Talbot Partnership Partners with Easton High School Interactive Media Class

Talbot Partnership, a Talbot County nonprofit dedicated to educating the community about substance abuse prevention, recently partnered with Easton High School’s award-winning Interactive Media classes to create a new organizational website. According to Dave Stofa, Director of Athletics/Transportation and Security Manager for Talbot County Public Schools, following Talbot Partnership’s recent rebranding and change in marketing focus, the organization approached instructor Garnette Hines about having her Easton High School students create and maintain a new website for Talbot Partnership.

Talbot Partnership - EHS Intern - Garnette Hines & Cameron Miller 2017

Pictured L to R are Garnette Hines, Instructor with Easton High School’s Interactive Media classes, and Cameron Miller of Cordova, a senior at Easton High School creating and maintaining a website for local nonprofit, Talbot Partnership. The two are reviewing a video segment the students created on career and technology pathways in Talbot County for the Talbot County Board of Education’s Career and Technology Month.

Cameron Miller of Cordova, a senior in Hines Advanced Interactive Media class, agreed to take on the project. Miller, plans to attend UMBC in the fall of 2017 where he will be studying game or Web design, marrying his interest in computer science and graphic design. He comments, “I have especially enjoyed working on this project as it is a really cool message to be promoting – alcohol and drug prevention. It’s great to help a local organization with a mission to help with this issue in our community.”

Hines, whose students have been interning with local businesses in the community, adds, “This is giving our students real world experience, which is vital to being successful outside of the classroom. It is also a way for us to connect with the community who supports the school – strengthening the school/business partnership.”

With Miller leaving for college in the fall, Hines is grooming another Easton High School student to take over to provide continuity in updating and editing Talbot Partnership’s website.

For further information about Talbot Partnership’s programs, contact them at 410-819-8067.

Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Now Accepting Concept Papers for Grants That Help Prevent Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse

The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism is now accepting concept papers for 2017 AmeriCorps State-Targeted Priority program grants in Maryland. These grants will fund service activities that address critical community needs, namely the need to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse and strengthen law enforcement and community relations.

In order to understand statewide needs and identify prospective applicants for this grant opportunity, the Office on Service and Volunteerism is partnering with Governor Larry Hogan’s Opioid Operational Command Center, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“Marylanders from every corner of the state know the devastation that heroin and opioid abuse can cause,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “That’s why it’s so important that groups already dedicated to community service become a part of our statewide fight to end this epidemic.”

Through additional funds provided by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism has hired a special initiatives coordinator to assist in this grant process. Working with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the coordinator’s goal is to ensure that Maryland is equipped to effectively address the opioid epidemic.

The grants come on the heels of Governor Hogan’s announcement of the administration’s 2017 Heroin and Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiative, a multi-pronged and sweeping administrative and legislative effort to continue addressing Maryland’s ongoing opioid and heroin epidemic.

The first step in the application process for a 2017 AmeriCorps State-Targeted Priority program grant is to submit a concept paper, due by 10 a.m. on Friday, March 10, 2017. Concept papers will be reviewed and applicants will be notified of acceptance by March 24. At that time, accepted applicants will be invited to complete a full grant application, due in April. The funding year will run from August 15, 2017, to August 14, 2018. To submit a concept paper or for more information, visit gosv.maryland.gov/available- funding/.

About the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism
The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism is a unit of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. Through the use of federal dollars, the office funds AmeriCorps State programs to support community service efforts in Maryland. Each year, the office recognizes more than 200,000 Maryland volunteers on behalf of the governor.

Recovery: Maryland Public TV to Air ‘Breaking Heroin’s Grip’ February 11

Maryland Public Television (MPT) and over two dozen other local TV and radio stations to air a new program called Breaking Heroin’s Grip: Road To Recovery on February 11 at 7 p.m. The program was produced in association with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – Behavioral Health Administration .

The program focuses on the struggles and recovery efforts of three Maryland residents, in rural and urban settings, dealing with opioid addictions. The documentary portion will last 40 minutes and will be followed by a 20 minute live phone bank staffed by crisis hotline staff who will provide callers with information on treatment. The number to call is 800-422-0009.

