Health care directory to tell where various services can be found

November 29, 1994|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Sun Staff Writer

After completing a recent survey on the availability of health services, Anne Arundel County's Commission on Women came up with a classic good news, bad news scenario.

The good news is that the quality and variety of services is excellent.

The bad news is that few people know the services exist.

As a remedy, the commission is putting together a free resource directory that will include information on the health care services offered in the county and where those services can be found.

"It'll be aimed at women because women are basically the health care consumers in the family," said Dr. Louise DePodesta, a Severna Park gynecologist and commission chairman.

"Everyone would have it, just like the Yellow Pages."

The commission is gathering information on the available services and raising the $20,000 needed to publish the directory.

No fee for being listed

There will be no fee for being listed, and the directory will run no advertising, being financed with grants and contributions.

County Executive Robert R. Neall has given the commission a $4,500 county grant, and the commission hopes two county hospitals will match the county's contribution. The rest of the money will come from corporate donations.

Because the directory is aimed at families and not health care professionals, the commission wants to make sure it is easy to use.

The information will be arranged by topic and by location.

"Our feeling was [that] the more generic directories are so voluminous and so unwieldy that they're very difficult for the consumer to use," said Kris Powell, director of community health partnerships at the Anne Arundel County Medical Center.

"What we really want to focus on is a format and a focus the average household can utilize easily and readily."

The directory will list the traditional health care offerings but also include services most people might not think belong in the health care category, such as help with finances and career bTC development, and help for women returning to the work force.

Services for older women and information for families caring for older relatives also will be included.

"Our definition of health is a fairly broad one that deals with the quality of life that impacts on women and their families," Ms. Powell said.

The commission wants to put a directory in every county household. The booklets will be distributed through physicians' offices, the health department and libraries. Ms. Powell said listings will be collected over the next two months and that publication of the directory is tentatively scheduled for spring.

Providers can become listed

"Our plea is [for organizations] to come forward and tell us what they offer to women and families so we can include them in our directory," Ms. Powell said.

To place a listing in the directory, send the information to the Anne Arundel Commission for Women, Arundel Center, Annapolis 21401.

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