Monthly Reports

April 2023

April was an especially busy and productive month for the African American Health Program in delivering health promotion, prevention, and intervention services. April marks the beginning of the final quarter of the current 2023 fiscal year. During the month, attention was devoted to onboarding and training two newly recruited SMILE staff nurses and providing the necessary training required to gradually increase the number of mothers and family members in all phases of program operations and management. In this connection, new staff was introduced to and trained in the use of the African American Health Program’s data collection and management systems. Also, the new staff was provided with computers, cell phones,  and badges, and trained on how to use these systems in managing program operations and reporting procedures.

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SMILE mom, baby and staff at the SMILE Graduation on Thursday, April 27, 2023 >>

March 2023

March concluded the third quarter in the seventh year of the African American Health Program implemented by McFarland & Associates, Inc. March's schedule of programs and activities focused on recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and the training of new staff to support the expansion and range of services the African American Health Program (AAHP) provides to Black/African American residents of Montgomery County towards reducing health disparities. In March, the program recruited a new data coordinator to replace the former administrative assistant/data coordinator, who initially began working with the program as a volunteer and, within a short time, moved into a full-time position as a community health worker and worked with the program continuously for more than three while earning a Master’s degree in health informatics from Tufts University.

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<< AAHP staff leading & attending a health screenings training

February 2023

February was an incredibly productive month for the African American Health Program (AAHP). February’s schedule of programs and activities focused on celebrating Black History Month with a particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS and the health status of people of African descent. On February 7, AAHP hosted its first National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBAAD) event at the Sandy Spring Museum. AAHP’s Executive Committee partnered with AAHP’s staff to coordinate this event to raise awareness about the risk of HIV/AIDS and ensure that all residents know their status. This unique forum brought together a collective of health professionals and community residents for a frank discussion about the magnitude, evolution, and impact of HIV among residents of African descent in Montgomery County. 

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Speakers at AAHP’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event at the Sandy Spring Museum on February 7 >>

January 2023

January was an especially significant time for the African American Health Program (AAHP) because it marked the completion of the first half of the 2023 fiscal year and the beginning of the new 2023 calendar year. The new year prompted more emphasis on making resolutions to improve the health and well-being among AAHP staff and constituents. January 16th marked the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy with a variety of health-oriented programs in honor of his birthday as a national holiday. Significantly, on this MLK Day, the Montgomery County chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. recognized the contributions of the African American Health Program in reducing health disparities in Montgomery County.

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<< AAHP was a significant partner for the MLK Day of Service event at the Silver Sprng Civic Building on January 16

December 2022

December concluded the first half of the fiscal year 2023 for the service contract between Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and McFarland & Associates, Inc. December was replete with intense and expansive activities by the African American Health Program (AAHP). It was also a time to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of the past six months and to embrace new opportunities to improve and expand services for Montgomery County's Black/African American residents in the next six months.

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AAHP Executive Committee with Montgomery County Councilmember >>

November 2022

November was a busy and productive month for the African American Health Program (AAHP). November's activities included intensive efforts to expand community partnerships and outreach, increase the range of services available to Montgomery County residents, and review and assess mental health screening data collected over the past year. In the upcoming quarter, AAHP will review accumulated data and information for insights to improve mental health services. Also, community outreach, education, and health screening events continued to record high participation rates.

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<< AAHP Contract Staff at the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Day Parade on Saturday, November 19

October 2022

October began the second quarter of the FY23 contract year for the African American Health Program (AAHP). “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month” were observed in October. Because AAHP’s target population is disproportionately affected by health-related medical and social issues, the Chronic Disease Management and Prevention Program (CDMP) chose cancer as the theme for the month. Also, the SMILE (Start More Infants Living Equally healthy) program devoted a Mommy Chat session to domestic violence. AAHP’s various activities throughout the month showed its purpose to be effective, outstanding, and compassionate in implementing all services and programming.

