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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Leonardtown, Maryland – The statistics are alarming. Between July 2016 and June 2017, there were 46 domestic violence related deaths in Maryland, according to the Maryland Network against Domestic Violence. One in four women and one in seven men report having been a victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And 30 to 60 percent of perpetrators of partner abuse also abused the children in the household, according to the CDC. “There is no community that goes untouched by domestic violence,” said Stephen Michaels, MD, chief operating officer and chief…

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Diabetes Program Earns CDC Recognition

Leonardtown, Maryland – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently recognized MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Diabetes Prevention Program, Simple Changes. The program was awarded CDC Full Recognition which is reserved for “programs that have effectively delivered a quality, evidence-based program that meets all of the standards for CDC recognition,” according to a letter from the CDC. To be recognized by the CDC, programs must: Have trained lifestyle coaches who can help build participants’ skills and confidence to make lasting lifestyle changes Have a diabetes prevention program coordinator who uses a CDC approved curriculum Obtain a minimum average weight loss of 5…

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Could Your Vitamin Impact Blood Test Results?

Many doctor’s appointments begin with the same question: what medications are you taking? Though going through the list might feel tedious, it’s important to share an up-to-date rundown every time to determine how these drugs may interact with each other — and even how they could impact important blood tests. Last fall, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert regarding the water-soluble vitamin B7, or biotin, frequently found in multivitamins and supplements. Daily biotin recommendations range from 5 to 35 micrograms, depending on one’s age, gender, and other factors including pregnancy. Biotin can also be ingested naturally through common…

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The Vape Debate: This New Trend May Be Riskier Than You Think

The e-cigarette market has been on fire the past few years. With nearly 500 brands and 7,700 flavors of e-cigarettes on the market, according to the American Lung Association, these electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are sparking renewed interest and debates around the use of tobacco products and the harmful effects of nicotine. “We feel that it is important to educate the community on the potential harms and risks of vaping,” said Angela Cochran, director of Chronic Disease Prevention & Control for St. Mary’s County Health Department. “As the research evolves we continue to gain more knowledge on how e-cigarette use affects our health.” In 2015, the Health Department created the VapeAware awareness campaign to help…

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