Picture of hand coming out from under white blanket. One Opioid Overdose is too many.

Grassroots 24/7 Crisis Assistance - 800-422-0009 (toll free) 410-531-6677 (local)
Resources and Referrals - 410-313-6202

National Groundwater Awareness Week - March 11-17

National Groundwater Awareness Week is an annual observance established by the National Ground Water Association to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of water.  National Groundwater Awareness Week is also a way to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance to prevent waterborne illnesses.

Consider the following:

  • Americans use 79.6 billion gallons of groundwater each day.
  • Groundwater is 20 to 30 times larger than all U.S. lakes, streams, and rivers combined.
  • 44 percent of the U.S. population depends on groundwater for its drinking water supply.
  • More than 13.2 million households have their own well, representing 34 million people

For more visit the Environmental Health Community Hygiene Program webpage at www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/Environmental-Health/Community-Health

Also visit the National Groundwater Association website for additional information

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it. But this disease is highly preventable, by getting screened beginning at age 50.

Screening tests help prevent colorectal cancer by finding precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed. Screening also finds this cancer early, when treatment can be most effective.

What You Can Do

  • If you’re aged 50 to 75, get screened for colorectal cancer regularly. If you’re between 76 and 85, ask your doctor if you should be screened.
  • Be physically active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke.

You may be eligible for colorectal cancer screening.  Visit our Colorectal Cancer Program page or call 410-313-7500.

For more information about Colorectal Cancer, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page, by clicking here.

National Nutrition Month - March

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition andfruits and vegetables Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. 

"Go Further with Food" is the theme for 2018, and its importance is timely for many reasons. Whether it's starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast or fueling before an athletic event, the foods you choose can make a real difference. Preparing your foods to go further, by planning meals and snacks in advance can also help to reduce food loss and waste. This year's theme for National Nutrition Month® encourages us to achieve the numerous benefits healthy eating habits offer, but it also urges us to find ways to cut back on food waste. Learning how to manage food resources at home will help you "Go Further with Food", while saving both nutrients and money. 

Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics "Eat Right®" page for more information.

(Information courtesy of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)


It's Flu Season

To protect yourself from the flu you should:

  • Get a flu shot! (See below for dates and times.) 
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. 
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. 
  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

More information about avoiding the flu may be found at:

Get your family vaccinated. FightFlu

Seasonal Walk-in Flu Clinics
Date  Time Location
Monday - Friday
(until March 30, 2018)
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Howard County Health Department
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD  21045 
Opioid/Heroin Overdose Prevention Training

For more information about substance use/abuse and prevention see our Behavioral Health page.  For Opioid Overdose Response (naloxone) Training, call 410-313-6202 or contact orpresponse@howardcountymd.gov.  (You must reside, work or attend school in Howard County to participate.) 

Opioid Overdose Prevention Training Time Place
 March 26, 2018 9:00 a.m.  Howard County Health Depatment
8930 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD  21045
April 23, 2018 9:00 a.m.                  "
May 21, 2018 9:00 a.m.                   "
June 18, 2018 9:00 a.m.                   "
July 16, 2018 9:00 a.m.                   "

An Opioid Overdose Response Program Information video is available for viewing online. To view, click on the following ezcast.com link to Opioid/Heroin Overdose Training.

Suicide Prevention App for Smart Phones

Apple App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/there-is-hope/id1122136102?mt=8

Google Play Store:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nextlogik.grassroots&hl=en

Rabies Vaccinations for Your Pets 
Ttwo female vet techs with dog on exam tablehe Howard County Health Department, in cooperation with the Animal Control and Adoption Center sponsor monthly local vaccination clinics to protect your pet from the rabies virus. Bring your dog, cat, or ferret for a discounted vaccination the 3rd Thursday of each month.
Location:  8576 Davis Road
                     Columbia, MD 21045  
Time:  Every 3rd Thursday

Between the hours of 12pm and 1:30pm

 Cost: $5.00 cash or check

Payable to “Director of Finance”

•    All pets must be on a leash or in a carrier!
•    Pets must be at least 3 months of age to receive a vaccination.
•    Re-vaccinate animals by the 1 or 3 year vaccination expiration date.

•    Please bring proof of any previous vaccinations. For cats and dogs you will need a copy of the previous rabies vaccine from your veterinarian. This will allow us to document a 3 year vaccination on your new certificate.

For more information, contact:
Bureau of Environmental Health at 
(410) 313-1773
Animal Control and Adoption Center at 
(410) 313-2780

Food-borne Illnesses
Important: If you think you are sick due to eating bad food or food product, contact the Bureau of Environmental Health at 410-313-1772.  After business cartoon of a tomato inundated by bacteria hours, leave a message with your call back information and we will return your call first thing the morning of the following day.