affects every corner of our county, and an effective response requires all of our agencies to work together. This generous grant from the CDC elevates countywide coordination and response regarding prevention, intervention, enforcement and protection efforts,” said Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski, Jr.

“These funds will help Baltimore fight against the opioid epidemic, providing the County with crucial data to help monitor its efforts and improve their response. Combating this scourge requires an all-hands-on-deck approach – we must keep working together at the local, state and federal level to address this public health crisis,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md).

The “Just In Time” database, the project’s centerpiece, supports surveillance and prevention efforts of Health and Human Services and public safety agencies. “This CDC grant is vital in affording the availability of real-time data such as location and demographics, resulting in lifesaving outcomes for Baltimore County residents,” said Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Director and Health Officer.

Information in the database will be used to increase provider knowledge of safe opioid prescribing practices and increase linkage to care for individuals at-risk, including targeting high-risk populations such as substance exposed newborns. Data analysis will help to identify trends and areas of greatest need; recommend prevention activities and enable multi-agency first responders to more efficiently determine necessary steps, including automatic referral for peer services.

The Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promotes well-being among individuals and families by providing quality health, housing and social services. Along with an administrative unit, HHS is comprised of the Departments of Health and Social Services.


County Executive Encourages School Board to Prioritize the Projects in Their Capital Planning

County Executive Johnny Olszewski has announced that he has identified funds in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget to begin the planning process for new buildings for Towson High School and Dulaney High School. While moving forward with construction will require additional resources from the state in the upcoming legislative session, the funds will allow the county to begin the preliminary planning work for these two high schools.

"Over the next decade, we expect to have 1,700 more students than seats in our county's high schools. Our students and families deserve safe, modern school facilities, and we have a responsibility to provide them," Olszewski said. "Education is and will always be my number one priority, and as our students return to school this week, I want them and their families to know that I will not rest until they have the resources they need to receive the best education possible. I encourage the Board of Education to prioritize these high school projects in their capital spending plan."

As part of his Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Message, Olszewski announced plans to develop a 10-year capital plan for school construction, which will ensure the county has a roadmap for equitable and effective allocation of school construction dollars.

"Families in these communities were promised during the previous administration that their students would benefit from much-needed new high school facilities, and I'm pleased to see that this county executive is committed to fulfilling that promise," said Councilman Wade Kach.

"Families in the Towson community deserve a school that can accommodate their needs—the current building doesn't do that. This announcement advances new high school construction in central Baltimore County, a goal shared by hundreds of students and families. I thank County Executive Olszewski for his support," said Councilman David Marks.

These funds for Towson and Dulaney are in addition to planning and design funds already allocated for Lansdowne High School, which remains the county's top high school construction priority. In addition, in his FY 2020 budget, Olszewski included the county's portion of construction funds for the remaining elementary and middle school projects planned as part of the Schools for Our Future program.

State Funding Will Move the Projects Forward

However, none of these projects can move forward without additional funds from the state. General Assembly leaders have indicated their commitment to allocating additional funds for school construction in the 2020 legislative session.

"This is a positive step forward for the Dulaney and Towson communities. The County Executive and Board of Education have been unwavering in their support, and this news is very welcome," said Yara Cheikh, Vice President of the Dulaney High School PTSA. "We plan to be partners in Annapolis this upcoming session with the County Executive's administration to advocate for additional state dollars for school construction projects across our County. We will be shovel-ready to move forward once all our funding is in place and that is very exciting."

Last week Olszewski joined members of the House Appropriations Committee as they toured schools in Baltimore County to gain a better understanding of the critical needs facing our school facilities.

"Last session I spent considerable time in Annapolis urging lawmakers to do right by our students and provide the dollars needed to build the schools that they need and deserve. I'm optimistic that next year they will take the necessary action so our students don't get left behind."


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017