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The original item was published from 5/26/2022 9:30:00 AM to 5/27/2023 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: May 26, 2022

[ARCHIVED] QAC Department of Health Anti Stigma Campaign Wins National Recognition


QAC Department of Health Anti Stigma Campaign Wins National Recognition

Gold Aster Award honors anti-stigma campaign


CENTREVILLE -- The Queen Anne’s County Department of Health, Nielsen Center has won a Gold Aster Award for its anti-stigma campaign, “Don’t Label Us.”

The national award recognizes the most talented healthcare marketing professionals for outstanding excellence in advertising, marketing, and communications. Created by local agency Soul Candy Media, the campaign titled, “Don’t Label Us,” highlighted the benefits of using Medication-Assisted Treatment to manage opioid use disorder. 

Maggie Thomas, QACDOH Director of Addiction and Prevention Services and Local Addictions Authority, worked closely with Kelley Callaghan, owner of Soul Candy Media, on the project. 

“This campaign is just another example of the innovative ideas that Maggie has brought to the Health Department leadership team,” said Queen Anne’s County Health Officer Dr. Joseph Ciotola. “Her creative solutions and partnerships have improved the health and well-being of Queen Anne’s County residents.” 

The Queen Anne’s County Department of Health, Nielsen Center is the substance abuse division of the health department that focuses on prevention, wellness, and recovery. Thomas leads a dedicated team that focuses on innovative approaches to substance use disorder, with community-based programs that take a whole health approach to recovery and prevention. 

Funded in part by the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center, SAMHSA, and the Maryland Department of Health, the campaign included a website (, materials, and highly targeted ads across multiple platforms. 

“This is such an important project, especially as the latest reports show that we’ve surpassed a million overdose deaths since 1999,” said Callaghan. “Working with Maggie is always a treat – together, we came up with a campaign that we are very proud of, and that we know has a really important message.”

Soul Candy Media is an award-winning, woman-owned, niche marketing firm that is the sole agency in the region that focuses exclusively on prevention, treatment, and recovery campaigns. Visit for more information. 

To learn more about the Department of Health and the services they offer visit and click on the “Substance Abuse” tab. 

The Aster Awards started in 2001 and was hosted by the healthcare magazine, Marketing Healthcare Today. The program became elite and has grown into one of the largest medical marketing awards of its kind.

Winning entries are judged by a diverse panel of industry experts across various categories. Winning certificates include Best of Show, Judge’s Choice, and gold, silver, or bronze.

Learn more about the Aster Awards at


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