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AAHP staff conducting a health screening at the Health Fair at White Oak Recreation Center on October 29 >>

September 2022

September ended the first quarter of the FY23 contract year for the African American Health Program (AAHP). It was an intensely productive and busy month focused on community outreach, education, information dissemination, and health screenings. The staff kicked off September by participating in the Annual Ethiopian Day Festival held on September 4 at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring. This event attracted hundreds of young and mature adults who received health information or were screened for chronic health conditions. It is important to note that immigrants from Ethiopia and Eritrea (Habesha) represent the largest single ethnic group from Africa in Montgomery County. Silver Spring also has the largest concentration of Ethiopian businesses in Maryland.

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<< AAHP staff at Ethiopian Day Festival held on September 4 at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring

August 2022

In August, the African American Health Program (AAHP) organized and conducted community outreach and health screening events throughout Montgomery County. These events involved taking health screening services to sites throughout the County where residents of African descent live, gather and worship. These events also served as opportunities to build community trust and engagement surrounding health literacy; assess personal health risks; collect actionable biometric data on blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, weight, and mental health status; and assess HIV/AIDS infection status. Assessments included physical and mental health screenings conducted at The People's Community Baptist Church, Kings and Priests International Ministries, White Oak Community Recreational Center, Leisure World Senior Living Community, Hampshire Towers Apartments, the Afro-Latino Caribbean Day at the Slave Museum, the East County Food Exposition at White Oak, and health screenings conducted at AAHP's Rockville office.

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AAHP staff disseminating information at AfroLatino Caribbean Day at the Sandy Spring Slave Museum on Saturday, August 20 >>

July 2022

July marked the end of the 2022 fiscal contract year and ushered in the beginning of the 2023 fiscal year. July also recorded the seventh year that McFarland and Associates, Inc. has implemented the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract under the supervision of the Montgomery County's Department of Health and Human Services At the beginning of the fiscal year, AAHP recorded two employment terminations due to one employee retiring and another resigning to begin employment elsewhere. July also recorded the hiring of two new nurses, a senior program manager, a certified diabetes educator and coach, a community health worker, and four graduate student interns who began training with AAHP. As AAHP continuously aims to strengthen its efforts towards reducing health disparities and ensuring that people of African descent live as healthy and as long as the rest of Montgomery County's population, AAHP is especially pleased to attract and recruit staff that can expand AAHP's collective professional skills, technical knowledge, and experience, the staff's cultural and linguistic diversity.

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<< AAHP Conducting Health Screenings at Victory Heaven Senior Living on Wednesday, July 13, 2022

June 2022

June was the last month in the fiscal year 2022 program implementation and operation. June was also a period of transition and change in regards to personnel changes. One of the SMILE nurses, who had been with the SMILE program since its inception retired at the end of June after more than 20 years of ongoing dedication to helping more than 400 mothers give birth to new infants and navigate the first year of life for the children and parents. In addition, after working as a nurse for the chronic disease management program for the past six years, another nurse resigned to take another position. The African American Health Program (AAHP) is grateful for their outstanding contributions and their many years of service. AAHP is also grateful for their steadfast assistance and support in working closely with newly recruited nurses and community health workers to ensure a smooth transition in delivery of services.

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Staff and volunteer training on Thursday, June 23rd >>

May 2022

May was an intense and productive month for the African American Health Program (AAHP), beginning with the Annual AAHP Community Day event on Saturday, May 7th, at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus. The event welcomed Montgomery County officials, stakeholders, and community residents. Participants included the Montgomery County Council members, the County Executive, the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, the AAHP Executive Committee, the AAHP Program Manager, members of the AAHP Executive Coalition, and stakeholders committed to reducing health disparities in the County. The president of the County Council and the County Executive issued a proclamation designating May 7th as AAHP Community Day. All AAHP staff were on hand to celebrate this significant occasion.

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<< Proclamation Issued by County Executive and Council President on May 7, 2022

April 2022

April turned out to be an extraordinarily busy and productive month for the African American Health Program (AAHP). The SMILE program increased the number of mothers enrolled to an unprecedented level of 213 cases. The program also enrolled 12 new mothers and 11 mothers gave birth. Remarkably all but one delivery were at a normal weight and gestation. Almost 91% of mothers were breastfeeding in the first three months after birth which is even more remarkable in light of the current challenge facing new mothers who are now finding it difficult to obtain manufactured infant formula for immune support such as Similac and other products.

