As the population of Howard County has grown, so have the health care resources available to residents.

Over the past decade, Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest health maintenance organization, opened a 17,500-square-foot center in Columbia Gateway Park, and Howard County General Hospital tripled the size of its emergency department and upgraded the obstetrics and neonatal intensive care units through a $34 million expansion. Also, Sheppard Pratt at Ellicott City opened as a private hospital specializing in mental health programs for children and adults.

In 2010, Kennedy Krieger Institute opened an outpatient clinic in Columbia to provide pediatric behavioral psychology services, while a 10-bed inpatient Gilchrist hospice facility is slated to open in 2011 in Columbia.

And this represents only a portion of the facilities and services available in Howard County.


Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) — a not-for-profit facility in Columbia — has served the community since 1973. A member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, it boasts a professional staff of more than 800 physicians and allied health professionals representing more than 70 medical specialties and sub-specialties.

The hospital is in the midst of a new expansion plan that includes a five-level patient pavilion with three new inpatient units and private rooms, all featuring the latest technology to advance patient care. Also included in the expansion are a new lobby entrance and outpatient services area as well as increased space for support departments.

Elsewhere in the hospital, professionals continue to provide the highest level of care for patients.

> Last fiscal year, 3,455 babies were born at HCGH.

> Of the 12,640 surgeries performed at the hospital, 8,969 were done on an outpatient basis at the hospital’s Center for Ambulatory Surgery for procedures that are minimally invasive, result in less discomfort and require less recovery time.

> The hospital’s emergency department provides comprehensive emergency and urgent care around the clock in a 36-bed adult care unit, with a separate 12-bed pediatric unit for patients 16 and younger.

> The hospital’s Behavioral Emergency Unit treats patients in mental health crisis. This separate secure 10-bed unit, located adjacent to the Emergency Department, enhances the hospital’s ability to respond to the mental health needs of the community. The hospital also provides a 20-bed inpatient psychiatric unit.

> Radiation oncology services are offered to cancer patients at the Central Maryland Oncology Center adjacent to the hospital campus.

> The hospital also offers an array of health-related classes. Some of these include Infant Massage, Self-Defense for Young Women, Diabetes Screening, Freedom From Smoking, Baby Signing, Positive Parenting, Babysitting Essentials, CPR, Topic of Cancer and much more. Call 410-740-7890, or visit


The Howard County Health Department, which delivers state and federally funded services, conducts clinics for immunization, child health, prenatal care and family planning at its Ellicott City office and sites in Columbia and Laurel. Some services, such as venereal disease screening and treatment programs, are free and available to any local resident. For other services, preference is given to low-income residents in need of medical assistance. Fees are based on the ability to pay. The health department also participates in a program to screen for breast and cervical cancer in women 50 and older with no medical insurance, or whose insurance fails to cover yearly mammograms. Additional services for older residents include counseling and home visits available through the Office onAging.

For more information on available services and locations, call 410-313-6300 or visit


A number of health- and wellness-related businesses and organizations call Howard County home including:

The Tai Sophia Institute (410-888-9048) The North Laurel center offers outpatient care, graduate certificates and master’s degree programs in acupuncture, herbal medicine, transformative leadership and health and wellness coaching, as well as classes in tai chi, feng shui, yoga and more.

Athelas Institute (410-964-1241) Provides vocational training for people with developmental disabilities andhead injuries.

Humanim (410-381-7171) A not-for-profit serving children, adolescents, adults and seniors with disabilities through many areas of human services including mental health, vocational, neuro-rehabilitation, developmental disabilities and services for the deaf.

Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource and Image Center (410-740-5858) A service of HCGH. It has a library with cancer-related media and is a source for finding local and national cancer resources, support groups, rehabilitation centers and financial aid. There is also a full salon that offers hair styling, image consultation, a selection of wigs and prosthetic devices and more.

