Monday, September 18, 2017

National Healthy Lunch Day!

With your demanding career and busy family lives, it may be challenging to have a healthy meal. As part of the National Healthy Lunch Day on September 19, 2017, the American Diabetes Association
has provided tips on how to prepare quick and healthy lunches!

Here’s how to put together good-for-you foods to make a satisfying and healthy lunch:
  1. Put a healthy spin on the traditional sandwich. Use two pieces of thin, whole grain bread and include two ounces reduced-sodium lean turkey, hummus, spinach, bell pepper slices, and/or mustard. Add some carrot sticks and light ranch dressing on the side. 
  2. Mix together some cooked quinoa, rinsed and drained canned white beans, chopped bell pepper, carrots, and broccoli to make a whole grain and veggie salad. Toss with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add a nectarine or some grapes on the side and a small handful of dry roasted almonds, if desired. 
  3. Make a tuna salad with canned light tuna packed in water, light mayo, diced celery, lemon juice, and freshly ground pepper. Serve it over greens with an apple and peanut butter on the side. 
  4. Build a quick yogurt parfait with nonfat plain Greek yogurt, diced no-sugar-added canned pineapple, and a sprinkle of pecans to top it off. 
  5. Pack a cup of leftover chili or vegetable soup. Top it with some fresh tomatoes and nonfat plain yogurt instead of sour cream. 
  6. Fill a whole wheat tortilla wrap with rotisserie chicken, hummus, and greens. For more veggie goodness, add roasted or fresh pepper strips. 
  7. Pack a hard-boiled egg, a piece of fruit, a string cheese stick, and five whole wheat crackers. And bring as many carrot or celery sticks as you like! 
  8. Throw together a salad with romaine lettuce or spinach and any other non-starchy vegetables that you like. Top with some grilled chicken, feta cheese, a sprinkle of chopped nuts, and a tablespoon of light salad dressing.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Take the Adult Vaccine Quiz!

Vaccination is important for everyone of all ages and the need for vaccinations does not end in childhood. Every year 700,000 to 1.4 million people suffer from chronic hepatitis B, with complications such as liver cancer, which could be prevented if vaccination is received in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, not all adults are receiving the recommended vaccines, leaving themselves and their loved ones vulnerable to serious preventable diseases. According to the National Health Interview Survey 2014, only 20% of adults 19 years or older had received Tdap vaccination and less than half of adults 18 years or older received a flu vaccine during the 2014-2015 flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an easy multiple choice quiz that lets you find out which vaccines you may need. The recommendations for adults 19 years and older are based on age, health conditions, job, lifestyle, travel, and other factors. Click on the link and take the quiz!

Once you get the list of vaccines you may need, bring the list with you when you visit your primary care doctor and discuss steps you can take to get up to date with your vaccinations. If you are a Montgomery County resident, low income, uninsured, and need primary care, you can contact Montgomery Cares Clinics through MC311 by dialing 240-777-0311.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Free Vaccinations Offered at Health Clinics for Students Entering Seventh Grade

We all need shots (also called vaccinations or immunizations) to help protect us from serious diseases. To help keep our community safe, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ Immunization Program is offering free vaccinations for students entering seventh grade.

Montgomery County health officials urge parents of students entering seventh grade to be sure their students show proof of vaccination against Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) and Meningococcal meningitis (MCV4) prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.  Students not in compliance with Maryland vaccination requirements will be excluded from attending school until they provide documentation of the required Tdap and MCV immunizations.  The requirements are in place throughout the State of Maryland.

Free Tdap and MCV4 immunizations will be offered to incoming students at the following locations:

School Health Services Center
4910 Macon Road, Rockville
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

2000 Dennis Avenue, Silver Spring
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
12900 Middlebrook Road, 2nd floor, Germantown
Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon
Thursdays 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

8630 Fenton Street, 10th floor, Silver Spring
Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

A copy of the child’s immunization record must be presented to staff to receive vaccinations.  For more information on immunizations, call the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services’ Immunization Program at 240-777-1050 or School Health Services at 240-777-1550.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Stigma towards mental health and receiving mental healthcare exists within many Asian American communities.To say that Asian Americans do not experience mental health concerns is a myth; it is, in fact, an extension of the Model Minority Myth, or the false stereotype that lumps all Asian Americans together as being wealthy, highly educated, well-adjusted to the US, and healthy—including mentally healthy.

According to Mental Health America, about 5.4% of the US population identifies as Asian American or Pacific Islander and about 13% of those individuals have a diagnosable mental disorder—that equates to about 2.2 million people. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for Asian Americans, but the second leading cause of death among Asian Americans between 15 and 24 and the third leading cause of death among 25-34 year-olds. When you look closely at research, you find more information: on depression, anxiety, intimate partner violence—all mental health issues that exist within and affect the Asian American community.

Despite these data, barriers to seeking and receiving mental health care exist. Relative to other US populations, Asian Americans are three times less likely to see a mental health provider. Even if Asian Americans do access mental health care, they are more likely to stop receiving care early in the treatment process. The struggles of dealing with stigma towards mental health also affect local Asian Americans living in Montgomery County, Maryland. A study done with Asian American young adults in Montgomery County identified six main barriers to seeking mental health care, one of which was stigma and negative perceptions of those seeking counseling.

As part of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, if you find that you or a loved one needs additional help, the Asian American Health Initiative (AAHI), a part of Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services, encourages you to contact your primary care doctor. You may also contact Montgomery County Access to Behavioral Health Services at 240-777-1770, which offers free mental health screenings and referrals both over the phone and in person. If you are a Montgomery County resident, low income, uninsured, and need primary care, you can contact Montgomery Cares Clinics through MC311 by dialing 240-777-0311.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

National HIV Testing Day

Today, in honor of National HIV Testing Day, AAHI encourages you to get tested for HIV. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS.

The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Many people with HIV don’t have any symptoms. In the United States, 1 in 8 people living with HIV don't know they have it.

Even if you do not feel sick, getting early treatment for HIV is important. Early treatment can help you live a longer, healthier life. Treatment can also make it less likely that you will pass HIV on to other people.

Am I at risk for HIV? 
HIV is spread through some of the body’s fluids, like blood, semen (cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV is passed from one person to another by:

• Having sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) without a condom or dental dam with a person who has HIV
• Sharing needles with someone who has HIV
• Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV
• Getting a transfusion of blood that’s infected with HIV (very rare in the United States)

Under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, insurance plans must cover HIV testing. Talk to your insurance company to learn more.

Free HIV testing is also available:
Montgomery County STD/HIV Testing Program
Locations: 2000 Dennis Avenue, Silver Spring
Upcounty Regional Services Center, Germantown
Call to make an appointment
The program provides testing and treatment for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) for Montgomery County residents only. Free, anonymous and confidential HIV testing is open to all and includes pre-test counseling and post-test counseling. For more information, please click here.