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Kittleman Unveils Partnership With Aetna to Combat Opioid Crisis

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced a unique partnership with Aetna to combat the ongoing opioid crisis by training county employees in the use of naloxone kits donated by the Aetna Foundation. The foundation delivered 408 Narcan kits (the brand name for naloxone) to Howard County, the first donation of its kind to a county in Maryland. The kits, valued at more than $30,000, will be located in every Automated External Defibrillator (AED) box in county-owned buildings.

“We are battling the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history, and Howard County, like communities across the country, is experiencing the horrific impact of this crisis every day,” said Kittleman. “Tragically, we have already lost 55 residents this year to overdoses. But 161 lives have been saved, and in 90% of the cases, it’s because of naloxone.”

Kittleman committed to giving administrative leave to any employee who signs up for naloxone training. County police and fire department personnel are trained in the use of naloxone and carry it when responding to calls. And the county’s Health Department has trained more than 2,000 individuals, from motel and treatment center staff to concerned family members and friends.

According to the Howard County Health Department, heroin-related overdose deaths here have more than quadrupled since 2010. Kittleman said the county continues to ramp up its response to the crisis, having hired a full-time heroin coordinator at the police department, adding an opioid project administrator at the health department and increasing the availability of crisis intervention services through the Grassroots Crisis Center.

The county is also working to secure a site to build a detox and residential treatment facility and hiring a Behavioral Health Court Liaison to improve access to community resources for individuals involved in the criminal justice system.

Rotary in the News

Rotary International is regularly in the headlines worldwide — from its international health projects, including Polio Plus, to the local clubs donating time and talent to local nonprofits. Following are a small sample of the headlines seen over the past year providing a sample of projects and programs in which Rotarians are involved.

Rotary Day at the United Nations Pushes Peace From Concept to Reality

By Geoff Johnson

(Nov. 11, 2017) On the 99th anniversary of the end of World War I, more than 1,200 people gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, for Rotary Day at the United Nations.
Representing 87 countries, they convened on Saturday, 11 November, at the Palais des Nations, originally the home of the League of Nations, and dedicated themselves to the theme introduced by Rotary President Ian H. S. Riseley: “Peace: Making a Difference.”

Rotary Gives $49.5 Million to Help Eradicate Polio and Challenges the World to Continue the Fight to End the Disease
Champion Newpapers (Oct. 17, 2017) With just 12 confirmed polio cases so far in 2017, the world is on the brink of eradicating polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year.
To recognize this historic progress, Rotary clubs worldwide will host events in conjunction with Rotary International’s fifth annual World Polio Day celebration on Oct. 24.

This year, the event will be co-hosted by Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and held at the foundation’s headquarters in Seattle.

Rotary Helps Wildfire Victims

(Oct. 13, 2017) Rotary clubs and the Rotary Foundation are helping victims of deadly wildfires in California. More than 220,000 acres have been scorched and more than 40 people have been confirmed dead.

“The magnitude of the devastation that is occurring in the North Bay and wine county is vast and far-reaching. The recovery and rebuild is going to be a long process but we are confident that we can lead the way in bringing these communities back. Rotarians know how to get things done and won’t stop until we reach the finish line,” said Bob Rogers, Rotary 5130 District Governor.

The Rotary Foundation has set up a special fund to collect donations. Rotary clubs and districts are also collecting funds for disaster relief in their communities. Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation do not administer these funds.

Habitat for Humanity and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Join With Rotary to Improve Lives
By Sallyann Price

(Oct. 9, 2017) Rotary has added two service partners that offer clubs new ways to collaborate with other organizations and strengthen their projects: Habitat for Humanity and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
“Our values are so closely aligned, and the desire to help others runs deep in both organizations,” said Jonathan Reckford, Habitat for Humanity International chief executive officer and Rotary Club of Atlanta member.

Rotary Members in Harvard, Illinois, USA, Have Teamed Up With Community Groups to Help Alleviate Hunger
By Arnold R. Grahl

(Oct. 3, 2017) With the goals of alleviating hunger and educating the community, master gardeners from University of Illinois Extension planted the garden in 2001 on a half-acre parcel donated by the city and adjacent to the public library. Over the years, the master gardeners have enlisted the support of many businesses, organizations and clubs, including the Rotary Club of Harvard, making the project a community-wide effort.

As many as 250 needy families benefit from the 10,000 pounds of vegetables that are grown and donated every year to the local food pantry. The fresh produce serves as a safety net for many families.

