Monthly Reports

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. 

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<< 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.

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<< 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.  

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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. 

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<<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.

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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.

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<<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. 

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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.

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<< 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. 

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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. 

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<<AAHP staff at the I Heart Health event
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