Well Community

To Smoke or Not to Smoke (At Age 18): That is the Question

As you may know, during the month of February the WellPower blog team has been considering the pros and cons of raising the legal age of cigarette smoking from 18 to 21. Our fellow colleagues at Campaign Consultation weighed in to let us know what they think about the Maryland Smoking Age debate.

I don’t think that the legal age to smoke should be raised from age 18 to age 21. Adults should continue to make decisions for themselves and deal with the consequences accordingly. – Adiyah Ali






I think smoking is a dangerous habit, …read more

The Healing Aspects of Rhythm & Dance – Tackling Health Disparities among African-American Men


Health disparities are most prevalent among marginalized communities, including communities of color. African-Americans historically have been barred from accessing health care or have been violated instead of receiving care (think Tuskegee Experiment).

African-American men, in particular, have a well-grounded fear or mistrust of modern medicine because of the aforementioned systemic disparities that exists within the African-American community.

However, just because doctors’ offices often will not have many African-American men in the waiting rooms ready to receive preventive care, this does not mean that they are not finding alternative ways to ensure that they remain healthy and receive the healing that …read more

Health Effects of Toxic Spill in West Virginia=Unknown

When MCHM, a chemical that is used to clean coal, spilled into the water of West Virginia, it resulted in an inconvenient, though very necessary water ban during the cleanup process. While the ban from using tap water is slowly being lifted, many of the state’s residents are still struggling to go about their daily routines faced with the restriction. In the meantime, much anxiety has been stirred about the immediate and future health problems that this spill may have caused.

Water drop (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Unfortunately, there is much that is unknown about how MCHM …read more

Unlocking Children’s Well-Being

Sesame Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The percentage of children with an incarcerated parent has increased nearly 80% since 1980, yet few resources exist to support the 2.7 million children who have a parent in state or federal prison. Recognizing that children need tools to express emotions around an incarcerated parent, Sesame Street addressed this issue head-on by creating a toolkit within their Little Children, Big Challenges program and adding Alex, a Muppet whose parent is incarcerated, to the cast.

The Little Children, Big Challenges program strives to provide adults and children with coping strategies and emotional resources to feel …read more

Resolve to be Healthy and ‘Well’thy

New Years Eve in Central Park (Photo credit: Hans J. Hansen)

Exercise regularly.

Run a marathon.

Eat less red meat.

If you are like me and millions of other Americans, a variation of one of the above statements probably at one time or another have been included in your “New Year’s” resolutions.

Why do we often wait until the end of one year to resolve to live healthier and ‘well’thier next year?

I think that we feel safe in making resolutions because we do not hold ourselves accountable – our resolutions become a part of our personal “wish” list …read more

Give Thanks and Raise Your Voice for Health Equity

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is synonymous with family and food. For me, it is a reminder of one Thanksgiving in particular when my aunt began experiencing shortness of breath and went to the emergency room. Doctors did a series of tests and then sent her home.

Photo of Thanksgiving day dinner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days later she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer. It was a shock to the whole family, but none of us felt that it would be a death sentence. Perhaps we were optimistic at best or disillusioned at worst. We went on and …read more

Fortunate Food

I recently came across “Share Shelf,” a simple, yet ingenious way to support community members.

Similar to “Take a Penny, Leave a Penny,” where store patrons place unwanted pennies in a designated dish for customers who need a penny to avoid breaking a higher-denomination coin or bill, Share Shelf is a way for people who have too much to share their excess.

Debuting in Los Angeles, CA, Share Shelf is a little square shelf attached to parking signs on streets with ample foot traffic, a number of restaurants and a high volume of homelessness. Restaurant-goers can place their leftovers on …read more

Expanding the Health Conversation

Contribute to a Healthy Community Display Display (Photo credit: Ryan Somma)

With the roll-out of the new healthcare law, there has been a lot of conversation about affordability. Whether you’re anti-healthcare reform or are lauding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you are likely determining how ACA will affect you financially.

However, there has been little talk in the mainstream media about accessibility to health. This is particularly troubling since overcoming obstacles to health and wellness can only occur when all people have access to education, food, and nutrition. In addition, addressing health inequity requires the elimination of barriers and …read more

The Arc of History Bends towards Access for Everyone

For 35 years, “care” has been at the center of Baltimore-based healthcare provider, Chase Brexton’s mission. At their Cathedral Street location, they have served thousands of community members in the areas of medical care, behavioral health, dental care, pharmacy services and specialty services, to name a few.

For months, we have watched as the beautiful old Monumental Life Building on Charles Street was transformed into Chase Brexton Health Services’ new home. The 178,000 square foot building allows the service provider to throw open its doors even wider, and to better honor it’s credo to “to provide compassionate, quality health …read more

Unhealthy Absences

High school students (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When one child misses school, it can have detrimental effects on his or her classmates, and the community as a whole. Attendance Works, an organization dedicated to advancing student success by reducing chronic absenteeism, asserts that all students are more likely to succeed in academics when everyone consistently attends school. It’s difficult for the teacher and the class to build skills and progress in the curriculum if students are frequently absent.Research shows that one in ten students are chronically absent from school – missing nearly a month of school every year, or two …read more