December 2022 | Issue No. 8
Auld Lang Synes of Community
Shawn Bartley, Chair, PCC Board of Directors
Thank you for being part of this community. PCC does nothing in isolation, and many of you reading this partner with us in multiple ways—from providing services to making financial contributions. It’s no exaggeration to say we couldn’t do this without you.
As we draw the curtain on 2022, I’ve been thinking a lot about this community we’ve built and are building. I’m an attorney by profession, so it’s not always obvious why I’m part of the PCC to begin with, but the short answer is community.
Early in the pandemic, I experienced symptoms of a heart attack, including intense pain and numbness down my left arm. At first, I thought it might be some new version of COVID symptoms, but Dr. Google got the diagnosis right on the first try. Yet no matter how much it hurt, my vital signs all stayed stable. Great, even. Looking at me, a heart attack was not the obvious answer.
But my neighbor happens to be a doctor. Despite an EKG and oxygen saturation levels that all looked good, he believed me when I said I was in pain. He sent me to the hospital and ordered a troponin test that found the heart attack in progress and likely saved my life. Too many of our neighbors don’t have a doctor who can do that for them.
As much as we rely on science and evidence in medical decision-making, the reality is healthcare happens in community. There are all sorts of things that influence which measures we see and, ultimately, what decisions providers make. If a provider can’t truly see you, it impacts how well they can treat you.
County Grant Funding Available to Qualified Nonprofits for Transportation-Related Services
Nonprofits that serve individuals with disabilities, seniors, and low- or limited-income residents are encouraged to apply for County grant funding to support direct transportation-related services in Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s FY 2023 Targeted and Specialized Mobility (TSM) Grant Program includes $640,000 in available funding for capital projects and $160,000 for operating projects. .
The deadline for applications is midnight on December 28, 2022. For details, go to https://mcmdgrants.smapply.org/.
State Offers Free Training to Reduce Military and Veteran Suicides
The Maryland Department of Health launched a free training program this month to reduce suicides among service members and veterans. The Trained Military Assistance Provider (TMAP) Program supports primary care providers with tools for suicide risk assessment and insight into the military culture so that healthcare workers can better help service members and veterans before they reach a crisis. Statistics from the National Library of Medicine indicate that 45% of people who died by suicide saw their healthcare provider in the month prior and 84% in the year before their death.
With nearly 400,000 veterans, active-duty service members, reservists, and national guard members in Maryland, primary care providers are encouraged to take advantage of the 3.5 hours of free online training. The 10 self-paced e-learning training modules include mental health, suicide risk assessment, and intervention. Primary care providers who want to end military and veteran suicides can enroll in the free training here.
Resources Available to Help Individuals with Food Insecurity
In a month when holiday gatherings tend to involve food, we are mindful that many of our neighbors face an increasing struggle to put meals on the table. If you know someone who may be facing food insecurity, please guide them to the variety of food resources listed on the Montgomery County website. Finding food resources that fit an individual’s needs can be as easy as calling 3-1-1.
For those of us who can help, the Montgomery County Volunteer Center offers a range of opportunities to help alleviate food insecurity by sharing time or making a financial contribution.
PCC Partners with DonateStock for End of Year (and Every Year) Giving
Changes to the standard tax deduction have made it more difficult for many donors to take tax deductions on cash gifts. That's why we're excited to partner with DonateStock in offering another way to support our mission—and potentially realize tax savings in the process. When you donate appreciated stock, you can often avoid capital gains taxes while deducting 100% of the value of the contribution. That makes it a win for you and for us. Click here to find out more.
Thank You for How You 5K!
Thanks to our 29 Virtual 5K-ers for raising more than $4,000 in donations and registration fees during our first-ever Virtual 5K! That's an awesome result for a brand new event, and we're so grateful for the support. Half the fun of a virtual event like this is seeing how folks took a very broad instruction—5K total distance within a 5-day period—and created their own experiences. This year's event is over, but plan to join us in September 2023 for our second-annual Virtual 5K! Read more
to find out how folks participated around the world.
December-January 1, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Garden of Lights, Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallen Ave., Wheaton. Walk through an outdoor wonderland of lights hosted by Montgomery Parks every evening except December 24-25. Timed tickets are available online for $10 each, and every participant, age 5 and older, must have a ticket.
December 26, 4-5 p.m., Adaptive Zumba via Zoom for individuals with limited to no mobility and senior citizens, funded by a grant from the Adventist Community Partnership, and sponsored by Disability Partnerships and Independence Now. Register here.
January 8, 1:50–2:50 p.m., Teen/Adult Dance Classes for individuals with Down Syndrome, hosted by the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County at the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Academy, 8 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg. Participants will learn the fundamentals of dance technique in five sessions taught at the same time on the following Sundays -- February 12, March 12, April 16, and May 21. Pre-register here.
January 27-28, 2023 Polar Bear Plunge, Sandy Point State Park, sponsored by the Special Olympics of Maryland.
PCC Staff Share Their Holiday Traditions and Memories
The winter holidays are steeped in traditions that keep people connected and make the season special. Some traditions have been passed down for generations, and others are more recent, created to forge new connections and memories. In the spirit of the season, we thought we’d share some of the traditions and holiday memories of our own PCC family, including Hillery Tsumba, Kirsten Haalboom, Tom Lewis, Kristine Gallagher Sargsyan, Elizabeth Dutta, Stephanie Narayanan and Shawn Bartley.