We want YOU!

Grab a FREE account and join hundreds of other Garrett County citizens planning for an even brighter future, together!
Join us!

Facebook Integration

If you haven’t already signed up for GarrettPlan.org, you can now sign-in with Facebook! If your GarrettPlan.org email is the same as your Facebook account email, you can also use this handy feature!


Connect with Facebook

Latest Community News

Expert Perspective: 1-in-4 U.S. men has HPV strains linked to cancer

Last week, a study published in JAMA Oncology revealed one in four men in the U.S. are infected with human papilloma virus (HPV). And, that’s just the people with the cancer-causing strains.

HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women, and also a leading cause of anal and oropharyngeal cancers, especially in men.

In fact, some studies have hypothesized that oral or oropharyngeal cancers (neck & throat) will soon become the most common HPV-related cancers.

Unfortunately, there is no widely-implemented screening test for  HPV in men, so early detection can be difficult. And, with one-fourth of the U.S. male population infected with a cancer-causing strain of the virus, HPV could continue to spread and affect cancer outcomes.

HPV vaccination, currently recommended for all 11-12 year olds, provides primary prevention against the several strains of the virus.

“We’re doing better with getting more boys vaccinated but vaccination coverage still remains far below goals. HPV vaccine can protect males from multiple types of cancer as well as genital warts,” said Annie-Laurie McRee, Dr.P.H., assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Pediatrics.

McRee is also a Masonic Cancer Center member. She specializes in HPV vaccination and how provider recommendations play a role in vaccination uptake.

The JAMA Oncology study, from the Womack Army Medical Center in North Carolina, found that 45 percent of the 1,868 men studied had HPV, but only 10 percent of the study group was vaccinated.

“This study highlights the importance of vaccinating both boys and girls for HPV and underscores the need for vaccination at the recommended age when the vaccine offers maximum protection,” said McRee.

What steps should be taken moving forward? McRee added:

“Even though it has been available for males since 2009, boys are still less likely than girls to receive a healthcare provider’s recommendation to get vaccinated against HPV, and the main reason parents report that their son has not received HPV vaccine is that they were either unaware it was available for boys or that they have not received a recommendation from a provider. Given the importance of a strong provider recommendations for HPV vaccine uptake, this is a critical gap to address.

It also means, though, that providers have the power to help parents protect their sons against HPV by simply making that recommendation and we know a lot at this point about how to do that well (for example, by making age-based recommendations to all 11-12 year olds and by offering it along with other adolescent vaccines).”

McRee added that providers should take any opportunity to discuss vaccination, not just well-child visits or annual check-ups.

New community survey available!

YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU! Please take a moment to complete a 10-minute survey about prescription opioids and heroin in your community. Click the card below or visit http://bit.ly/opioidsurvey to take the brief survey today. Participants will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card to Browning’s Shop N’ Save in Oakland, Maryland.

Opioid Survey

National Nutrition Month- Reduce the Fat

National Nutrition Month is winding down. Hopefully you have made some healthy changes this month and will continue to keep doing the changes you have made. This week I want you to consider getting less fat in your diet. You can do this by limiting or avoiding fried food; eating less or no fast food, along with watching the extras that you add to your food. By extras I mean, butter, gravy, margarine, salad dressing such as Ranch, sour cream, cream cheese and mayo, just to name a few. If you are trying to lose weight cutting back on fat is a great place to start! A gram of fat has 9 calories compared to a gram of carbohydrate which has 4 calories as does a gram of protein. Try your best to incorporate all the National Nutrition Month suggestions on “Go Nuts with Amy!”  the remainder of March!

Social Host Ordinance

Currently when law enforcement answers a complaint at a party, it is very difficult for them to prove who provided the alcohol to the underage attendees. A Social Host Ordinance is a law that makes it illegal to provide an environment where underage drinking takes place, regardless of who provides the alcohol.


Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth, causing more harm and death for youth than all illegal drugs combined. According to the MD 2014 YRBS Survey, 41% of Garrett County high school youth drank alcohol in the last 30 days, which surpasses the state average. Most youth report that the most common source for alcohol is from social means such as friends, relatives, or other adults.

A Social Host Ordinance provides law enforcement with a formal course of action to combat underage drinking. It recoups some of the expense of providing police and/or other public services in responses to these gatherings.

Youth who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21.

The Social Host Ordinance can help reduce the damage to teens developing brains, and reduce the number of crimes and the cost attributed to underage drinking.


Easter This Weekend March 25, 2017

Come join Deer Park Eliminators community planning group and the Easter Bunny. Bring your own camera, decorate cookies. Its Spring its time for the bunnies to be out. Click for flyer. Thanks Linda

Natural Resources Careers Camp in Garrett County

High school students with an interest in forestry, fisheries, wildlife or parks management are invited to join teens at Natural Resources Careers Camp, July 23 to 29 at Hickory Environmental Education Center in Garrett County.

For more information see (and information above courtesy of): http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2017/03/15/natural-resources-careers-camp-accepting-applicants-2/

How dietary factors influence disease risk

We have a long way to go toward lowering heart disease rates in Garrett County. The latest research from NIH may be helpful for some. It is a positive reminder that” better dietary habits can improve our health quickly, and we can act on that knowledge by making and building small changes that add up over time.”

Read the full article here

Governor Larry Hogan Announces Funding for MD

Maryland receives federal funding for technology, and the intent is a universal intake and more.  Guess who’s already using cloud-based data?!  GarrettPlan.org!

Tremendous opportunities for Garrett County are coming!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This