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Participant learning how to conduct Infant CPR at AAHP’s class >>

March 2022

In early March, an accidental gas explosion caused a massive fire at a Silver Spring apartment complex, leaving 14 people hospitalized and displacing hundreds, including AAHP clients. Such tragic events affect the mental health of victims and underscore the important role AAHP plays in providing resources and support for Montgomery County’s most vulnerable citizens.  Staff were able to conduct individualized needs evaluations that included the physical health and emotional well-being of these residents.

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<< AAHP SMILE baby looks adoringly at a SMILE nurse 

February 2022

The African American Health Program (AAHP) uses evidence-based guidance to motivate behavior and lifestyle changes that result in fewer health risks, more healthy days, and fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations among Black/African American Montgomery County residents. AAHP participants are provided with tools and strategies to help them take greater control of their health and their activities are closely monitored and measured to document and assess their progress. Through this process, AAHP’s staff continues to record major health improvements for hundreds of residents every month.

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Participants at the AAHP Walk at Lake Artemisia on Saturday, February 19th, 2022 >>

January 2022

January began a new year of the African American Health Program (AAHP) continuing to provide education, information, and guidance to Black/African American Montgomery County residents on how they can take control of their health and well-being.

For the first time, members of the AAHP staff and their families, neighbors, and friends began testing positive for COVID-19. Additional measures to quarantine, maintain social distance, wear masks, and distribute COVID-19 testing kits were necessary due to prevent the fast spread of the Omicron variant. Because of the highly infectious nature of this virus, many of the testing and screening sites where the staff typically conduct screenings were closed to outsiders as a prudent measure to help manage and control the spread of the virus. This included routine testing at all of the homeless shelters in the County.

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 << AAHP staff excited about food distribution

December 2021

December kicked off with World AIDS Day on the 1st. This was a day of reflection, sexual health education, and free HIV testing. Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services HIV/STI Program hosted an elegant event that was attended by several AAHP staff members. The morning’s conference was organized as a collaborative event in partnership with the Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, with event speakers from the Montgomery County Council and the Maryland Department of Health. Panelists provided the most current information about the HIV epidemic nationally, in Maryland and in Montgomery County. 

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 Attendees at World AIDS Day celebration on December 2021 >>

November 2021

In November, news accounts about the Omicron variant, a new and potentially more transmissible coronavirus strain first identified in South Africa became more concerning for the nation and Montgomery County residents. Because little is known about the severity of virus contagion and its impact on illness, hospitalizations, and deaths, the emergence of this new variant highlighted the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent COVID-19 from further mutation. In November, booster shots became available to every person who has received their second vaccination dose 6 or more months ago. The vaccine was also authorized by the FDA for children aged 5-11 for the first time. This was especially encouraging as the holiday season approaches and residents typically spend more time with family and friends.  

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<< A Black/African American paradegoer makes note of AAHP and its services as AAHP staff march at the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade on November 20th, 2021

October 2021

October marked the beginning of the second quarter of the current contract extension between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and McFarland & Associates Inc. to implement programs and services for the African American Health Program (AAHP).

On October 28th, Montgomery County lifted the indoor mask mandate, due to the recent decrease in the rate of COVID-19 cases for seven consecutive days from “substantial” community transmission to “moderate.” Also, booster vaccinations became available for County residents over age 65 and in other high-risk categories.

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Weight Management participants after the AAHP Walk on Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 >>

September 2021

September marked the end of the first quarter of the current contract extension between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and McFarland & Associates, Inc. to implement programs and services for the African American Health Program (AAHP). September continued to be a very productive month during which AAHP staff expanded services and introduced innovative strategies for educating Black/African American County residents on how to prevent and manage chronic health conditions.

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<< AAHP staff is all smiles at the Montgomery County Family Picnic

August 2021

August marked the second month of the current contract extension between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and McFarland & Associates, Inc. Several significant events that impacted the delivery of health promotion and wellness services in Montgomery County occurred in August. The County renewed the indoor mask mandate in response to the rapid increase of new cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant. Also in August, the County’s public health officer announced his resignation effective September 12, 2021. During his four-year tenure, he provided leadership and guidance based on data and science and developed departmental advisories and strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Departmental advisories were incorporated into the delivery of health promotion and screening services by AAHP staff at the Dennis Avenue Clinic, homeless shelters, and in live community events.

