As the population of Howard County has grown, so have the health care resources available to residents.
Howard County General Hospital, the county’s only general hospital, has increased in size dramatically since it opened in 1973, adding space and services for inpatients and outpatients. The hospital has 225 licensed beds.
Its emergency department provides emergency and urgent care around the clock in a 36-bed adult care unit, with a separate pediatric unit. Construction was completed in 2020 on a $45 million project that added 53,000 square feet with a two-story addition adjacent to the emergency room, a inpatient psychiatry unit and a patient observation unit.
In 2021, Sheppard Pratt’s new $112 million, 156,000-square-foot psychiatric care facility opened in Elkridge and in the early 2000s, Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest health maintenance organization, opened in Columbia Gateway Park.
During the last decade, the Kennedy Krieger Institute opened an outpatient clinic in Columbia to provide pediatric behavioral psychology services, while Gilchrist Hospice Care brought a 10-bed inpatient facility to Columbia.
Dozens of urgent care facilities provide walk-in treatment.
Resources are also available to residents through Healthy Howard, a public-health initiative that promotes healthy workplaces and access to care.
The Horizon Foundation, an independent philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and wellness of county residents, has invested $55 million in 300 community programs for more than 20 years.
HOWARD COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL
Howard County General Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, offers an array of health-related classes, programs and services.
The Breast Center at HCGH: The only hospital-based program for breast cancer treatment in Howard County offers comprehensive breast services, including diagnostics, biopsies and a full range of treatment options provided by Johns Hopkins and HCGH specialists. 410-884-4744.
Cardiovascular services: The hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories (410-740-7900) offer services including electrophysiology, minimally invasive vascular procedures, electrical cardioversion, and primary angioplasty treatment, in which patients experiencing certain types of heart attacks can receive a life-saving procedure to open their clogged arteries shortly after arriving in the emergency department. The Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program (443-718-3000) helps patients recover from cardiac events and improve their overall health.
The Center for Maternal and Fetal Medicine: Johns Hopkins board-certified maternal fetal specialists offer low-and high-risk pregnancy care including consultative services for medical complications of pregnancy, a diabetes-in-pregnancy program, genetic counselors, a first-trimester screening program, a fetal assessment center and 4D imaging to study fetal development and growth. 410-740-7903.
Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center: The center connects cancer patients, families and caregivers with resources including counseling, stress and symptom management care planning, system navigation, educational materials and aesthetic services. 410-740-5858.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep and Wellness: The sleep center, run by Johns Hopkins physicians, provides diagnosis and treatment for a range of sleep disorders. 800-937-5337.
Orthopedic surgery: The hospital has a number of orthopedic specialists who care for routine injuries to total joint replacement surgery. Physical therapists in the Bolduc Family Outpatient Center help patients recover more quickly.
Call 410-740-7890 or visit hcgh.org for more information on hospital services.
HOSPITAL AT A GLANCE
56,000 patients evaluated in the emergency department in fiscal 2021
73,000 outpatients served in 2021
19,000 patients admitted or observed in 2021
9,237 surgeries performed in 2021
2,641 babies born in 2021
Source: Howard County General Hospital
The Howard County Health Department, which assists with state-funded and federally funded services, conducts clinics for immunization, child health, prenatal care and family planning in Columbia. Nutrition education through the Women, Infants and Children program is offered at Columbia and North Laurel health centers.
HIV/AIDs testing is free and available to any local resident. For other reproductive/sexual health services, the department sees uninsured or underinsured residents in need of medical assistance. Fees are based on a sliding scale.
The health department also participates in a program to screen for breast and cervical cancer in low-income women age 40 and older.
Additional services for older residents include counseling through the Office on Aging.
For more information on services, call 410-313-6300 or visit howardcountymd.gov/departments/Health.
Howard County Health Department offers free COVID-19 vaccines to all Marylanders age 5 and older. Register for a vaccine at howardcountymd.gov/health. For questions, call the COVID-19 hotline at 410-313-6284.
A number of health and wellness businesses and organizations are located in Howard County:
Maryland University of Integrative Health (410-888-9048 or muih.edu) in Laurel is a private nonprofit graduate school of Eastern and integrative medicine. The school offers outpatient care along with programs including acupuncture, yoga therapy and health coaching.
Athelas Institute (410-964-1241 or athelasinstitute.org) in Columbia provides vocational training, along with educational, rehabilitative and residential support for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Humanim (410-381-7171 or humanim.com) is a nonprofit with two locations in Columbia, serving people with disabilities through human services, including mental health services, vocational services, and services for deaf people.
Central Maryland Radiation Oncology (443-546-1300 or cmradonc.org) is a partnership of Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical Center offering radiation oncology services to patients adjacent to Howard General.
Gilchrist Hospice Care (888-823-8880 or gilchristhospice.org) is a nonprofit providing hospice care and services throughout Central Maryland in private homes, retirement communities, assisted living or nursing facilities and at an inpatient hospice unit in Columbia.
Kennedy Krieger Institute (443-923-9200 or kennedykrieger.org) offers pediatric behavioral psychology services in two outpatient clinics in Columbia.
Linwood School (410-465-1352 or linwoodcenter.org) in Ellicott City offers special education and residential services for children and adults with emotional disorders, especially autism.
Loyola Clinical Center for Speech-Language Pathology Services (410-617-1200 or loyola.edu/department/clinical-centers) offers hearing, speech and language diagnosis and treatment in Columbia.
The MultiService Center (410-313-0220 or howardcountymd.gov/MSC) in Laurel provides a wide range of crisis and support services such as family, financial literacy and immigration counseling, social services and support groups.
The Therapeutic & Recreational Riding Center (410-489-5100 or trrcmd.org) in Glenwood provides physical and occupational therapy on horseback to treat a wide range of disabilities in children and adults.
Ellicott City Health Care Center (410-461-7577 or communicarehealth.com) and Lorien Columbia Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (410-531-5300 or lorienhealth.com), Lorien Elkridge (410-579-2626) and Lorien Encore Ellicott City (410-461-7070) offer care for patients who require skilled nursing services.
Kaiser Permanente Columbia Gateway Medical Center (410-309-4600 or healthy.kaiserpermanente.org) offers services in pediatrics, family practice, internal medicine and OBGYN. Other services include a laboratory, a pharmacy, nutritional counseling and allergy shots.
Local counseling and support groups in Howard County include:
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center (410-531-6006 or grassrootscrisis.org) in Columbia operates a 24-hour hotline (410-531-6677) and drop-in counseling center. The agency, part of the statewide youth crisis call-in counseling network, is certified as a suicide prevention service and offers assistance to those dealing with substance abuse.
HopeWorks Howard County (410-997-0304 or hopeworksofhc.org) operates a 24-hour hotline (410-997-2272); counseling for survivors of sexual, domestic and dating violence; and child sexual abuse prevention training.
Springboard Community Services (formerly Family and Children’s Services) of Howard County (410-997-3557 or springboardmd.org) offers individual and family counseling services in Columbia and North Laurel.
Gilchrist Hospice Care (888-823-8880 or gilchristcares.org) offers support groups, grief counseling and workshops to hospice care family members and communities surrounding the death of a loved one.
Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Maryland Chapter
Bereaved Parents of the USA, Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter
Columbia Pregnancy Center
Luminus Network for New Americans
The Listening Place/Howard County Child Advocacy Center
Howard County Special Olympics
Howard County Unsweetened
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Howard County
Howard County Times: Top stories
National Family Resiliency Center