First Quarter FY 2010

For more information, contact the Health Officer, Stephanie Garrity, at 410-996-5550.

Division of Addiction Services (Alcohol and DrugRecoveryCenter)

The Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center (ADRC) provides substance abuse assessment, early-intervention, and treatment services to adult and adolescent patients and their families. During the quarter, 359 diagnostic interviews were completed, an increase of 11% from the prior quarter and 12% over the same period last year. Similarly, the number of admitted patients increased by 22% this quarter.

The Division expanded pharmacological and psycho-social treatments with the initiation of purchase-of-care Suboxone programming. Suboxone is a powerful and relatively new tool in the fight against opiate addiction. Suboxoneinhibits the craving for opiates and minimizes withdrawal symptoms. For those patients who are uninsured, the Division subsidizes the cost of the medication and related physician care with a contracted vendor. All patients receiving subsidized medication are required to participate in outpatient counseling at the ADRC. During the quarter, eight patients received a combined 356 days of medication.

The Division recognized National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month during September 2009. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Learn, Together We Heal,”celebrated the power of community support, and emphasized the need to educate people about the crippling effects of alcohol and drug addiction on families, friends, and communities. We are reminded during Recovery Month that treatments for substance use are just as effective as treatments for other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes. Recovery from alcohol and drug use disorders is possible, however, significant lifestyle changes and multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve long-term sobriety. During Recovery Month, the Division recognized people in recovery and those who help them (including their families), and encouraged others to seek treatment.

Division of Administration

The Medical Assistance Medical Transportation Program provided 3,172 trips during the quarter for a total of 34,202 miles. In addition, 307 wheelchair trips were provided by Health Department staff for a total of 3,086 miles. Ambulances were authorized for 89 transports. During the quarter, the Health Department provided 144 transports for Cecil County Department of Senior Services and Community Transit (SSCT); SSCT provided 24 transports for the Health Department.

Birth and death certificates may be ordered on-line at The vital records unit issued 761birth certificates and 809 death certificates during the quarter.

The Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Program (MCHP) processed the following applications during the quarter: 306 new applications for children; 65 new applications for pregnant women; 142 new applications for families; 394 re-determinations; and two emergency medical applications.

Annual employee safety in-services were conducted in July for all staff. Topics included a new defensive driving training and updates on bloodborne pathogens/OSHA, fire evacuation, and personnel policies.

Division of Community Health Services

Statistically, women experiencing risk factors, such as smoking, drug or alcohol use, domestic abuse or inadequate prenatal care, are at risk of poor pregnancy outcomes.

The goals of the Healthy Start Program are to improve birth outcomes for at-risk women, reduce infant mortality, and decrease the costs associated with poor birth outcomes. The target population is Medicaid-eligible pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children under the age of two. This county-funded program provides home visits from a nurse who, in conjunction with other agencies and private medical providers, works to coordinate care for pregnant women and their children under two years of age. The home visit includes education on infant and toddler growth and development, monitoring childhood immunizations, linkages with appropriate health services, mentoring support, and referrals for family planning and preconception health services. Recently, the Healthy Start nurses have been active partners on the Drug Effected Newborn task force organized by the Department of Social Services. Drug use and abuse by pregnant women is showing an alarming increase in CecilCounty.

During this quarter, Healthy Start nurses served 74 women and 49 children under the age of two years. Also during the quarter, 101 home visits and 140 contacts via telephone were completed.