The program was arranged with broadcast and print media as part of an effort to bring localized coverage of the opioid epidemic. Maryland is among many states with surging numbers of fatal overdoses largely from opioids, which include prescription painkillers and heroin.

For more information please go here  http://www.mpt.org/breakingheroin


Talbot County Health Dept to Help Shatter Drug Myths in Late January

About out a third of high school seniors across the country report using an illegal drug sometime in the past year, and more than 10 percent report non-medical use of a narcotic painkiller, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Here on the Mid-Shore, more than 7 percent of our high school seniors have tried heroin.

Drugs can put a teenager’s health and life in jeopardy, but many teens are not aware of the risks. Today’s popular culture is filled with inaccurate information about drugs. We at the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office think it’s time to ‘Shatter the Myths.’ With science-based information on drugs and their impact on the body, teenagers can make well-informed decisions before engaging in risky behavior.

January 23 through 29 marks National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, which is a time for teens to shatter myths about drugs and drug use. For information, resources, interactive activities and more, visit www.teens.drugabuse.gov. For local information and resources, contact Alexandra Duff, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Coordinator at Talbot County Health Department, at 410-819-5600.

The Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office helps community groups, agencies and individuals in providing programs and activities to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, and to build a healthier community. Resources include parenting skills, video and resource loan library, awareness campaigns and educational workshops.

Profles in Recovery: Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office

Did you know that 85 percent of people in recovery for alcoholism still smoke, according to the Association of American Family Physicians (AAFP)? In fact, the AAFP says people in recovery may have a greater addiction to nicotine than smokers without a problem with alcohol.

In addition, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism highlights the connection between smoking and alcohol:

  • 80-95 percent of alcoholics smoke.
  • Alcoholics smoke at a rate of three times greater than non-alcoholics.
  • 70 percent of alcoholics are classified as heavy smokers, who smoke more than a pack per day.

Just like quitting alcohol or drugs, giving up cigarettes is one of the best things you can do for yourself. In fact, research shows that quitting smoking actually improves the rate of recovery from other addictions.

The Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office is committed to ending the death and disease caused by tobacco use, and offers free support and resources to anyone ready to quit. They can help you quit cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco – even flavored cigars. Their free cessation help includes Chantix, the patch and nicotine gum, along with support on achieving your quit goal. TCHD also can come to any local business and teach smoking cessation classes for your employees. Please call us at 410-819-5600 if you’d like to learn more. Funding for their free cessation support and resources comes from the Cigarette Restitution Fund

Andria Duff, Prevention Coordinator at Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office.

Alexandra Duff, Prevention Coordinator at Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office.

Community Support

The Prevention Office helps community groups, agencies and individuals in providing programs and activities that help prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse. So far this year they’ve provided more than $38,000 in local grants to community organizations, churches and schools on prevention programs and activities and have also launched several mini-campaigns aimed at promoting alcohol-, tobacco- and drug-free lives. Their activities this year also have included several prevention events, both with students and with various community groups.

Talbot County Health Department also work with retailers to reduce tobacco sales to minors, through the Synar program. The Synar program helps ensure our county remains compliant with federal legislation that requires states to enforce laws that prohibit the sale of tobacco products to minors. Each year they conduct educational activities, including youth events, and provide resources for retailers.

Prescription Pills and the Heroin Crisis

The Prevention Office works toward increased awareness and education on the dangers of opioids, including important resources for the community. They work with several community partners on medication drop-off and proper disposal, information on opioids including use, risks and overdose prevention; promotion of the Good Samaritan Law and a host of other activities. Their prevention funding comes from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant from SAMSHA and the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration.

Underage Drinking and Responsible Retailers

Lastly, TCHD works with local schools and other organizations on preventing underage drinking, binge drinking and impaired driving. They also are working on a campaign geared toward are seniors, many of whom are at risk from alcohol use. In addition, we work with retailers on responsible alcohol practices, offering resources and support where possible. They also support Check Yourself Talbot, a community coalition working to reduce binge drinking here in our community.

