Baltimore County News
Baltimore County Department of Aging's Call to Action to Combat Social Isolation
The Baltimore County Department of Aging’s (BCDA) 2019 Living Connected initiative has provided resources and activities to combat social isolation in older adults. Many life events that occur later in life—retirement, loss of a friend/spouse, moving, changes in health—happen as one ages. This can cause one’s social network to become very small, leading to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Further, research has proven that isolation has detrimental effects on one’s physical and mental health. The affects are wide ranging. In fact, it is said that loneliness and social isolation has the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day."Coming to the center for activities and meals
saved my life. I was very lonely after my wife passed."
- Fred, 84, Rosedale
“Each of us is aware of someone in our communities that may be feeling isolated and alone. Therefore, BCDA has issued a Call to Action for Thursday, September 12, 2019. On that date, everyone was asked to reach out to someone in the community that would benefit from feeling more connected and valued by inviting them to share a meal or to join a group of peers to break bread,” challenges BCDA Director Laura Riley.
Older Adults Welcome to Join
Baltimore County’s 20 senior centers are hosting lunches where all older adults are welcome to join our Eating Together Program for a special meal. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit a center, to meet the members and to discover the diverse activities offered at the site. For example, the Liberty Senior Center is hosting close to 200 older adults for their meal at noon. “The center will be filled with activity, music and chances to connect with peers while enjoying a meal,” added Marie Dix, Director of the Liberty Senior Center. Additionally, many centers are offering day long opportunities to share a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner."Knowing a meal is available is such an asset."
- Dorothy, 80, Rosedale
Further, religious institutions, restaurants, community associations and housing buildings have joined this Day to invite older adults to special events and deals to make them feel valued and appreciated. To learn more about opportunities to share a meal and to discover the community partner events being offered, you may visit the County's No Senior Eats Alone webpage.
No Senior Eats Alone Day is just one effort on behalf of BCDA to keep older adults connected. If you know of an older adult that would benefit from getting connected to the Department of Aging’s resources and programs, contact MAP or the Maryland Access Point of Baltimore County at 410-887-2594 or email email@example.com.
The mission of the Baltimore County Department of Aging is to strengthen lives by providing services, programs and connections to resources. For more information on the various programs provided by BCDA, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/aging.Wed, 11 Sep 2019 19:11:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/no-senior-eats-alone-day-2
"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.Thu, 05 Sep 2019 17:59:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-department-of-health-and-human-services-receives-2-6-million-federal-grant-to-combat-opioid-epidemic
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."Thu, 05 Sep 2019 12:54:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-commits-planning-funds-for-towson-and-dulaney-high-schools
Expansion Creates Greater Opportunity for Students to Attend CCBC Tuition-free
More Baltimore County residents now have access to a debt-free college education thanks to expanded eligibility for the Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, with support from the Baltimore County Council, increased the income level that qualify for the program from $85,000 to $150,000, allowing more middle-class residents the opportunity to attend Community College of Baltimore County free of tuition and fees.
“Education is my number one priority, and that doesn’t stop when students graduate from our public school system. Higher education can open countless doors of opportunities for our students, and that’s why we’re taking steps to expand access to the opportunities available at our community colleges,” Olszewski said.
Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship Growth
The Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship has experienced tremendous growth since it was introduced in the spring of 2018. Last year, 111 scholarships were awarded. Today, there are nearly 400 Baltimore County College Promise scholarship recipients and that number continues to grow. With the expanded income eligibility requirements, CCBC expects a boost in inquiries as well as qualified students.
“The increased income requirements is a real game-changer for Baltimore County residents,” said CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “Too often middle-class Americans are left out of opportunities like this. Their income is too high to qualify for Pell grants; yet, too low to enable them to send their children to community college full-time. The Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship is allowing academically-prepared students the opportunity to earn a college education debt-free. We are fortunate to have legislators who believe in the importance of public higher education and are willing to invest dollars behind this life-changing program.”
In addition to the income requirement, other eligibility requirements include:
- Be a Baltimore County resident
- Have a GPA of 2.3 or higher
- Be a 2015 to 2019 high school or external diploma degree graduate
- Be enrolled full-time at CCBC (12 credits or more)
Baltimore County College Promise scholarships cover all degree and certificate programs as well as select workforce training certification programs. The scholarship is calculated as a “last dollar in” award, meaning that it is applied after all other financial awards and state aid have been utilized.
CCBC student and scholarship recipient Christa Bryant says the Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship is making her pursuit of an associate degree stress-free.
“My mother, who is retired, no longer has to consider going back to work to help me cover my tuition,” says Bryant. “I can now take a full load of classes and not spend sleepless nights worrying about how to pay the bill.”
About the Community College of Baltimore County
Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, nearly 60,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction and transportation. CCBC is nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies, among the nation’s top associate degree producers, and designated as a Military Times Best College 2018.
CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.Fri, 30 Aug 2019 20:39:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-announces-increased-income-eligibility-requirements-for-baltimore-county-college-promise-scholarship