Rotary Pilots New Approach to Peace and Spotlights Six Peacemakers

(Sept. 21, 2017) Rotary has entered a new partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) to enhance its peace and conflict resolution efforts with data-driven methodologies and tools; as it honors six “Champions of Peace.”

The partnership with IEP — a global think tank that pioneered a conceptual framework for “Positive Peace” — enables both organizations to work together to create an online learning platform with webinars and interactive tools to teach Rotary members and Rotary Peace Fellows to apply new peacebuilding methods to their communities while addressing underlying causes of conflicts. In addition, the partnership allows for the development of local workshops hosted by Rotary clubs to educate communities about positive peace.

Gates Foundation and Rotary Pledge Additional $450 Million to End Polio

By Michela Tindera

Forbes (June 12, 2017) As the world inches closer toward eradicating polio, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and service organization Rotary will spend nearly half a billion dollars in an effort to eliminate the disease over the next three years.

Bill Gates joined Rotary president John Germ to announce this pledge at the annual Rotary International Convention on Monday in Atlanta.

Rebecca Bender Initiative to End Sex Trafficking at International Event

NBC News, Atlanta, Ga. (June 12, 2017) An Oregon woman took her mission to end sex trafficking to the international stage. Rebecca Bender was kept in a sex trafficking ring for six years. Now she runs an initiative that brings awareness to ending that abuse of women and men used and sold for sexual purposes.

She spoke at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The convention was attended by key players in government and the international community. Bender shared her message with people like Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee and celebrity face of the cause Ashton Kutcher.

Bender said there are misconceptions around this horrific and prevalent form of slavery that’s still happening in our country. “Trafficking is not always abductions. It’s a slow gradual expansion of boundaries and an increase in trust,” said Bender.

Rotary Club to Host Downtown Atlanta Candlelight Vigil on Human Trafficking

Northside Neighbor (June 7, 2017) Metro Atlanta has been named one of the top sex trafficking hubs in the United States. In 2017, the statistics show that one out of three runaways is sex trafficked.

June 10 at 9:30 p.m. at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, Rotary Club members will join in a candlelight vigil to bring awareness to human trafficking.

The program will address how Rotary members can help and will feature a story from a survivor who was trafficked in Georgia. Participants, including Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, will show solidarity by observing a moment of silence for the victims.

Rotary Shifts to Mentoring and Coaching Teachers

By Arnold R. Grahl

(April 14, 2017) After decades of investing in literacy projects, experts have realized that simply getting children into the classroom — either by removing attendance barriers or providing supplies — is not enough. Before students can succeed, the quality of the teaching in that classroom needs to improve.

Rotary projects like the Guatemala Literacy Project and Nepal Teacher Training Innovations (NTTI) in Nepal are leading the effort to advance childhood reading by empowering teachers to teach better.

Muslim and Christian Women Work Together to Prevent Dengue Fever in Indonesia

By Rotary International

(June 9, 2017) In a world where intolerance and violence fueled by religious differences are seemingly increasing, one Rotary club in Indonesia is showing how diversity can help prevent a pandemic threat.

When the Rotary Club of Solo Kartini in Surakarta, Indonesia, formed 25 years ago, its members drew criticism from the predominantly Muslim community. The club’s members were mostly Christians, atypical for a country where more than 80 percent of the population is Muslim. Religious leaders were skeptical of Rotary’s secular mission and wary of intrusion.
Undeterred, the club started recruiting more members. Today, the 72-member, all-female club includes both Muslims and Christians.

Check Dams Increase Farm Incomes and Reverse Migration in India’s Semidesert Areas

By Rasheeda Bhagat

(May 5, 2017) Not long ago, young men in the semidesert areas of Rajasthan’s Sikar and Alwar districts were leaving their family farms to find work in the city. Faced with scarce water for crops and unreliable rainfall, they could no longer count on farming to feed their families.

“The land here was so dry that you could barely get drinking water at 800 feet [244 meters] deep,” recalls Goverdhan, an elder from the Neem Ka Thana village in the Sikar district of Rajasthanelder. Because using only monsoon water limited cultivation, “young men migrated to cities like Delhi and Mumbai to work.”

Now, a Rotary water project is making farming profitable again and reversing the departure of young people. Farmers harvest rainwater that percolates into the ground by using check dams, which restrain, or check, the flow of rainwater from catchment basins.

