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Baltimore County News

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By Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D., MBA, CPE, FACP
Director, Department of Health and Human Services
Health Officer and Director, Department of Health

Are you someone who likes to start the New Year on a promising note? Have you fallen into the trap of making goals or resolutions that you cannot meet? Well, Baltimore County has a number of tools that may be just the thing for you!

If you live, work, or play in Baltimore County, use the following tips to become a STAR and shoot towards a healthier you. If some of the tips don't apply to you, don't sweat it. Instead, share them with someone you know who could benefit from them.

 

Stop Smoking

If you are thinking about quitting or want to quit, Baltimore County has a number of different programs at various times and locations that may work for you. And, even better our smoking cessation classes are free.

Take the Test

What you don’t know could hurt you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages 13 to 64 know their status. You can get free, anonymous testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases at a Department of Health clinic. Sharing this information is great, spreading an infection is not.

Adopt a Pet

Owning a pet can help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition, it’s a great antidote for loneliness that can also increase opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities and socialization.

There are numerous pets in Baltimore County that are in need of someone who will love and care for them. Consider opening your heart and home to an adoptable pet.

Remember to Schedule Routine Appointments

Women can take care of their cervical and breast health by scheduling an annual mammogram and routine Pap test. These screenings may be available free of charge to income eligible women. Men, take care of the women you love, by reminding them to schedule these live-saving tests. Remember to schedule prostate exams and colonoscopies as well.

For more information about these tips, contact the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services by calling 410-887-BCHD (2243).


Baltimore County seeking to enroll residents in a national program

The Baltimore County Department of Health recently received a grant to enroll people with prediabetes in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), an evidence-based lifestyle change program. The NDPP in Baltimore County is offering free seminars to help those with prediabetes and at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

One in three adults have prediabetes and most are unaware of their condition. Prediabetes means a person has a blood glucose (blood sugar) level higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and it is preventable. People with prediabetes may delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and possibly return their blood glucose levels to normal by participating in this free program.

The NDPP in Baltimore County meets in a small group for just one hour every week for 16 weeks. A trained lifestyle coach leads the weekly sessions to help participants improve food choices, increase physical activity, and learn coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes. The goal of the NDPP is to have participants eat healthy, be more active, and lose body weight and keep it off.

You may be eligible for the Diabetes Prevention Program if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 24, and have been told by a doctor you have prediabetes, or score 9 or higher on the diabetes risk test. Take the online prediabetes risk test. Registration and enrollment is currently taking place for the diabetes prevention program, which is being offered through the Baltimore County Department of Health. For more information or to register, call Kim High at 410-887-0413 or email khigh@baltimorecountymd.gov.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017