The Prevention Office is here to help build a healthier community, and offers a host of resources including educational workshops and a resource loan library. If you’d like information or resources on alcohol, tobacco or drug use prevention please contact Alexandra Duff, prevention coordinator, at 410-819-5600. You can also find resources and information on our Facebook page geared toward parents/caregivers – Be the Parent on the Scene.

Mariah’s Mission Fund January Schedule

Mariah’s Mission Fund has the following support groups available, without charge, to individuals and families suffering from the effects of substance use disorder. Additional resources and information at Mariahsmissionfund.org.

Mariah’s Mission Fund is a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a public 501(c)(3) charity.

January 11th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Together: Positive Approaches, Easton
• Talbot Partnership, 8 Goldsborough St., Easton (Bank of America building)
• Peer support group for family members currently struggling with a loved one with substance use disorder, led by trained facilitators. No charge for attendance.
• Techniques of positive reinforcement to promote recovery of the individual stressed.

January 11th from 6-7:30 p.m. Together: Silent No More. Easton
• A grief support group for those who have lost a loved one due to substance use disorder and addiction; no charge to participate.
• Sponsored by Talbot Hospice with generous support from Mariah’s Mission Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
• Monthly meetings at Talbot Hospice, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, MD.
• Please contact Shelly Kulp, Bereavement Coordinator for Talbot Hospice at 410-822-6681 or email her at skulp@talbothospice.org

January 16th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Together: Silent No More, Pasadena
• Support group for those grieving a loss due to substance use disorder.
• Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway Pasadena, MD. To register, call 888-501-7077.

Mariah’s Mission Planning Committee: making a positive impact against substance use disorder. New members welcome. Contact us at: mariahsmission2014@gmail.com

Talbot Partnership Sponsors Holiday Breakfast

On December 7, over 65 people representing a wide range of concerned citizens, community organizations, public agencies, and government attended Talbot Partnership’s annual holiday breakfast at Integrace Bayleigh Chase in Easton. Jayne Fitzgerald, Executive Director, stressed the importance of destigmatizing those suffering from Substance Use Disorder diseases and the importance of continued community commitment to drug awareness. Each guest was also given the opportunity to share their role in the community.


Front row L to R: Addie Eckardt, Jayne Fitzgerald, Dr. Fredia Wadley, Ann Roach, and Johnny Mautz. Back row L to R: Carl Pergler, Sandy Brown, Dave Short, Dave Stofa, Ted Book, and Joe Gamble. Missing Board Members: Ivy Sherwood, Aric Rosenbach, Chris Callas, Jody Gunn, and Dee Skinner.

Through drug education, awareness, and advocacy, Talbot Partnership, which was founded in 1991, encourages the community to recognize that substance use disorders are chronic diseases of the brain and not character flaws. For further information about how you can become involved, call 410-819-8067 or visit www.talbotpartnership.org.

Recovery: Checking out the Whitsitt Center in Chestertown


Kent County Behavioral Health Staff

Kent County Behavioral Health Staff

Kent County Behavioral Health’s A. F. Whitsitt Center is an inpatient facility in Chestertown offering treatment for adults suffering from chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders.

The Center provides detox and stabilization for people with substance use disorders and/or mental health disorders in a residential setting. The recommended stay is 21 days.

State funded, Behavioral Health Administration, A.F. Whitsitt Center (AFW) has been open since 1983. Additionally, The Governor’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force recently awarded the Center $800,000 to increase its number of beds from to 40.

The Center’s mission is to offer a better quality of life through substance abuse prevention, intervention, comprehensive treatment and recovery support services for addiction and other mental health issues.

AFW’s Crisis Bed Unit offers short-term detox and stabilization for patients whose primary diagnosis includes mental health problems. The average length of stay is 12-14 days, and upon discharge, patients are supported with a discharge plan that includes case management and introductions to appropriate agencies that can further support their well-being as they transition back into the community.

According to Tim Dove, Director of Outpatient Treatment for Kent County Behavioral Health, a recent increase in available treatment beds has resulted in shorter waiting lists, from 45 days in October 2015 to 14 days at present. There have been some instances in which a referred individual can be admitted on the day the referral was received.