Gilchrist Hospice Care (410-730-5072) A not-for-profit serving children and adults throughout Central Maryland by providing hospice care and services in private homes, retirement communities, and assisted living or nursing facilities. Plans are to open a 10-bed inpatient hospice unit in Howard County in 2011.

Department of Recreation & Parks Therapeutic Recreation Office (410-313-4628) Integrated sports and arts programs for people with mental or physical disabilities.

Howard County Early Beginnings (via Howard County Public School System at 410-313-6600) A program for children newborn to age 3 who have developmental delays, handicapping conditions or are at risk for delays.

Kennedy Krieger Institute (443-923-7508 or offers pediatric behavioral psychology services in an outpatient clinic in Columbia for children ages 2 to 18. Includes help with sleep difficulties, tantrums, parent-child interaction for typically developing children and those with developmenal delays and disabilities.

Linwood Center (410-465-1352) Ellicott City facility includes day care, education and therapy for children with emotional disorders, especially autism.

Loyola Clinical Center for Speech and Language (410-617-1200) Hearing, speech and language diagnosis/therapy, in Columbia.

North Laurel-Savage Multi-service Center (410-880-5917) Provides a wide range of crisis and support services such as family, financial literacy and immigration counseling, social services and support groups.

Therapeutic Riding Center (410-489-5100) Glenwood center provides physical therapy on horseback for those with physical, mental or emotional disabilities.

Ellicott City Health and Rehabilitation Center (410-461-7577) and Lorien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Columbia (443-276-4796) offer care for patients who require skilled nursing services.

Kaiser Permanente’s Columbia Gateway site (410-309-4600) offers primary care services in pediatrics, family practice, internal medicine and OB-GYN; and specialty services in surgery, dermatology and orthopedics. Other services include a laboratory, pharmacy, nutritional counseling, clinical pharmaceutical counseling and allergy shots.


Howard County General Hospital

Laurel Regional Hospital

Sheppard Pratt at Ellicott City

Howard County Health Department

Early Intervention Services

Tai Sophia Institute
410-888-9048 or 1-800-735-2968

Gilchrist Hospice Care

Visiting Nurses Association

National Family Resiliency Center


Local counseling and support groups abound in Howard County. Please contact them directly to find out more information.

Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Columbia (main number, 410-531-6006) operates a hot line (410-531-6677) and drop-in counseling center staffed by trained volunteers. The agency is also part of the statewide youth crisis call-in counseling network and is certified as a suicide prevention service.

The Domestic Violence Center of Howard County (main number, 410-997-0304) operates a hot line (410-997-2272) and free counseling programs.

Family and Children’s Services of Howard County (410-997-3557 or is among organizations that offer counseling services with sliding-scale fees in Columbia and North Laurel.

Gilchrist Hospice Care Bereavement Support Groups (410-730-5072) are available to hospice care familiy members and community following the death of a loved one.

Howard County Department of Citizen Services (410-313-6400) Provides referral services, resource coordination and technical assistance to the elderly, children and those with disabilities. Services for people with physical disabilities, particularly those recovering from brain injury or stroke, are available from private providers.

ARC of Howard County (410-730-0638 or Supports full community life for children and adults with developmental disabilities.


Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Maryland Chapter, 410-561-9099

Bereaved Parents, 410-321-7053

Caregiver Educator Coalition of Howard County, 410-313-6060

Caregivers Winter Growth Support Group, 410-964-9616

Christian Services of Howard County, 410-465-1060

Cross-Cultural Communications, 410-750-0369

FIRN (Foreign-born Information & Referral Network), 410-992-1923

Howard County Child Advocacy Center, 410-313-2630

Howard County Special Olympics, 410-740-0500

Jewish Community Services, 410-730-4976, Ext. 120

National Alliance onMental Illness of Howard County, 410-772-9300

Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), 443-280-9047

Pregnancy Center of Howard County, 410-730-3223

Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program, 410-313-7392

SPRING (Senior Peer Support Group), 410-313-7213

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