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Governor Hogan Directs MDOT MVA to Take Steps to Expedite Driving Tests and Credentials for School Bus Drivers

By SHAREESE CHURCHILL
Office of the Governor

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Sept. 17, 2021)—Governor Larry Hogan has directed the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) to take steps to make sure school bus drivers are able to obtain proper testing and credentials as quickly as possible in order to help meet the needs of school systems across the state.

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, MDOT MVA will host Bus Drivers’ Day at the MVA at the following branch offices, with appointments scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

• Glen Burnie, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie;

• Bel Air, 501 W MacPhail Road, Bel Air;

• Frederick, 1601 Bowmans Farm Road, Frederick;

• Easton, 9148 Centreville Road, Easton;

• Waldorf, 11 Industrial Park Drive, Waldorf; and

• Gaithersburg, 15 Metropolitan Grove Road, Gaithersburg.

Prior to the start of the school year, MDOT MVA began proactively reaching out to each school system statewide to help streamline appointment scheduling for bus driver trainees.

“We are grateful to all of the CDL drivers who are willing to step up and serve as school bus drivers,” said Governor Hogan. “I have directed MVA to take additional steps to address a critical need in the industry, and at the same time assist schools, parents, and students across the state.”

MDOT MVA is currently offering Commercial Drivers License (CDL) appointments at levels consistent with pre-pandemic availability. To increase accessibility, MDOT MVA recently launched a new function in the Central Scheduling System that allows customers to make same-day appointments based on cancellations. The administration also added a new appointment category for CDL retakes to provide additional convenience.

“Throughout the pandemic, serving CDL holders, especially those in industries that are vital to the supply chain and state services, has been a top priority for us,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “We will continue to work with our partners and local school districts to get their bus drivers, first responders and all other commercial drivers on the road safely and efficiently.”

Knowledge and skills testing will be available to qualified applicants. School districts and/or bus drivers should email schoolbus@mdot.maryland.gov to schedule in advance. Please include your contact information, including phone number, driver’s license number, preferred time and location to assist with scheduling. Customers who are planning to attend “Bus Drivers’ Day at the MVA” are asked to cancel any other existing CDL testing appointments in order to make those time slots available for other CDL applicants and prepare in advance by studying the CDL Manual.

MDOT MVA is encouraging all CDL applicants who are having trouble making an appointment or need immediate assistance to reach out to the administration’s customer service team by email at MVACS@mdot.state.md.us or on Facebook and Twitter @MD_MVA.

 

 

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Prince George’s County Announces Office of Central Services Fleet Among Winners for 2021 Green Fleet Awards

By EBONI A BLAIR
Office of Central Services, Prince George’s County

LARGO, Md. (Sept. 14, 2021)—Prince George’s County’s Office of Central Services (OCS) proudly announces the selection of its Fleet Division as an awardee for the 2021 Green Fleet Awards. Each year, government-operated fleets are evaluated and selected for their high-performance operations in areas related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

“Continuing to receive this award is a constant reminder that Prince George’s County is a leader in our region on transportation and clean energy,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “We have not changed our goal to provide innovative transportation solutions for our County while reducing emissions and improving air quality.”

The OCS Fleet Division placed in the top 50 (#41) of the world’s largest fleet membership association, NAFA, with more than 2,000 national fleet members who come from corporations, public safety (law enforcement, fire departments), education (universities and K-12 school systems), governments agencies (federal, state, municipal, provincial), utilities, and any other entity that uses fleet vehicles in its normal conduct of business.

“As an agency with sustainable energy as one of our core missions, this award represents our on-going commitment and execution toward use of alternative fuels and adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles to reduce our fuel consumption

and greenhouse gas emissions for a healthier Prince George’s County,” said Jonathan Butler, Office of Central Services Director.

The Green Fleet Award is a prestigious honor and speaks to the excellence of the County’s fleet service operation. County Executive Alsobrooks has made it a priority to reduce countywide greenhouse gas or carbon emissions by 80% below 2008 levels by 2050. The County has developed a reputation for leading the way in sustainable practices, being among the first to have electric and hybrid vehicles as well as fuel efficiency standards. Division Manager Rick Hilmer has led the Fleet Division for more than twenty years, resulting in the division receiving this award each year.

For more information about the 2021 Green Fleet Awards, and to view a full list of winners, visit the NAFA website (https://www.nafa.org/awards/green-fleet-awards/green-fleet-awards-2021/). For more information about the Office of Central Services, visit the OCS website (https://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/807/Central-Services).

