June 25, 2024

June newsletter: 988 is saving lives, Open Horizon meetings, mobile market and more!

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988 is saving lives

Last month, Governor Moore signed a bill into law that would permanently fund Maryland’s 988 helpline. This is a huge achievement worth celebrating. In this op-ed in the Baltimore Sun, Nikki Highsmith Vernick, our president & CEO, and Adrienne Breidenstine, vice president of policy and communications at Behavioral Health System Baltimore, explore the importance of 988 and how it is saving lives in our state. With a permanent funding source in place, all Marylanders who need emergency emotional support will have access to help, whenever they reach out.

Read the op-ed>>


Open Horizon focus area 1:1 meetings have been a great success!

Thank you so much to all of the community groups who took the time to meet with our staff during our Open Horizon focus area 1:1 meetings! These conversations were not only rich and informative, but also deeply inspiring to see how much incredible work is happening on the ground in Howard County. Thank you for this deep listening opportunity and for allowing us the grace to learn from you. We are still reflecting on our discussions and will continue to adjust our programmatic and grantmaking strategies as a result.

Here are some of our key takeaways from our meetings so far:

  1. The organizations we’ve talked to so far are deeply committed to finding equitable solutions for the populations they serve. Thank you for your work.
  2. We know the health equity issues we covered in these meetings – maternal & infant health, housing, mental health and food & nutrition security – are complex and will require a significant amount of time, talent and treasure to address.
  3. Given the needs discussed and the desire to co-create solutions with community, we will likely need to phase in our issue work. It is likely that our first grant request for proposals (RFP) opportunity will concentrate on a limited number of issues. Opportunities for funding on the issues not covered by this first RFP will follow in 2025 and beyond.

As we detailed in our new strategic plan, we are deeply committed to making a meaningful impact in all of these areas by dismantling structural racism to achieve better health for everyone in Howard County and greater Maryland. Keep an eye out in early fall for our first RFP. We can’t wait to work with you to help create a Howard County free from systemic inequities, where all people can live abundant and healthy lives.


The new Roving Radish mobile market is hitting the road across Howard County

Help us spread the word! Every week, Roving Radish’s new mobile market will visit 12 sites across Howard County so residents can access fresh, healthy, local produce at affordable prices. Community members who participate in federal food assistance programs can receive 50% off all food items.

We were thrilled to join the Roving Radish, our Healthier Choices Coalition members and other community partners to celebrate the launch of the mobile market earlier this month. No matter who you are or where you live, EVERYONE should be able to access healthy and affordable food. But that hasn’t been a reality for all people in Howard County. This mobile market will be a gamechanger by making it easier for residents to access foods that will keep their families healthy.

Read more in our blog>>
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Join us for our next First (Second) Thursdays community conversation on July 11

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s First Thursdays community conversation! These conversations with community members have been rich and robust, and we are excited to continue exploring health equity issues facing our community with all of you.

Given the federal holiday on Thursday, July 4, we will be pushing July’s discussion back one week. Please join us at the Horizon Foundation’s office on July 11 at 10 a.m. for breakfast and a guided conversation about key issues on the minds of fellow Howard Countians.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to D’Paul Nibber by July 8.


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