Maryland Dental Action Coalition
For more than 35 years the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together in recognizing the vital role water plays in our daily lives. The AWWA has provided various educational and social media resources on their website. Please join us as we celebrate tap water!
Get It From The Tap
University of Maryland, School of Public Health
Horowitz Center for Health Literacy
As part of the AWWA’s Drinking Water Week, it is important to keep in mind that tap water contains fluoride. Help spread the message and encourage others that ‘Fluoride Prevents Cavities’ through the use of free educational posters and other resources. Please complete an order form to request materials in time for #DrinkingWaterWeek14
Children’s Dental Health Project (April 14, 2014)
Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in nearly all water supplies, but usually at a concentration that is too low to protect teeth from cavities. This is why so many community water systems add fluoride – a process called “fluoridation”. Fluoridation reduces the rate of tooth decay by about 25 percent over a person’s lifetime. Both children and adults benefit from drinking fluoridated water. READ MORE
Why Drink Water?
- Our bodies are more than two-thirds water. Water helps regulate body temperature, lubricates joints and the spinal cord, aids digestion, and maintains other important functions.
- Drinking water instead of sweetened beverages, like soda or juice, is the healthier way to stay hydrated. The CDC recommends keeping a cold pitcher of water in your refrigerator instead of drinks with added sugar.
- How much water do you need? Experts say six to eight 8-oz glasses is a good amount. The Mayo Clinic suggests drinking a glass of water with each meal, between meals, and before and after exercise.
Did You Know?
Many people believe bottled water is safer than tap water. The Natural Resources Defense Council conducted a four-year review of the bottled water industry and the safety standards that govern it, including a comparison of national bottled water rules with national tap water rules, and independent testing of over 1,000 bottles of water. They concluded that there is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap. In fact, an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle – sometimes further treated, sometimes not. If the bottle says “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system” this means it’s derived from tap water. Why not save money and Get It From the Tap?!
Celebrate Drinking Water Week with Spa Water
Spa water sounds fancy, but it’s super simple – chilled tap water with natural, sugar-free flavors. Lemon, cucumber, rosemary, blueberries, mint, orange – all are delicious!
All you need is a glass pitcher or a counter top drink dispenser with a spigot. Allow the add-ins to absorb into the water – the length of time depends on your taste. Wait too long and fruit can become bitter. Move too quickly and you lose taste. Let your taste buds decide!
Store in the fridge while you allow the flavors to absorb. Make sure to cover your spa water so it doesn’t absorb any additional fridge flavors (yuck!).
- Cucumbers, lemons, oranges, and larger items should be sliced, at a minimum. For added flavor, slice each slice in half.
- Avoid soft fruit like raspberries and strawberries.
- Mint goes great with any fruit and vegetable add-in.
Surf the net for refreshing spa water recipes, or experiment with flavors of your own design!
Thanks to Howard County Unsweetened for this article.
What Impact Has The Affordable Care Act Had On Maryland Health Care?
WYPR (April 15, 2014)
Sheilah Kast and Matt Purdy
Welcome back to The Checkup, our weekly series on how health care is changing in Maryland. This is our final segment in the series. For seven months, we’ve dug into the details of the Affordable Care Act. How have specific groups of people have been affected by it? Who has and has not been able to get access to insurance through it? How have different components of the health care system responded to the changes?Today, we’re going to take a step back and ask the question: How does the Affordable Care Act fit into the big picture of Maryland’s health care system?
With Sheilah Kast to bat around that question is the state’s Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein. Also joining Sheilah in the studio is Colleen Barry, Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. And, with Sheilah by phone is Peter Beilenson. He’s CEO of Evergreen Health Co-op, one of the insurers on Maryland’s exchange. NEWSCAST AUDIO HERE.
University of Maryland pediatric dentist answers questions about preventing cavities in children
The Baltimore Sun (April 16, 2014)
Tooth decay has become a major problem among young children, and pediatric dentists are urging parents to take steps such as limiting sugary snacks and drinks. They also now advise brushing with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and having a wellness exam at age 1, according to Dr. Norman Tinanoff, chief of the division of pediatric dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. READ MORE
Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resources and Services Administration
Maryland lawmakers cautious about new health exchange
The Baltimore Sun (April 5, 2014)
Meredith Cohn, Andrea K. Walker, and Erin Cox
As Maryland prepares for a major overhaul of its troubled health exchange — switching out its buggy software for Connecticut's proven technology — lawmakers and information technology experts are raising new concerns about whether there is enough oversight to prevent a second failure.
State legislators from both parties said building a successful site will take more than plugging in new software — a view echoed by technology experts. While cautiously optimistic about the switch, lawmakers don't want to see the same management problems and potential waste of taxpayer money that plagued the creation of the exchange.
"Software is the core of the exchange, but how you manage the development, implementation and testing of the software is as critical as the software itself," said Dan Schuyler, senior director of the exchange practice of Leavitt Partners, a health intelligence and health care consulting firm.
Several lawmakers also said their confidence in the exchange leadership is shaky. They want more transparency in decision-making and spending on the exchange, which has cost $129 million so far. READ MORE
Recommendation for Maryland Health Connection IT Platform
To: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, Board of Directors
From: Isabel FitzGerald, Secretary, Department of Information Technology
Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Carolyn Quattrocki, Acting Director, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange
RE: Recommendation for Maryland Health Connection IT Platform
Date: March 31, 2014