When residents of Carroll County, MD need advice on health, employment, or legal issues, they know right where to find it: their pockets.
“Carroll Cards,” an effort by students from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, offer a county’s worth of handy information in a format that fits wallets, purses, and pockets.
They are the brainchild of Keith Fischer, Jan Gaspar, Caitanya Min, Mariel Otter, Emily McWilliams, Emily Smith, Jamie Stowe, and Steven Wright, students in the January to March public health nursing rotation at the Carroll County Health Department. The group sought a compact, easy-to-use resource card to let people in the community know where to find not only healthcare but also Social Security resources, mental health counseling, housing, and even legal advice.
“We saw that the county had a wide variety of resources available to their residents, but no concise way of distributing the information,” says McWilliams.
The students devised the list of beneficial resources and decided on a foldable and durable card—something residents could carry with them at all times.
To date, there have been almost 6,000 cards given out at doctor’s offices, urgent care sites, and emergency departments, and they are available for any agency, office, or medical site that wants to distribute them. Dianna Davis, RN, MSN, CRNP-F, clinical instructor for the JHSON Baccalaureate program, reports the card is on its third printing. “It’s really amazing the power of knowledge,” Davis says. “When the information and resources are there, people are empowered to help themselves.”