New graduate program at Hood; SHIP launches annual hygiene drive

Nov. 6—Hood College last week announced a new graduate program that combines computer science, information technology and health sciences.

Starting in January 2024, the college will offer a Master of Science in Health Informatics and a post-baccalaureate health informatics certificate, according to a news release.

The release said health informatics “uses information technology to collect, analyze and safeguard healthcare data.”

“Health informatics professionals are an essential part of the physician-patient relationship, as they are responsible for processing and managing biomedical data,” the release said. “Doctors, nurses, administrators, insurance companies and patients all rely on health informatics to access electronic medical records.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 16% growth in the field by 2031, the release said. Students who finish the program could pursue careers in software engineering, data analysis and more.

Program participants can focus either on bioinformatics or artificial intelligence and machine learning, the release said.

Students with bachelor’s degrees in life, health or computer sciences — as well as information technology — can apply.

SHIP kicks off annual hygiene drive

The Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership of Frederick County (SHIP) kicked off its annual hygiene drive Monday.

Volunteers are aiming to collect full-sized hygiene products for students experiencing homelessness.

Donation bins will be placed in businesses throughout Frederick County. A list of bin locations is at SHIP’s website at

Community members can also drop products off at the SHIP office in downtown Frederick during regular business hours.

As of this past summer, more than 1,000 Frederick County Public Schools students were experiencing homelessness, SHIP wrote in a news release. Nearly 200 of those students were unaccompanied, the release said, meaning they didn’t have a parent or legal guardian in their lives.

“Not having access to hygiene items like shampoo and laundry detergent is often what keeps students experiencing homelessness from attending school,” SHIP Executive Director Melissa Muntz said in the release. “By providing these items to this vulnerable population, we increase their likelihood of furthering their education and graduating on time.”

The drive will run through the second week of January.

This week in FCPS: Veterans Day program; Civics & Law Academy

On Friday, FCPS will recognize employees who have served in the military.

The event will take place at 11 a.m. in the board room at the district’s central office building on East Street.

Officials will formally recognize all nominees for the FCPS Excellence in Service Award, which the district says is “open to all employees who served our country.”

On Saturday, high school students interested in entering the legal field can attend a “Civics & Law Academy” hosted by FCPS and the Frederick County Bar Association.

Session topics will include privacy and the internet, criminal procedure, protections and limits of speech and careers in the legal field. Students can also participate in mock trial sessions.

The event will be at Frederick High School from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Nominations open for 2024 Support Employee of the Year

FCPS is accepting nominations for the 2024 Support Employee of the Year awards.

Support employees include bus drivers, custodians, maintenance workers, instructional assistants, secretaries and community liaisons, among other positions.

The school board will recognize one finalist from each of eight broad job classifications. FCPS Superintendent Cheryl Dyson will designate a winner in April.

Finalists and winners are chosen by a panel of district employees.

Details on eligibility and the nomination process are available on the “awards” page on FCPS’ website at

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek


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