St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Naloxone Training Available for Community Residents

In April, the St. Mary’s County Health Department, Sheriff’s Office, and Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Dr. Michael Somers completed the initiative to train and equip local law enforcement officials to administer naloxone in suspected opioid overdose situations. Administering naloxone, a medication to quickly restore the breathing of someone who has overdosed on opioids, may prevent death from use of heroin or prescription opioid pain medications like oxycodone, fentanyl or methadone.

“Our health department team is extremely grateful to Sheriff Cameron and Dr. Somers for this collaboration,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “Because of the dedicated efforts of the Sheriff’s Office and the time donated by Dr. Somers to provide training, over 140 local law enforcement officials are prepared to administer naloxone to persons in need. This saves lives and gives people a chance to access the treatment they really need.”

The St. Mary’s County Health Department will be offering classes to others in the community who may be able to save the life of someone experiencing breathing problems from opioid overdose. Individuals who successfully complete the 1.5 hour training curriculum will receive a certificate allowing them to obtain and have filled a prescription for naloxone. The training is meant for adults who are more likely to be in a situation where they could help someone experiencing opioid overdose when emergency medical services are not immediately available. This could include concerned parents, caregivers, and others whose social, occupational, volunteer, or family experience might lead to a situation where they could help restore the breathing of someone who has overdosed on opioids.

Participants in the training will learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose, the importance of calling 9-1-1 in medical emergencies, as well as how to administer naloxone and care for someone until emergency help arrives.

Interested community members may apply for certification on the health department’s website at

For further information about naloxone training, please contact Jenna Mulliken at or at 301-475-4323.

Health Department Suspends Perc Testing

Due to declining seasonal groundwater levels, St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Environmental Health Services division has suspended scheduling of “wet season” perc testing. Health department staff will conduct the last perc tests for the season Friday, May 15. Officials at the health department cite declining groundwater levels as the reason, made clear by observing conditions within a network of monitoring wells in the county.

Perc test applications received this season, which have not been scheduled, will be placed on hold and scheduled first when groundwater levels are adequate for the next “wet season”, anticipated in 2016. Applicants may also request a refund; however, they will lose their place on the list and must reapply for next year’s schedule when the “wet season” returns.

Commissioners Celebrate Older Americans

Wishing to acknowledge the power and vitality seniors provide to the community, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County held a ceremony to proclaim May as Older Americans Month.

Commissioners recognized the County's Department of Aging & Human Services as a thriving community of older Americans who deserve recognition for their contributions and sacrifices to ensure a better life for future generations. The department is committed to helping all individuals live longer, healthier lives in the communities of their choice for as long as possible.

"Our community can provide opportunities to enrich the lives of individuals of all ages by promoting and engaging in activity, wellness, and social inclusion," said Commissioner Michael Hewitt (2nd district). "We want to ensure community members of all ages benefit from the contributions and experience of older adults."

The commissioners urge all residents to take time during the month to celebrate older adults and the people who serve and support them.

Commissioners Declare May Mental Health Awareness Month

Recognizing the role mental health plays in every individual's overall physical health and emotional well - being, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County took time to focus on the issue of mental health during a special proclamation ceremony prior to their weekly business meeting.

The Commissioners, along with the National Mental Health Association and its partners, observe Mental Health Awareness Month each May to raise awareness of mental health. It's predicted that mental illness will strike one in five adults and children in a given year, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or economic status.

"An estimated two-thirds of adults and young people who suffer from mental health disorders are not receiving the help they require," said Commissioner Tom Jarboe (1st district). "The cost of untreated and mistreated mental illnesses and addictive disorders to American businesses, governments and families has grown to more than $100 billion annually."

Advocates say, with effective treatment, individuals with mental health conditions can recover and lead full, productive lives.

In proclaiming May Mental Health Awareness Month, commissioners urged citizens, government agencies, private and public institutions, businesses and schools to recommit to increasing the community's understanding of mental health and the need for appropriate and accessible services for those with mental health disorders.

National Drug Court Month Declared by Commissioners

With Drug Courts providing the focus and leadership for community-wide anti-drug systems, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County lauded their efforts during a proclamation ceremony prior to their weekly business meeting.

Drug Courts bring together criminal justice, treatment, education and other community partners in the fight against drug abuse and criminality. In recognition of the court's efforts in St. Mary's County, commissioners have declared the month May as National Drug Court Month.

"Drug Court programs are the original form of drug policy reform," said Commissioner John O'Connor (3rd district). "They combine intensive judicial supervision, mandatory substance abuse treatment and drug testing with sanctions and incentives in order to break the cycle of drug abuse and drug related crimes."

Commissioners recognized judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment and supervision professionals, law enforcement personnel, researchers, educators and community leaders for their dedication to making a profound impact through hard work and commitment to their communities.

St. Mary's County is proud to recognize the practitioners and participants who make drug courts work and the significant contributions that drug courts have made and continue to make in reducing drug usage and criminal behavior.

Registration Now Open for Exhibitors & Sponsors for Annual Community Health Fair: The Way to Wellness

Calling all vendors and sponsors! Now is the time to begin planning your participation at this year's St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services Health Fair: The Way to Wellness. This year's event will take place on Friday, October 30, from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, 44219 Airport Road, California, MD.

Several opportunities exist for companies & non-profit organizations to participate as exhibitors, presenters or sponsors at the Health Fair. Attendance at this annual community event has increased each year. The 2014 event drew over 800 visitors and more are expected to attend this year. The Health Fair features a variety of comprehensive health screenings and wellness information will be provided.

Sponsors may participate by making a monetary donation or offering door prizes. Sponsors will be recognized in all available marketing releases if your commitment is received by fax or mail prior to June 30, 2015. Your sponsorship is still needed after that date, but recognition opportunities will be limited.

For more information call Jennifer Stone at 301-475-4200, ext. 1073 or log on to the Health Fair's webpage at or the Health Fair Facebook page at

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