Business Forum on Nov. 9

The Southern Maryland Business Open House is scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center in Leonardtown.

The event is hosted by the St. Mary's County Department of Economic and Community Development, St. Mary's Chamber of Commerce and the St. Mary's County Minority Business Alliance.

Sponsors include the Governor's Office of Business Advocacy and Small Business Assistance, the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs, Maryland Department of Economic Development and the Maryland Economic Development Commission.

Business owners and operators in Southern Maryland will have an opportunity to share their ideas, recommendations and concerns with representatives from the sponsoring agencies. This event will also give each agency the ability to gain a regional perspective on the economic and business development issues special to Southern Maryland.

The Southern Maryland Business Open House is free and open to all businesses in the area. For more information, contact Courtney Franklin at 301-475-4200, Ext. 1408, or by e-mail at courtney.franklin@stmarysmd.com.

Aid for Diabetes Screening

The St. Mary's County Health Department received a $5,500 grant from the Family Health Administration of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to carry out a community screening program to identify people at risk for Type 2 diabetes and to develop a targeted plan to help control the ailment in the county.

Health Officer William Icenhower said Type 2 diabetes is well known to St. Mary's health care providers as a condition that not only affects those in whom it is diagnosed, but also "impacts access to scarce health care services and results in lost productivity in the workforce."

The Diabetes Coalition of St. Mary's County was formed last year to address the increasing incidence of Type 2 diabetes. The grant funds will be used to further the objectives of the coalition, which include educating the community on diabetes and related health risks and identifying people who are at risk for diabetes.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin. Insulin is the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body and allows glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream to enter the cells. Over time, high blood-sugar levels may harm the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

In 2002, the Maryland Diabetes Control Program reported that 6.9 percent of the state's adult population had Type 2 diabetes, linking the risk factors of obesity and lack of physical activity to the disease.

Drug Abuse Awareness Day

"Living Healthy and Drug Free Information and Awareness Day," the Charles County Substance Abuse Advisory Coalition's drug abuse awareness event, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at the St. Charles Towne Center.

The event, formerly known as "Substance Abuse Awareness Day," will include the Charles County public schools' Just Say NO and SADD Walk-a-Thon, information on available services, presentation of awards to individuals and agencies, and other activities.