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's Emergency Department provides emergency and urgent care around the clock in a 36-bed adult care unit, with a separate 12-bed pediatric unit. A proposed $40 million addition would add 36,000 square feet to the hospital when completed.
In the early 2000s, Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest health maintenance organization, opened a 17,500-square-foot center in Columbia Gateway Park, and Sheppard Pratt at Ellicott City opened as a private hospital specializing in mental health programs for children and adults.
Over the last decade, Kennedy Krieger Institute opened an outpatient clinic in Columbia to provide pediatric behavioral psychology services, while Gilchrist hospice brought a 10-bed inpatient facility opened to Columbia. Several urgent care facilities provide walk-in treatment.
Resources also are available to residents through Healthy Howard, a public health initiative incorporating schools, restaurants, workplaces, child care facilities, recreation and more.
The Horizon Foundation, an independent philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and wellness of county residents, has invested more than $40 million in community programs since 1998.
And this represents only a portion of the facilities and services in Howard County.
HOWARD COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) is a not-for-profit medical center in Columbia. A member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, the hospital offers an array of health-related classes, including informational sessions about breast disease, obstetrics, orthopedic conditions and diabetes management. Call 410-740-7890, or visit hcgh.org.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep: The sleep center, run by Johns Hopkins physicians, provides diagnosis and treatment for a range of sleep disorders.
Orthopedic Surgery: The hospital has a full range of orthopedic specialists who care for everything from routine injuries to total joint replacement surgery. Physical therapists in the Bolduc Family Outpatient Center help patients get back on their feet quickly.
General Surgery Program: The hospital now has more surgeons who can perform surgeries of all kinds, including advanced minimally invasive techniques.
Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center: This service of the hospital 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 salon that offers hairstyling, image consultation, wigs and prosthetic devices and more, in addition to the Healing Point Acupuncture and Healing Arts facility, which offers acupuncture, yoga and tai chi. 410-740-5858
The Breast Center at HCGH: This facility, the only breast cancer treatment program in the county that is based in a hospital, offers comprehensive breast services that include digital mammography screening, diagnostics and biopsies, and a full range of treatment options for breast cancer.
The Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine: Johns Hopkins board-certified maternal fetal specialists offer consultative services for medical complications of pregnancy, a comprehensive diabetes-in-pregnancy program, genetic counselors, a first-trimester screening program, a fetal assessment center and 4-D imaging to study fetal development and growth.
Cardiovascular Services: The hospital's Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories offer services including electrophysiology, minimally invasive vascular procedures, pain management and primary angioplasty treatment, where patients experiencing certain types of heart attacks can receive a life-saving angioplasty procedure to open their clogged arteries shortly after arriving in the Emergency Department. The Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program helps patients recover from cardiac events and improve their overall health.
HOWARD COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT The Howard County Health Department, which delivers state and federally funded services, conducts clinics for immunization, child health, prenatal care and family planning at 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 40 and older with no medical insurance, or whose insurance fails to cover yearly mammograms.
Additional services for older residents include counseling and home visits through the Office on Aging.
FACILITIES A number of health and wellness businesses and organizations call Howard County home:
Maryland University of Integrative Health, formerly Tai Sophia Institute (410-888-9048 or muih.edu) in North Laurel is a private nonprofit graduate school of Eastern and integrative medicine. The school, which offers outpatient care along with programs including acupuncture, herbal medicine, yoga therapy and health coaching, dates back to 1974 and earned university accreditation in 2013. It began offering doctoral programs in January 2015.
Athelas Institute (410-964-1241 or athelasinstitute.org) in Columbia provides vocational training and educational, rehabilitative and residential support for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Humanim (humanim.com or 410-381-7171) is a not-for-profit organization, with two locations in Columbia, 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.
Central Maryland Radiation Oncology (443-546-1300 or cmradonc.org) is a partnership of Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland offering radiation oncology services to patients in the Medical Pavilion adjacent to Howard County General.
Gilchrist Hospice Care (410-730-5072 or gilchristhospice.org) is a not-for-profit serving children and adults throughout Central Maryland by providing hospice care and services in private homes, retirement communities, assisted living or nursing facilities and an inpatient hospice unit in Columbia.
Therapeutic Recreation and Inclusion Services (410-313-4628 or howardcountymd.gov/therapeutic-rec) offers integrated sports and arts programs, social groups, summer campus and community outings for those with mental or physical disabilities.
Howard County Early Beginnings (via Howard County public schools, 410-313-6600 or hcpss.org/special-education/early-intervention) is a program for children newborn to age 3 who have developmental delays, have handicapping conditions or are at risk for delays.
Kennedy Krieger Institute (443-923-9200 or kennedykrieger.org) offers pediatric behavioral psychology services in an outpatient clinic in Columbia for children ages 2 to 18. The clinic helps with sleep difficulties, tantrums, parent-child interaction for typically developing children and those with developmental delays and disabilities.
Linwood Center (410-465-1352 or linwoodcenter.org) in Ellicott City offers day care, education and therapy for children with emotional disorders, especially autism.
The MultiService Center (410-880-5917 or howardcountymd.gov) 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) is a Glenwood center that provides physical and occupational therapy on horseback to treat a wide range of disabilities.
Sheppard Pratt at Ellicott City (443-364-5500 or sheppardpratt.org), a private nonprofit health system, offers mental health care for adults, adolescents and people with co-occuring disorders.
Ellicott City Health Care Center (410-461-7577) and Lorien Columbia Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (410-531-5300) 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, a pharmacy, nutritional counseling and allergy shots.
SUPPORT GROUPS Local counseling and support groups abound in Howard County. Please contact them directly to find out more information.
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center in Columbia (main number, 410-531-6006 or grassrootscrisis.org) operates a hotline (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.
HopeWorks Howard County (main number, 410-997-0304 or wearehopeworks.org) operates a hotline (410-997-2272) and free counseling for survivors of sexual, domestic and dating violence.
Family and Children's Services of Howard County (410-997-3557 or fcsmd.org) offers counseling services with sliding-scale fees in Columbia and North Laurel.
Gilchrist Hospice Care (410-730-5072 or gilchristhospice.org/support) offers support groups, grief counseling and workshops to hospice care family members and community following the death of a loved one.
Howard County Department of Citizen Services (410-313-6400 or howardcountymd.gov/citizenservices) 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.
The Arc of Howard County (410-730-0638 or archoward.org) supports full community life for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
HOSPITAL AT A GLANCE
25,205 patients admitted to the hospital or observed in 2016
12,390 surgeries performed in 2016
3,360 babies born in 2016
78,072 patients evaluated in the Emergency Department in 2016
900+ physicians and allied health professionals
100+ medical specialties and subspecialties represented