AFW also reaches out to county residents through the Care Coordination/Peer Support Services offered by Kent County Behavioral Health (KCBH) by providing referrals and helping to monitor sober living environments. The AFW Recovery In Motion Center offers a wide variety of support groups as well as computer access for the purpose of employment research, resume writing, and job applications.

KCBH also works with other agencies in the county to address the problems caused by substance abuse. KCBH staff participate in the Rock Hall Town Hall Meeting, provide presentations at Rotary Club meetings, and conduct programs in faith-based communities around the county, including Hope Fellowship, Chestertown Baptist, Emmanuel Church of Pomona, and St. George Church of Worton. They also work closely with the Alano Club, a 12-step recovery organization.

Says Dove, “The Whitsitt Center recognizes the ongoing opioid epidemic and seeks to make treatment more accessible while securing additional funding for the growing number of people seeking recovery.”

AFW initiatives and projects include:

Education and provision of Naloxone in the community
Working with University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown to access prompt residential treatment for people who have been revived after an opioid overdose.
Working with Kent County District and Circuit Court in the Post Adjudication Substance Abuse Treatment (PAST) program.
Working with Kent County Detention Center (KCDC) treatment for substance use disorder is provided in the jail. Appropriate referrals for continuing care to facilitate reentry after completing their sentence.
Providing education and administration of Vivitrol, a medication that works in conjunction with counseling and recovery.
KCBH participates in the Kent County DSS multidisciplinary team and contributes to various committees and work groups facilitated by Mid-Shore Behavioral Health.

KCBH employs a wide array of professionals, all of whom have a background in treating people with substance use disorder and / or a mental health disorder. The agency also offers a strong internship program for college? Undergraduate? Graduate? Students pursuing studies in behavioral health and addiction treatment services. These interns, along with volunteers from the community, help KCBH personnel participate in varied church services and activities around the county. Gifts and grant support from public and private entities, including the Town of Chestertown and Kent County Rotary, also support treatment and recovery programs offered by KCBH.


KCBH Outpatient Addictions Staff

KCBH Outpatient Addictions Staff


KCBH Mental Health Outpatient Staff

KCBH Mental Health Outpatient Staff





Addiction Treatment Round Table Focuses on Rural Challenges

A round table discussion on solutions to the rural opioid epidemic was held Tuesday, October 18 at the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department in Chester. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted the forum, which was chaired by Jeff Eschmeyer, senior advisor to the Secretary of USDA.

Eschmeyer cited many issues specific to rural areas, including insufficient treatment and recovery facilities, the long distances people must travel to seek or access treatment, and fear of stigma in communities where everyone knows each other.

Additional attendees included other USDA officials, officials from the Farm Service Agency in Maryland and Delaware, law enforcement officers, mental health officials, and leaders in the community

The Star Democrat recently reported on the round table discussion and the challenges faced by drug addicts in rural areas here.

Mariah’s Mission Fund Support Groups

Together: Positive Approaches – Easton, MD

•Peer support group for family members currently struggling with a loved one engaged in substance use, led by trained facilitator.
• Techniques of positive reinforcement to promote recovery of the individual stressed.
Meets second Wednesday of each month, 6-7:30 p.m. at Talbot Partnership (Bank of America Building), 8 Goldsboro Street, Easton, MD
Fall Schedule: October 12, November 9, December 14
• For more information, visit www.mariahsmissionfund.org

Together: Silent No More – Easton, MD

•A support group for those grieving a loss due to substance use.
• Sponsored by Talbot Hospice with generous support from Mariah’s Mission Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
Meets second Wednesday of each month, 6-7:30 p.m. at Talbot Hospice, 586 Cynwood Drive, Easton, MD.
Fall Schedule: October 12, November 9, December 14
• For more information, visit www.talbothospice.org

Together: Silent No More – Pasadena, MD

•A support group for those grieving a loss due to substance use.
• Sponsored by Chesapeake Life Center with generous support from Mariah’s Mission Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
Meets third Monday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m. at Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Richie Highway, Pasadena, MD
Fall Schedule: October 17, November 21, December 19
• For more information, visit www.chesapeakelifecenter.org

Mariah’s Mission Fund is a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a public 501(c)(3) charity. Gifts to the Fund are fully tax-deductible as allowable by law.