Rotary, ShelterBox in Peru to Help Flood Victims

By Rotary International staff

(April 12, 2017) Rotary International has been working with its partner ShelterBox to provide relief to flood victims in Peru.
Since February, flash flooding and mudslides have damaged and destroyed thousands of buildings, including homes, schools, and churches in several countries in western South America.

Rotary and Rotaract in Peru have reported widespread destruction there. A ShelterBox response team is working with local authorities and Rotary to assess the damage and determine how to help people in the northwest region of the country.

Education Breaks the Cycle of Modern Slavery

By Nikki Kallio

The Rotarian (March 27, 2017) While many people would like to think that slavery was a tragedy of the past, the truth is that it still exists today, with up to 46 million people enslaved worldwide.

The Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) has a strategy for fighting this horrible problem, working at the local level.

In a village in northeastern India, the action group is tackling the problem of debt bondage. With the help of 13 clubs, a district grant through the Rotary Club of Binghamton, New York, USA, and other sources, the action group is providing toward the work of Schools4Freedom, a project of the organization Voices4Freedom.

George Solomon, a Man on a Mission

By Katharine Schroeder

Southhold Local (Feb. 21, 2017) For George Solomon of Mattituck, 24 years as a member of Rotary International has given him countless memories from his work in over 20 countries. But it was on his first trip to Haiti in 2007 that he experienced what he calls a “life-changing moment.”
“We went to a well dedication and I was walking along listening to them describe the components of the well when I felt this little hand grab my hand. I looked down into the face of a 6-year-old girl. She had the biggest eyes I’d ever seen and was smiling from ear to ear.”

After spending time playing with the little girl and a few other children Solomon noticed that many of them had an orange tint to their hair. He asked his friend and fellow Rotarian George Gaffga if the children dyed their hair for any particular reason.
“Oh, that’s not dye,” replied Gaffga. “That’s caused by malnutrition.”

And that was the moment that changed Solomon’s life.
From that day forward Solomon has dedicated himself to helping fulfill the mission of the 110-year-old organization to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water and sanitation, save mothers and children, support education and grow economies all over the world. He takes several trips a year, most of the time paying his own way. He works often with Gift of Life International, a Rotarian-based organization that provides lifesaving heart surgery to children all over the world. In Haiti alone 116 children have received treatment since 2011. Gift of Life brings complete teams of pediatric cardiac surgeons and ICU nurses, builds ICUs in hospitals and is now training the first pediatric cardiologists ever to be in Haiti.

For more Rotary news, visit www.rotary.org.

Fort Meade Bolsters ‘Front Line Fort’ Identity

 

Fort Meade Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard joined Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, U.S. CyberCommand Commander Adm. Michael Rogers and Maryland Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Linda Singh, in officially breaking ground on the latest major construction project at Fort Meade.
Gov. Hogan was the keynote speaker at the event, which signified the commitment to build a state-of-the-art facility from which the Maryland National Guard’s 175th Cyberspace Operations Squadron will execute its mission.
“Today, we are bolstering Maryland’s leadership even further as we break ground on this much needed and much anticipated facility to support the state of Maryland and the cyber mission force,” said Hogan. “Now, it’s a unit [the 175th] of 284 individuals charged with the critical mission of protecting our country’s infrastructure against cyberattack.”
The new building is designed as a single-story, 9,000-square foot facility providing operational and command space for missions aligned to the state of Maryland, the National Security Agency and the United States Cyber Command, according to the Maryland National Guard. The 175th Wing Contracting Office is responsible for contract execution and administration of the project. Ritz Construction, of Maryland, will construct the $6.6 million facility, with POND of Norcross, Ga., as the principal architect and design-build partner.
The 175th Cyberspace Operations Squadron’s federal mission will be to defend and protect Air Force and U.S. critical infrastructure against cyberattacks and conduct cyber exploitation and attack operations; in addition, the 175th will execute their state mission, which is to be available to assist the state and local government agencies at the direction of the governor.
The construction project is scheduled for completion in the fall 2018.

Say Women in Tech Fields

 

Here’s an unsurprising fact about Maryland: It ranks second in the United States in the ratio of female-to-male workers in information technology (IT) occupations at 24%, according to the research report Cyberstates by CompTIA.
Locally, women who work in private technology companies, or at addresses such as The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in North Laurel are a growing segment of the workforce; nationally, while women make up almost 37% of tech workers at the entry level, that percentage drops to 30.5% at the managerial level, and declines with each incremental career advancement, according to a 2016 workplace study conducted last year by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org.