Division of Environmental Health Services

This year’s Bathing Beach Sampling Program concluded in August, with a total of 18 public and community beaches inspected and sampled. Beach monitoring is prioritized for potential health risk under Environmental Protection Agency and Maryland Department of the Environment guidelines, with high priority beaches sampled weekly during the season, medium priority sampled biweekly and low priority sampled monthly. During this past season, 9 out of 84 individual sampling events (11%) showed bacteria levels exceeding Federal and State standards; by comparison 9% of the sampling events in the 2008 season and 16% in the 2007 season exceeded standards. Of the 18 beaches tested, 14 showed satisfactory results for all sampling events. A tabulation of the results for the season along with more detailed information on testing is available on the Cecil County Health Department website at

The Environmental Health Services Division continues to administer the Bay Restoration Fund Septic System Upgrade Program in CecilCounty under a grant provided through Maryland Department of the Environment. The Bay Restoration Fund provides grants to property owners to upgrade their onsite sewage disposal system by installing approved nitrogen reducing technology. Through the end of September, 13 systems have been installed in CecilCounty under the program. With the new requirement mandated by The Chesapeake Bay Nitrogen Reduction Act of 2009 that all new and replacement septic systems installed within the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area after October 1, 2009 must include nitrogen reducing technology, the limited grant funding available through the remainder of FY 2010 will be provided only for the upgrade of failing systems in the Critical Area.

Division of Health Promotion and Outreach

On August 3, 2009, a “Joining Together to Fight Cancer” conference was held at UnionHospital. Community physicians spoke on the importance of colorectal and prostate cancer screenings. Health Department staff reviewed the free tobacco cessation services available to CecilCounty residents and also trained community outreach volunteers. Seventy people attended the conference.

Safe Kids Summer Camp, a collaborative effort between the Health Department and the YMCA of Cecil County, was held at the YMCA each weekday from July 2 to August 13, 2009. One hundred forty-one children attended and participated in the Life Skills Training (LST) Program, a science-based model program approved by the federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Participants learned skills for resisting peer pressure and media influences that condone drug use. In addition, the YMCA offered campers the opportunity to play a variety of sports and participate in arts and crafts activities as fun alternatives to drug use, reinforcing the message of drug use prevention. This program made a positive impact on all participants; parents commented that they were pleased about these health and safety messages, and children remarked how much they enjoyed the camp.

The University of Maryland Dental School-Perryvilleopened on August 11, 2009. The school provides dental services to children, pregnant women, and seniors on Medical Assistance. Emergency dental care will be provided to all ages on a walk-in basis with a fee for services. The school also providesdental hygiene services to adults with insurance, excluding HMOs. With funding from Union Hospital Foundation, Inc., Health Department staff work on-site to interview patients and their family for referred case management needs and identify community sites with potential eligible residents to help them access care. Case management is expected to optimize healthy outcomes, especially for individuals at high risk for problems, and link families to dental care and other needed services.

Division of Special Populations Services

The Cecil County Mental Health Core Service Agency (CSA) continues to work with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Mental Hygiene Administration to plan for the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center (USCMHC) discharge of patients due to the proposed March 2010 closure of the Chestertown Maryland state psychiatric facility. The CSA is part of an Eastern Shore work group developing recommendations for community programs and funding for enhanced services for patients unable to be served once the USCMHC is closed.

The Adult Evaluation and Review Services (AERS) conducted 81 visits this quarter to assist in the development of plans of care to provide needed services for frail elderly persons. The Division Director worked with the Director of the Cecil County Department of Senior Services and Community Transit to review the Area Agency on Aging plan update to provide services for older adults.

The Developmental Disabilities Program currently provides resource coordination for 400 clients. The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration informed the Health Department of a 15% budget cut to the resource coordination program effective October 1, 2009. Eighteen clients will not receive case management services as a result of the budget reduction.

Office of Epidemiology and Emergency Preparedness

The Office of Epidemiology & Emergency Preparedness (OEEP) has been busy coordinating the Health Department’s H1N1 (Swine) flu vaccination campaign. There have been ongoing weekly calls with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Health Department started weekly calls with key county partners at the end of August.

OEEP held two emergency preparedness presentations in September for the Elkton Chamber of Commerce and Port Deposit Presbyterian Church. These presentations continued to be offered to anyone interested.

OEEP also presented information on avian flu at a hunter safety course held at the Rising Sun American Legion in September.