February 22, 2022

February newsletter: maternity care, students’ mental health, school wellness, complete streets and more!

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Let’s support equitable maternity care in Howard County!

Over a decade ago, cuts to our public health budget shut down our county-run maternity clinic and it’s been glaringly absent ever since. Now, there are exactly zero maternity clinics who will see ALL women within our county borders. As a result, many uninsured pregnant women seeking care have to travel outside of Howard County in order to get basic prenatal services. Oftentimes, this hardship means that they do not get the proper maternity care they need until late into their pregnancy, or sometimes not at all.

ALL women in Howard County should be able to access prenatal care so they can have a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies. Read more in this month’s blog and show your support by adding your name to CASA’s petition to bring a Maternity Partnership Program to Howard County.

Read the blog>>
Sign on to CASA’s petition>>


Tell the Howard County Board of Education to protect funding for students’ mental health

All schools in Howard County have a standard set of mental health services available to students but only 60% have an enhanced set of supports that includes 1:1 counseling services – offered to students (with parent permission) by licensed professionals during the school day. New investments will help bring these enhanced mental health supports to all Howard County public schools over the next two years.

The Howard County Board of Education will be finalizing their proposed budget THIS WEEK. Send your message NOW to help us make sure they protect and expand funding for students’ mental health this year!

Take action now>>


Howard County’s school wellness policy among the best in the nation

We all want our children to be healthy — and to achieve that, children must be surrounded by a healthy environment. Schools play a huge role in this, but not long ago, Howard County was falling far behind in offering healthy food options and opportunities for physical activity during the school day. Thanks to a community-wide commitment to healthier schools, there have been incredible improvements in recent years. Now, Howard County’s Policy 9090, the wellness policy that governs food and physical activity in the school system, is ranked as one of the best in the nation! Thank you to the Board of Education, Superintendent Michael Martirano and his staff and all the community advocates who have worked to improve this policy over the years.

Read more in the Baltimore Sun>>


Howard County Council approved Complete Streets Design Manual

Fantastic news! The Howard County Council recently approved a new Complete Streets Design Manual. This new guidance not only brings our community closer to achieving its complete streets vision, but also sends the clear message that all users of the road – including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and individuals with mobility challenges – should be incorporated into every aspect of street and bridge design. Thank you Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, members of the County Council and everyone who has raised their voice and worked tirelessly to get us to this point.

Read more on Patch.com>>
Learn more about Howard County’s Design Manual>>


Staff picks: what we’re reading, watching and listening to