The research found that women make up only 25.4% of tech workers at the director level and 20.2% of tech workers at the vice president level. Among senior executives, women make up just 18.7% of the sector.

Among startups, the numbers grow grimmer for women. A 2015 survey by Silicon Valley Bank found that 66% of tech startups had no women on their boards, and nearly half — 46% — had no women executives at all.

So it seems that, even as women continue to grow in numbers and rise in rank in the tech workforce, they still have considerable challenges when it comes to equality in the IT sector.

Mentors Are Key

On a personal level, one way women can increase their chance for success in a tech world is by working with a mentor, said Gina Abate, president and CEO of Edwards Performance Solutions, in Elkridge.

“I had someone who helped me navigate the business world,” Abate said. “Through her actions, she taught me so very much, [such as] how to lead, effect change and mentor. Her bold actions allowed me to be bold, too, and I’ll never forget those lessons.”

As she moved through her career, Abate said, she has tried to put those lessons to good use. “Helping others realize their potential is so rewarding,” she said. “It’s amazing how you never know the impact you are having on someone else’s career until many years later.”

Mentors also have great influence on girls who are deciding whether to enter a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) career. Each year, APL hosts “Girl Power,” a STEM expo for middle and high school girls, with support from the Maryland Space Business Roundtable and the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County.

The event features hands-on activities, demonstrations and take-home material for girls to encourage an interest in STEM careers. Girls also have the opportunity to talk to professional women in STEM careers such as aerospace, computer science, electrical engineering, geology, information technology and space mission engineering.

The Right Questions

When a young woman is able to talk to a role model, that can be a deciding factor in whether she pursues a tech-related career, said Tina Williams, president of TCecure, in Laurel.
“I think women are encouraged when they see other women working in these fields,” Williams said, “and have the opportunity to see what these fields are about in an environment where they feel at liberty to ask questions.”
She was personally attracted to cybersecurity when she watched the 1995 movie “The Net,” starring Sandra Bullock. “I took my first computer programming class around the same year that movie came out,” she said.

What’s discouraging for young women these days? “Parents and educators who embrace and reinforce stereotypes pursuant to their own limitations and experiences,” said Williams.

“Having 15 years in a technical career, I can say that there are so many opportunities within technical fields that vary in required skill sets,” she said. “In cybersecurity alone, many skill sets are needed, not just hands-on programming or hacking, but also in-depth analysis of systems or human behavior, and risk planning and management.”

Williams wants everyone to know that people other than “the stereotypical anti-social guy glued to a computer screen can be, and are currently, accomplished, valuable, cybersecurity professionals.”

Encouraging Signs

Gwen Greene, president and CEO of Fulton-based Applied Information Technology, said she believes young women have started to express more interest in what used to be male-dominated technical fields, namely cybersecurity, software programming and network administration.

“However,” Greene said, “I have also heard more young women express the need for mentorship to navigate their technical career paths.”

She recalled getting out of college and starting as a software developer. “While I liked my job, I quickly realized it wasn’t my passion.”

Feeling ambitious, Greene took any technical task she could within that company, until she acquired 11 years of technical experience. Today, she serves as a mentor to several young women by sharing her experience to help them map out their career goals in technology.

“There are definitely encouraging signs that more young women are entering technical fields,” she said, “but we need more senior women to become mentors.”

Orchard Development Chosen To Revitalize Long Reach Village Center

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and members of the Long Reach Village Center (LRVC) Evaluation Committee have announced the selection of the Orchard Development Team of Ellicott City to purchase and revitalize the village center.

Plans submitted by Orchard propose a Village Green, community space with a pavilion, approximately 75,000 square feet of combined retail, medical office and commercial space, a food industry incubator and a vertical garden. The plans also call for 120 units of senior multi-family housing, 52 for-sale townhomes and 132 units of market rate housing, as well as structured and surface parking for approximately 960 vehicles.

Orchard has offered a purchase price of $2.5 million, and hopes to close on the sale no later than the first quarter of 2018 and deliver its first use for the property in the first half of 2020.

“Orchard has presented a proposal that delivers on the stakeholders’ suggestions and the key features they requested,” Kittleman said. “This redevelopment plan will help us achieve economic sustainability for this center, making it a vibrant community gathering place with amenities, services and areas for arts and recreation.”

Four proposals were received by the Evaluation Committee. The winning proposal will now be reviewed by the county’s Planning Board on May 18 before moving to the County Council for its approval. Following the council vote, Orchard and the county will finalize a purchase and sales agreement.