Howard Magazine - Page 50 - Health

Howard Magazine
- Page 50

As the population of Howard County has grown, so have the health care resources available to residents.


Howard County General Hospital, the county’s only general hospital, has increased in size dramatically since it opened in 1973, adding space and services for inpatients and outpatients with 245 licensed beds. The hospital’s emergency department provides emergency and urgent care around the clock in a 36-bed adult care unit, with a separate 12-bed pediatric unit. Construction is underway on a $45 million project to add 48,000 square feet with a two-story addition adjacent to the emergency room.


In the early 2000s, Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest health maintenance organization, opened a 17,500-square-foot center in Columbia Gateway Park, and Sheppard Pratt at Ellicott City opened as a private hospital specializing in mental health programs.


Over the last decade, Kennedy Krieger Institute opened an outpatient clinic in Columbia to provide pediatric behavioral psychology services, while Gilchrist hospice brought a 10-bed inpatient facility to Columbia.


More than a dozen urgent-care facilities provide walk-in treatment.


Resources also are available to residents through Healthy Howard, a public health initiative incorporating schools, restaurants, workplaces, child care facilities, recreation and more.


The Horizon Foundation, an independent philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and wellness of county