This holiday season, we are especially grateful for our partners and a shared commitment to a healthier Howard County. We have a lot to celebrate this year, including these top seven highlights of 2017:
- In March, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, a major peer-reviewed international medical journal, published a study showing the dramatic decrease in sugary drink sales in Howard County, including a 20 percent drop in soda sales.
- Howard Community College’s health care interpreter certificate programcelebrated its first graduating class in the spring with interpreters for languages including Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. The program, supported by a grant from the Horizon Foundation, helps bridge language barriers between patients and their health care providers.
- More than 1,500 people and nearly 30 businesses and organizations voiced their support for funding and building the Bikeway, a network of routes from the Bicycle Master Plan that would connect more than half of county residences, schools and parks – extending from Clarksville to Elkridge, and Laurel to Ellicott City.
- Howard County Unsweetened debuted new video ads featuring local children and families that aired on cable TV and social media, including our most-watched video series that showed what goes into Gatorade and videos in Spanish like one sharing the story of Ellicott City resident Jose Luis Chavez.
- Open Streets 2017 drew over 1,000 people to experience a more walkable and bikeable approach to street design between Dorsey’s Search Village Center and Northfield Elementary/Dunloggin Middle School. Family fun included a bike rodeo, yoga, photo booth and temporary bike lane demo on Columbia Road.
- Fourteen groups from across Howard County celebrated the conclusion of the first year of the Horizon Foundation’s Speak(easy)Howard campaign . In that time, these groups, which include faith organizations, community groups and medical providers, have worked together and within their communities to encourage people to take important steps in advance care planning.
- The first-ever Changemaker Challenge, hosted by the Horizon Foundation in partnership with United Way of Central Maryland, featured 10 finalists selected from a pool of 44 applicants who presented their ideas for social change in Howard County. Three winners received $10,000 each in seed funding and are now working to bring their projects to life.
This year, the Horizon Foundation also awarded more than $1 million in grants to a diverse array of community programs that are helping us lead community change to improve health and wellness for everyone in Howard County. Among this year’s grantees are the Korean American Senior Association, Chase Brexton Health Services, Community Services Foundation, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and Howard County General Hospital.
Thank you for making 2017 a memorable year. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2018!