 

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MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center Welcomes MedStar Health Breast Surgeon Patricia Wehner to the Team
Board-certified, fellowship trained MedStar Health physician joins MedStar Southern Maryland as site director of its breast health program

By CHERYL RICHARDSON
MedStar Health

Clinton, MD (Sept. 13, 2021)—MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is pleased to welcome Patricia Wehner, MD, FACS, a board-certified and fellowship-trained breast surgeon who recently joined the hospital as site director of its MedStar Breast Health Program. Prior to coming to MedStar Southern Maryland, Dr. Wehner practiced at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown. She also currently practices at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, and will continue seeing patients at this location as well.

Dr. Wehner attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, prior to starting a residency in general surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. She then completed a breast oncology fellowship at the University of Southern California. As part of the specialty care provided at MedStar Southern Maryland in Clinton, Maryland, Dr. Wehner treats an array of conditions such as ductal carcinoma in situ, inflammatory breast cancer, invasive breast cancer, Paget’s disease of the breast and Phyllodes tumor. Surgical procedures offered for patients include axillary node dissection, lumpectomy, and breast conservation with oncoplasty as well as mastectomy.

“I knew at age seven that I wanted to be a doctor. And, I chose to work with breast cancer patients because of the special closeness I can build with women at this vulnerable time in their lives," Dr. Wehner said. “You can be assured that I will treat patients referred to me with the utmost respect, while providing individualized care that is expected from MedStar Health.”

Dr. Wehner is currently the Associate Program Director of the MedStar Georgetown Breast Fellowship and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Georgetown University. She won a Scientific Impact Award in 2013 from the American Society of Breast Surgeons and is also a recipient of the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers’ Excellence in Patient Quality and Care Award. Dr. Wehner also earned the distinguished role of being part of the MedStar Teaching Scholars Program for MedStar Health Research Institute.

For appointments with Dr. Wehner at MedStar Southern Maryland, please call 301-877-5607. To learn more, visit MedStarSouthernMaryland.org/Wehner.

 

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, located in Clinton, Maryland, is a 182-bed acute care hospital serving the Washington, D.C., metro and Southern Maryland area. The hospital is focused on caring for patients and their loved ones utilizing advanced technology under the guidance of expert clinicians. Quality, Safety, Wellness, and Patient Satisfaction are achieved through a spirit of patient centered services that connect us to the community we serve. For more information, visit MedstarSouthernMaryland.org.

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Fall Tips to Kick Start the Financial Road to College

(StatePoint) Fall kick starts the financial road to college for parents of high school seniors. But if you’re like the majority of parents, you both value the importance of a college degree, while harboring anxiety about the price tag.

In a recent College Ave Student Loans parent survey conducted by Barnes & Noble Insights, 85% of parents agree that earning a degree is more important than ever. At the same time, most parents surveyed agree that the cost of college is more of a financial burden than in previous years, that the cost is surprisingly high, and find paying to be stressful.

As you begin making your financial plans, consider these tips:

• Build a smart college list: Encourage your child to apply to a mix of private and public schools as sometimes merit aid from private universities can make costs comparable to public options. By applying to a variety of schools, you can compare financial aid award packages and identify a school that’s not only a good academic and social fit, but a good financial fit as well.

• Apply for financial aid: Create a spreadsheet listing financial aid deadlines and requirements, which vary by school and state. You can check with your school’s financial aid office to learn what paperwork is needed.

One date to circle in your calendar is October 1. This marks the day you can begin filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Complete the FAFSA this fall and every year your child attends college. Doing so is the key to unlocking scholarships, grants, work-study and federal student loans. This is also the date you can begin filing the CSS Profile, an online application that nearly 400 colleges, universities, professional schools, and scholarship programs use to award more than $9 billion in financial aid annually.

• Look for scholarships: Have your college-bound student seek out and apply for reputable scholarships. Be sure to read the fine print to understand the terms. One easy one to apply for is the College Ave Student Loans $1,000 monthly scholarship sweepstakes.

• Review your finances: The overwhelming majority of parents (97%) plan to help pay for their child’s college education, according to the College Ave survey. Of those, 62% plan to draw from their income and savings to do so. Make time this fall to review your financial resources to determine how much you can contribute without sacrificing your retirement goals. You may need to get creative. For example, 1 out of 10 parents surveyed find extra income from a side hustle.

• Prep your student: Many students learn their first money management lessons in college. Give your child the financial know-how needed to hit the ground running. Discuss how to create and stick to a budget, how to build an emergency savings account, and how to avoid peer pressure when it comes to spending. For example, just because a friend is dining out or traveling frequently, doesn’t mean your child has to do the same.

Also, discuss how they can contribute to their education costs. Creating financial goals now will help set your child up for financial success.

• Get savvy: As you navigate the financial road to college, stay savvy by referencing the free tips, resources, guides and financial expert advice available at collegeavestudentloans.com/blog.

College costs can surprise many families. Don’t get caught off guard. To get financially prepared, use the year ahead to explore all your financing options and formulate a plan.

 

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