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AAHP conducting health screenings at the Active Senior event at the Bonifant on August 18, 2021 >>
AAHP conducting health screenings at the Active Senior event at the Bonifant on August 18, 2021

July 2021

July marked the first month of the current contract extension between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and McFarland & Associates, Inc. During July, AAHP staff continued to perform well in its mission of providing health promotion and prevention services while observing safety precautions and practices necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Delta variant. To address health disparities, the AAHP staff continued to evolve new and agile procedures, workflows, infrastructure, and strategies to expand the reach of health promotion and wellness services to residents of African descent in Montgomery County.  

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<< AAHP staff training new staff person at refresher/training session

June 2021

June marked the final month of the five-year service contract between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and McFarland & Associates Inc. From a contextual standpoint, it is important to understand that during the final year in the five-year contract, AAHP program staff continued to record high-performance metrics for health promotion and prevention services despite the requirement for social distancing necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the year, and continuing through June, the AAHP staff continued to evolve new and agile procedures, workflows, infrastructure, and implementation strategies all aimed at continuing the job of reducing health disparities between people of African descent and other County residents. It is significant to note that despite the many challenges imposed by social distancing, AAHP continued to reach more residents, place a strong emphasis on achieving measurable health outcomes, and help residents better understand their role in improving health to become health advocates for themselves and their family members.

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AAHP and participants at a National HIV Testing Day event in downtown Silver Spring >>

May 2021

May marked the second to last month of the five-year contract between Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and McFarland & Associates, Inc. to provide prevention, wellness, and health promotion services to reduce health disparities that exist between Black County residents and the rest of the population. DHHS elected to grant a one-year contract extension in April to continue the work performed over the past 59 months of the contract. This report documents the high morale among staff and the satisfaction recorded by program participants, as well as the overall persistent participation in program services across all focus areas. AAHP’s annual flagship event, Community Day, held on May 22, 2021, was a major highlight of May program activities. As part of the AAHP Community Day celebration, AAHP’s significance and work in the County was heralded by the County Executive along with resounding endorsements by almost all members of the County Council and various members of the Maryland State House of Delegates. 

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<< AAHP community health worker holding SMILE baby

April 2021

April marks the beginning of the final quarter of the five-year service contract between Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and McFarland & Associates, Inc. to provide prevention, wellness, and health promotion services to reduce health disparities in the Black population of Montgomery County. DHHS renewed McFarland and Associates, Inc. by granting a one-year contract extension in April.

The achievements presented in this April report demonstrate that McFarland & Associates  meet requirements to continue to  provide services to improve health outcomes for residents of African descent. The report highlights improvements in health outcomes through multiple testimonials, charts, tables, and graphs.  Remarkably, AAHP adapted to the challenge of social distancing by devising tailored strategies to meet the unique health conditions of individual program participants. A strong bond of trust has emerged between participants and AAHP staff as a result of the shared experience of working consistently towards better health by adopting a healthier lifestyle and gaining health literacy.

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Residents sign up to get screened and tested for cholesterol, A1c, blood pressure and HIV at the Men’s Shelter >>

March 2021

While continuing to implement the fifth year of the contract with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to reduce health disparities and health risks among Black Montgomery County residents, the staff of McFarland and Associates began the new year by focusing on ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and distribute information about how to manage personal health, where to get vaccinated and access community resources. The fact that many staff members were able to obtain their first vaccine dose increased confidence in their ability to safely provide outstanding public health education programs and services despite the public health challenges presented by a once-in-a-generation pandemic. 

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<< AAHP participates in the Patcha Foundation’s HIV event at the Kings & Priests Church on March 13

February 2021

While implementing the fifth year of the contract with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to reduce health disparities and health risks to Black Montgomery County residents by implementing the African American Health Program (AAHP), the staff of McFarland and Associates began February by continuing to work closely with pregnant and postpartum mothers to improve their pregnancy outcomes and helping County residents acquire the knowledge and skills needed to manage and prevent health-related diseases and illness, including getting screened for avoidable disease and illness and accessing health-related resources.

