New one-stop resource for regional health info launched by Consumer Health Foundation [News, 3.5.12]

HEALTH | In 2004-2005, the Consumer Health Foundation held a number of town hall events across the region to gather information from residents about ways of improving health and access to care. One participant suggested the creation of a consumer-focused resource that would centralize information to help people “empower themselves with information about their health care options.”

Following extensive research and planning, the Consumer Health Foundation has launched the Ngozi Project – named after the Prince George’s County resident who suggested the idea. The multi-lingual website is a one-stop hub of critical health information for residents of the Greater Washington region.

- D.C. pays almost $700k for dead patients’ health care (Examiner, 3/5) There has to be a good joke to be made here, but my Monday morning cobwebs seem to be blocking inspiration.

YOUTH | WRAG’s Children, Youth, and Families Working Group recently held a session to explore school-based mental health services in the region. Rebekah wrote a recap of the event. (WG Daily, 3/5)

HOMELESSNESS | With fiscal difficulties leading to reductions in social service spending, officials in Montgomery County are struggling to deal with a surge in chronic homelessness (WaPo, 3/5):

From 2005 to 2011, the period for which regional data is available, total homelessness numbers dropped in Prince George’s and Fairfax but increased in Montgomery. Over that same period, the population of chronically homeless in Montgomery has more than doubled, to 344 in 2011.

PHILANTHROPY | In the Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Meyer Foundation’s Rick Moyers says that the collapse of Chicago’s Hull House “provides a sobering lesson for nonprofit boards and chief executives.” (Chronicle, 2/27)

EDUCATION | Ed Lazere, executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, analyzes the findings and recommendations of the District’s Public Education Finance Reform Commission, which he chaired. One of the recommendations focuses specifically on low-income students (WaPo, 3/4):

The school funding formula does not take poverty into account, despite widespread acknowledgment that low-income children face extra academic needs. The commission recommended adding a supplement to the formula for students who are both low-income and behind academically.

WORKFORCE | Opinion: One of Greater Greater Washington’s editors testified before the DC Council about the performance of the Department of Employment Services. His testimony makes an interesting recommendation – privatizing the city’s one-stop career centers. (GGW, 3/2)

ENVIRONMENT | Both the Prince George’s County Council and the county House delegation have passed legislation for a bag tax. The final vote goes to the county’s Senate delegation where it is expected to pass – though the per-bag tax rate has yet to be determined. (Examiner, 3/5) It seems like at least sixteen other legislative bodies should consider this before it is finalized.

And here I thought we were supposed to get some snow today. This winter has been a real bummer for snow lovers like me.

On a more somber note, hats off to the great artist Ralph McQuarrie who passed away this weekend. If you don’t know his name, you should. He designed some pretty iconic things – like this.


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