Health report card shows racial divide

Anne Arundel County residents are better about getting seasonal flu vaccinations; having colorectal cancer screening; eating fruits and vegetables; and maintaining a smoke-free lifestyle than others in Maryland or nationwide, according to the Department of Health's 11th annual Report Card of Community Health Indicators.


The report, released this week, also found continuing health disparities between black and white county residents: African-Americans in the county have higher infant mortality rates, are more likely to be without health insurance and have a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS cases.

The report card compiles data on causes of death and life expectancy; cancer rates; infant health and mortality; communicable diseases and other current health topics.


It also looks at Years of Potential Life Lost, a measure of premature deaths in which life may have been extended by preventive health measures. Cancer was the leading cause of YPLL, followed by heart disease.

To view the Report Card or for information about Learn To Live and other Department of Health programs, visit

State honors worker at Sandy Point Park

The maintenance supervisor at Sandy Point State Park has been named the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' 2007 Employee of the Year.

Bill Kraemer of Stevensville was selected from a field of 22 nominees, all of whom were honored at a ceremony on Friday. Kraemer has worked for the Maryland Park Service for more than 25 years.

In his formal nomination, colleagues commended him for his work ethic and people skills, as well as his efficient use of resources to provide park patrons with a safe, clean facility.

He is also known for his unique ability to diagnose and repair equipment - acting as the park's engineer, plumber, heavy equipment operator, marine and auto mechanic.

"I am still in shock at receiving this honor," Kraemer said. "I would like to thank Jay Kenty for nominating me and the entire staff of Sandy Point State Park that I have the pleasure of calling my co-workers."


NBC pilot seeks home sellers, volunteers

Producers of the NBC pilot Drab-Fab-Sold! are seeking applicants from the area to be the featured family on the first show.

The selected family will receive a "green" home makeover and staging designed to increase the sales price for their home in a down market, thus allowing them to make their move. Assuming the show is picked up by the network, runners-up will be considered for 13 more episodes.

Skilled and unskilled volunteers who would like to help in the renovation are also needed for the pilot.

"Our goal is to show that you can give a house a face lift without major surgery, without ripping out cabinets, tile, floors, etc. and filling our landfills," said co-star Susan Colwell, CEO of MyGreenCottage Building firm.

Applicants must:


* Live within 50 miles of Washington, D.C.

* Have a compelling need to sell their houses in the next 18 months.

"For example, a family may have a member in the hospital and need to move in order to be closer, or perhaps someone is now in a wheelchair and needs to live on one level.

"We will also consider families who have been affected by the mortgage crisis and must sell or face losing their home," said co-star Adrienne van Dooren, an author and design expert.

For an application, e-mail and specify "family" or "volunteer."