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Residents sign up to get screened and tested for cholesterol, A1c, blood pressure and HIV at the Men’s Shelter >>

January 2021

While continuing to implement the fifth year of the contract with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to reduce health disparities and health risks among Black Montgomery County residents, the staff of McFarland and Associates began the new year by focusing on ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and distribute information about how to manage personal health, where to get vaccinated and access community resources. The fact that many staff members were able to obtain their first vaccine dose increased confidence in their ability to safely provide outstanding public health education programs and services despite the public health challenges presented by a once-in-a-generation pandemic. 

<< READ MORE

<< George McFarland speaking at a Brother 2 Brother forum

December 2020

In December, the African American Health Program (AAHP) emphasized goal setting and the development of performance standards with an emphasis on health improvement outcomes for each AAHP focus area. While continuing to implement the fifth year of the contract with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to reduce health disparities and individual and family health risks to Black Montgomery County residents, the staff  provided outstanding public health education programs and services despite the public health challenges presented by a once-in-a-generation pandemic. 

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The AAHP family at the Executive Committee’s COVID-19 Testing Event >>

November 2020

As November recorded an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases across the country as well as in Montgomery County, the African American Health Program (AAHP) continued implementing the fifth year of the contract between McFarland and Associates and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to reduce health disparities and individual and family health risks to Montgomery county residents of African descent by providing outstanding public health programs and services. AAHP offered health promotion, prevention, and wellness services to County residents using social media, teleconferencing technology, videos, and even in-person engagements (following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health department recommended safety precautions and protocols that included social distancing and donning personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and face shields. Thus far, not a single case of COVID-19 infection has been reported among AAHP staff, and now that several biopharmaceutical companies have announced high efficacy in their COVID-19 vaccines, there is a reason for the hope that more County residents will be spared as well).

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<< County residents participate in a socially distant exercise session at World Diabetes Day on November 14

October  2020

October 2020 marked the beginning of the second quarter in the fifth year of implementing the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between McFarland and Associates and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). In October, Montgomery County remained in the second phase of the COVID-19 reopening established by Executive Order 082 – 20 issued by the County’s Health Officer in March. From March to October, while observing social distancing guidelines, AAHP continued to refine and implement new health promotion, prevention, and wellness services to reach County residents of African descent to reduce health disparities and individual and family health risks.

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AAHP staff in front of the “Mammo-Van” at the People’s Community Baptist Church >>

September 2020

September 2020 marked the close of the first quarter in the fifth year of implementing the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between McFarland and Associates and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). September also saw the continuation of the second phase of the COVID-19 reopening established by Executive Order 082 – 20 issued by the County’s Health Officer in March 2020 mandating social distancing. From March to September, while also observing social distancing guidelines, AAHP continued to refine and implement new health promotion, prevention, and wellness services to reach County residents of African descent to reduce health disparities and individual and family health risks.

<< READ MORE

<< AAHP staff providing screening services, support, and information at Grab N Go

August 2020

August 2020 marked the second month in the fifth year of implementing the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between McFarland and Associates and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). August also saw the continuation of the second phase of the COVID-19 reopening established by Executive Order 082 – 20 issued by the County’s Health Officer in March 2020 that mandated social distancing. Starting in March and continuing into August, AAHP continued to refine and implement new health promotion, prevention, and wellness services to reach County residents of African descent to reduce health disparities and individual and family health risks while also observing social distancing guidelines.  

READ MORE >>

AAHP staff handing out AAHP information packets at the Windsor Court Apartments Grab N Go >>

July 2020

The month of July marked the beginning of the fifth year of implementing the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between McFarland & Associates and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). July also saw the continuation of the second phase of COVID-19 reopening (Executive Order 082 – 20) issued by the County’s Health Officer in March of 2020. Management of the COVID-19 pandemic mandated social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infections. Despite the challenges imposed by social distancing, AAHP staff continued to innovate and introduce creative new ways to engage individuals and families with social media, participation in the Grab-and-Go food distribution programs, and videoconferencing. 

