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Community Benefits

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.

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.

Health Literacy

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 alone, Atlantic General invested $135,944 in this program. Integrated health curriculum is currently in place for all grade levels in Worcester County's public schools.

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.

Each flu season, Atlantic General Hospital and Health System provides 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 have continued to rise over the years.

School Tours

Atlantic General 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.

Hypertension Clinics

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 Prevention

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, and Always.

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 and Outreach Services Breakdown - Fiscal Year 2020