To support our on going mission to provide quality care, personalized service
and education to improve community health, Atlantic General Hospital offers
a broad range of services, called community benefits, above and beyond
the healthcare for which AGH is reimbursed.
We recognize the value of prevention and outreach and strive to touch as
many people in Worcester County and the surrounding area as possible.
As a not-for-profit institution, Atlantic General Hospital is here because
of you and for you.
Highlighted below are just a few of the services that we provide to the
community at little or no cost to the individual.
Click here for the FY2018 Community Benefit Guidelines. for FY2017's guidelines,
Community Health Screenings
Atlantic General Hospital sponsors many opportunities throughout the year
for people to receive free preventive screenings. These screenings raise
awareness among community members of their health status while providing
counseling and referrals to programs that can help them improve their
health. Each year, we sponsor or participate in more than 25 health fairs
where free screenings are offered; we also offer hypertension clinics
in eight pharmacies throughout our region each month.
Some frequently performed screenings are body mass index (BMI) measurement,
bone density screenings, breast exams, carotid ultrasound screening, laboratory
blood analysis for total lipids and glucose, respiratory function screening
and skin cancer screenings.
During Fiscal Year 2016, we served more than 13,000 individuals at a cost
of nearly $57,000 to the organization.
Atlantic General Hospital and System, with its partners, the Herschel S.
Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland College
Park School of Public Health and Worcester County Public Schools, have
made great strides in their efforts to improve health literacy of elementary
and middle school students in Worcester County.
Visit our Integrated Health Literacy Program web page to learn more. During Fiscal Year 2016, Atlantic General invested $135,944
in this program.
Influenza Vaccine Clinics
Atlantic General Hospital provides free flu clinics to area residents each
year during flu season, which ranges from October through March. Influenza
can be devastating, contributing to the hospitalization of more than 200,000
Americans annually. Each year, 36,000 people die from the virus in this country.
During the 2011-2012 flu season, Atlantic General Hospital and Health System
provided over $90,000-worth of vaccine to more than 43,000 individuals
during our free flu clinics to reduce the spread of the virus in our community.
The dollars invested in free flu clinic activities has continued to rise
over the years.
Hospital hosts tours at the hospital or "virtual tours" for more
than 400 students in kindergarten and pre-k classes from seven of the
community’s elementary schools. These tours stress the importance
of hand hygiene and other preventive health measures. Perhaps more importantly,
they show children that the hospital is not scary, but a healing place
where they or their loved ones may come to get well.
Atlantic General offers free blood pressure checks and information on hypertension
at pharmacies throughout the area each month.
Through these, we have approximately 350 to 400 encounters with the community
each year. The clinics are an excellent resource for the community. Individuals
are often referred to their physicians as a result of the screenings,
and some physicians request that their patients come to the clinics to
monitor their blood pressure between office visits.
Melanoma cases, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, are rising in Maryland.
In fact, melanoma is the third fastest rising cancer in our state. Even
more alarming, Worcester County has the highest rate of new melanoma diagnoses
in Maryland, running at almost double the national average.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ultraviolet (UV) exposure
causes more than 90% of melanoma in the United States. The CDC recommends
the use of effective health education and outreach to encourage populations
to reduce UV radiation exposure and increase sun protection. These measures
are found to be one of the best ways to prevent the disease.
Dermascan is an awareness tool that Atlantic General uses in the community.
Dermascan reveals sun damage on people's faces that cannot be seen
with the naked eye. It is a curtained box with a black light and a mirror
inside, specially designed so the person can see his or her own face.
The outreach provider can look from the other side and explain to the
participant what they are seeing, and point out what might be a result
of exposure to the sun.
The participant is asked before viewing his or her face in the Dermascan,
"how often do you currently use sunscreen?" Then, after looking
in the Dermascan box and receiving education about sun damage, they are
asked, "After looking at your skin, how often do you plan to use
sunscreen?" Respondents could select as responses Never, Sometimes,
The goal is for there to be a verbal intent of behavior change/improvement
(if one is needed). After going through the Dermascan evaluation procedure,
53% of participants in 2017 indicated that they would start using sunscreen.
AGH Education for Students in Healthcare Fields
Since 2010, Atlantic General Hospital has provided preceptor support to
pharmacy students from colleges and universities in the region.
During the final year of their education, students complete a set of clinical
rotations in various pharmacy settings. The Atlantic General pharmacists
who serve as preceptors assess each student's career goals and tailor
his or her experience to foster the necessary skills, while also exposing
students to research projects, patient counseling, and vaccinations in
a retail pharmacy setting.
The preceptor-ships - each of which have a duration of nearly six weeks
- require substantial planning and oversight on the part of our pharmacy
preceptors. But educating future generations of pharmacists, many of whom
will stay in the area, is an enormous benefit for the community. Underscoring
the importance of this program, 25% of Atlantic General Hospital's
pharmacists first encountered our hospital during their student preceptor-ships here.
Health Education Services Breakdown