<< READ MORE

<<AAHP staff showing up for the community at a food distribution event

June 2020

June was the final month of the fourth year of implementing the African American Health Program contract between McFarland and Associates and Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services. June also included the second phase of Covid-19 reopening based on an order (Executive Order 082 – 20) issued by the County’s Health Officer on June 19, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced County residents to confront harsh realities from concern for the health and safety of all County residents and their families to the financial struggles associated with mass layoffs and a weakened economy. Program activities were guided by evolving guidance and information about the rate of infection, hospitalizations and deaths in the County.

READ MORE >>

Staff hand out health information and supplies at food distribution event >>

May 2020

The African American Health Program (AAHP)’s work activities continued on the path of creating, refining, and implementing new ways to continuously provide outreach, health education, and wellness services to reduce health disparities between Black residents of Montgomery County and other residents. Central to all program activities was the importance of continuing to practice social distancing by communicating with residents using telephones and using computer resources to offer counsel and guidance, and to gather, store, and record needs assessment data and information.

In May, new information emerged that highlighted the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and identification of the most prevalent underlining health conditions associated with higher infection rates among African Americans. Although this effort began in March, the outreach program shifted into high gear in May.

<< READ MORE

<<AAHP staff maintained contact with clients during the stay-at-home order. by leveraging technology.

April 2020

April was the first full month of the African American Health Program (AAHP) working under the Stay-At-Home Order issued by Maryland’s governor and the Montgomery County executive. Program activities shifted dramatically to the adoption of new approaches and strategies to continuously provide effective health promotion, disease prevention, and wellness services while working virtually to reduce the risk for contracting and spreading the coronavirus. To achieve this objective, staff developed and refined competencies in the use of various virtual software platforms to maintain contact with County residents of African descent and to increase the number of residents engaged in educational and prevention services. 

READ MORE >>

Life in simpler times: County residents listen to a nutrition demonstration during AAHP Community Day 2017 >>

March 2020

March started as just another month as we looked forward to springtime, warmer temperatures and the excitement of the cherry blossom season in the D.C. Metropolitan Area. However, by the middle of March, everything changed dramatically as we all braced for the coronavirus pandemic that captured the attention of the global community, the nation, the state of Maryland and Montgomery County.

<< READ MORE

<< A very busy Chronic Disease Management class at White Oak Recreation Center

February 2020

In February, the African American Health Program (AAHP) expanded prevention and wellness services throughout Montgomery County. AAHP staff conducted health screenings at the White Oak Recreation Center, the Dennis Avenue Health Center, Progress Place Homeless Services Center, the People’s Community Baptist Church, Hampshire Towers Apartments, the Victory House, Charter House Apartments, the Sodexo Corporation, Montgomery College’s Germantown campus, Fitzgerald Theater, John F. Kennedy High, and other locations throughout the County. 

READ MORE >>

AAHP at the Black History Month Program at Strathmore >>

January 2020

January 2020 marked the beginning of the second half of the fourth year of the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and McFarland & Associates, Inc. Several significant firsts occurred in January. For example, attendance at the Chronic Disease Management Program’s  class at the White Oak Recreation Center reached an all-time high of 32 participants for a single class. During AAHP’s screening in collaboration with the Montgomery County chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. AAHP staff conducted 65 biometric health screenings, which represented one of the largest numbers of personalized screenings conducted at a single event during the current contract. 

<< READ MORE

<<AAHP staff at the I Heart Health event

September 2020

September 2020 marked the close of the first quarter in the fifth year of implementing the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between McFarland and Associates and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). September also saw the continuation of the second phase of the COVID-19 reopening established by Executive Order 082 – 20 issued by the County’s Health Officer in March 2020 mandating social distancing. From March to September, while also observing social distancing guidelines, AAHP continued to refine and implement new health promotion, prevention, and wellness services to reach County residents of African descent to reduce health disparities and individual and family health risks.

READ MORE >>

<< AAHP staff providing screening services, support, and information at Grab N Go

August 2020

August 2020 marked the second month in the fifth year of implementing the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between McFarland and Associates and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). August also saw the continuation of the second phase of the COVID-19 reopening established by Executive Order 082 – 20 issued by the County’s Health Officer in March 2020 that mandated social distancing. Starting in March and continuing into August, AAHP continued to refine and implement new health promotion, prevention, and wellness services to reach County residents of African descent to reduce health disparities and individual and family health risks while also observing social distancing guidelines.  

READ MORE >>

<< AAHP staff handing out AAHP information packets at the Windsor Court Apartments Grab N Go

July 2020

The month of July marked the beginning of the fifth year of implementing the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between McFarland & Associates and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). July also saw the continuation of the second phase of COVID-19 reopening (Executive Order 082 – 20) issued by the County’s Health Officer in March of 2020. Management of the COVID-19 pandemic mandated social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infections. Despite the challenges imposed by social distancing, AAHP staff continued to innovate and introduce creative new ways to engage individuals and families with social media, participation in the Grab-and-Go food distribution programs, and videoconferencing. 

READ MORE >>

<<AAHP staff showing up for the community at a food distribution event

June 2020

June was the final month of the fourth year of implementing the African American Health Program contract between McFarland and Associates and Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services. June also included the second phase of Covid-19 reopening based on an order (Executive Order 082 – 20) issued by the County’s Health Officer on June 19, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced County residents to confront harsh realities from concern for the health and safety of all County residents and their families to the financial struggles associated with mass layoffs and a weakened economy. Program activities were guided by evolving guidance and information about the rate of infection, hospitalizations and deaths in the County.

READ MORE >>

<<Staff hand out health information and supplies at food distribution event

May

The African American Health Program (AAHP)’s work activities continued on the path of creating, refining, and implementing new ways to continuously provide outreach, health education, and wellness services to reduce health disparities between Black residents of Montgomery County and other residents. Central to all program activities was the importance of continuing to practice social distancing by communicating with residents using telephones and using computer resources to offer counsel and guidance, and to gather, store, and record needs assessment data and information.

In May, new information emerged that highlighted the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 and identification of the most prevalent underlining health conditions associated with higher infection rates among African Americans. Although this effort began in March, the outreach program shifted into high gear in May.

READ MORE >>

<<AAHP staff maintained contact with clients during the stay-at-home order. by leveraging technology.

April 2020

April was the first full month of the African American Health Program (AAHP) working under the Stay-At-Home Order issued by Maryland’s governor and the Montgomery County executive. Program activities shifted dramatically to the adoption of new approaches and strategies to continuously provide effective health promotion, disease prevention, and wellness services while working virtually to reduce the risk for contracting and spreading the coronavirus. To achieve this objective, staff developed and refined competencies in the use of various virtual software platforms to maintain contact with County residents of African descent and to increase the number of residents engaged in educational and prevention services. 

READ MORE >>

<<Life in simpler times: County residents listen to a nutrition demonstration during AAHP Community Day 2017

March 2020

March started as just another month as we looked forward to springtime, warmer temperatures and the excitement of the cherry blossom season in the D.C. Metropolitan Area. However, by the middle of March, everything changed dramatically as we all braced for the coronavirus pandemic that captured the attention of the global community, the nation, the state of Maryland and Montgomery County. READ MORE >>

<< A very busy Chronic Disease Management class at White Oak Recreation Center

February 2020

In February, the African American Health Program (AAHP) expanded prevention and wellness services throughout Montgomery County. AAHP staff conducted health screenings at the White Oak Recreation Center, the Dennis Avenue Health Center, Progress Place Homeless Services Center, the People’s Community Baptist Church, Hampshire Towers Apartments, the Victory House, Charter House Apartments, the Sodexo Corporation, Montgomery College’s Germantown campus, Fitzgerald Theater, John F. Kennedy High, and other locations throughout the County.  READ MORE >>

<<AAHP at the Black History Month Program at Strathmore

January 2020

January 2020 marked the beginning of the second half of the fourth year of the African American Health Program (AAHP) contract between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and McFarland & Associates, Inc. Several significant firsts occurred in January. For example, attendance at the Chronic Disease Management Program’s  class at the White Oak Recreation Center reached an all-time high of 32 participants for a single class. During AAHP’s screening in collaboration with the Montgomery County chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. AAHP staff conducted 65 biometric health screenings, which represented one of the largest numbers of personalized screenings conducted at a single event during the current contract. READ MORE >>

<<AAHP staff at the I Heart Health event
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The African American Health Program is funded and administered by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and implemented by McFarland & Associates, Inc.
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