Healthy Washington County FY22 Community Health Needs Assessment
(Hagerstown, March 4, 2022) – Mental health, obesity and substance use are top three health priorities in Washington County, as identified by the FY 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment.
Every three years, this study is conducted to identify the health strengths, challenges and opportunities unique to our community. The information provided in the report is critical to those in positions to make positive impacts on the health of the region’s residents. The assessment identifies major health concerns, gaps in services and other disparities.
This report is based on epidemiological, qualitative and comparative methods that assess the existence of health issues within a defined community and the health services, gaps and disparities that people may encounter related to those health issues. This CHNA report includes findings, survey results, conclusions and an implementation plan that has been made widely available to the public via Meritus Health, Brook Lane Health Services, Washington County Health Department and Healthy Washington County websites.
The express purpose of the FY2022 CHNA was to complete a comprehensive assessment of the health status and healthcare access needs of residents living in the Washington County healthcare region. The objectives of the assessment include:
- Review the FY2022 health needs and determine what progress has been made
- Identify the current health status of community residents to include baseline data for
benchmarking and assessment purposes
- Identify the availability of treatment services, strengths, service gaps and opportunities
- Determine unmet community health needs and target priorities
- Develop a plan to direct community benefit and allocation of resources to meet
- Enhance strategic planning for future services
- Meet the CHNA requirements for Brook Lane Health Services and Meritus Medical
Center as not-for-profit hospitals
Click below to view the FY22 CHNA and past years
September is National Family Meals Month. Thousands of studies have shown that frequent family meals lead to better nutrition and family dynamics. The communication and relationship skills learned at family meals can help us handle life’s tough situations. Eating together as a family improves self-esteem and gives family members a sense of wellbeing and keeps kids out of trouble: the more family meals that kids share, the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors like drinking alcohol, smoking, or using marijuana. And kids who eat meals with their families up to four times a week have been shown to have higher test scores and succeed in school.
Over eighty percent of Americans surveyed are eating together more often since the COVID pandemic began. Now that life is getting busier again, it is a great idea to try to continue regular family meals. Is everyone busy in the evenings? Try eating breakfast together before everyone starts their day. Or try to get together for brunch or an early dinner on the weekends.
Family Meals doesn’t just mean a mom, dad, and two kids sitting around the table! A family meal can be with anyone you live with and consider family: roommates, domestic partners, single parents and kids, grandparents and grandchildren. People who live alone may even consider having virtual dinners with loved ones!
How can you simplify family meals? Start planning on Sundays and figure out what meals will work for everyone to sit down together. Encourage all household members to help select the menu (even kids!). Meals don’t have to be complicated! Try soup and sandwiches with a side of fruit or breakfast for dinner on nights when you are short on time.
Looking for more family meal inspiration? The nutritionists at Martins/The GIANT Company offer free, virtual nutrition classes! There is something for everyone! Check out our schedule and sign up here: The GIANT Company Nutritionists Events | Eventbrite
Washington County has high levels of teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted illnesses (STIs) among adolescents. Using data from 2013-2019, Washington County ranked third in the state for teen pregnancy (1). In 2018 there were 175 cases of chlamydia and 43 cases of gonorrhea diagnosed in Washington County teens (2) and only 52% of Washington County high school students reported using a condom the last time they had sex (3).
In light of these concerning statistics, the School Health Council, composed of representatives from Washington County Public Schools and partner agencies, has identified sexual health as a priority area. This survey of Washington County residents will help to inform community-based interventions to improve the sexual health of our adolescent population.
1) County Health Rankings, www.countyhealthrankings.org
2) MDH Center for STI Prevention
3) MDH Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Youth – high school age individuals
To take the survey go to https://forms.gle/YyJJaDLq3HnpBQPt8
or scan the QR code
The Healthy Business Challenge hosted by Healthy Washington County ran January-June, 2020. During this time, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the work of many businesses, but several organizations in the community retained their dedication to supporting the health and wellness of their employees throughout these uncertain circumstances. Organizations who participated in the challenge were able to earn a Healthy Business designation by earning at least 5 points in each of the following categories: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Overall Wellness.
Congratulations to the following organizations that earned a Healthy Business designation in the 2020 Healthy Business Challenge: The Arc of Washington County, Martin’s Food Markets, Meritus Health, University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Washington County Commission on Aging, Inc., Washington County Health Department, Western Maryland Hospital Center, and YMCA of Hagerstown.
Special recognition goes to the winners of each size category in the challenge who earned the most points in their size category:
- Small (1-99 employees): Washington County Commission on Aging
- Medium (100-399 employees): Western Maryland Hospital Center
- Large (400+ employees): Meritus Health
The 2021 Health Business Challenge will run January 1 – December 31, 2021. Businesses can sign up now at healthywashingtoncounty.com/healthy-business-challenge. All businesses achieving a minimum of 10 points per category will receive a Healthy Business designation. After the challenge, awards will be presented to those businesses achieving the highest number of points in each size category and that go above and beyond in creating a healthier business environment.
Healthy Washington County also encourages local organizations to pledge as a Go for Bold partner at healthywashingtoncounty.com/go-for-bold and to promote the Go for Bold Weight Tracker to their employees.
If you have any questions, please contact Hannah Person at email@example.com or 240-313-3357.
Join us for a virtual meeting to celebrate the 2020 Healthy Business Challenge winners and kick off the 2021 Healthy Business Challenge on Tuesday, December 22nd at 12:00pm! Anyone interested in learning more about the Healthy Business Challenge or signing up is welcome to participate! The challenge is open to any organization with a location in Washington County, MD.
Participants in the 2020 challenge will have the opportunity to share ideas their organization implemented during the challenge with other businesses.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
Healthy Washington County, co-chaired by leaders at Meritus Health and the Washington County Health Department, has successfully partnered with the Collaboration for Healthier Lives, a key initiative of The Consumer Goods Forum, since September 2017, on a private-public project called “One For Good,” recently highlighted in a published report: https://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com/wp-content/uploads/empowering-US-shoppers-to-make-healthier-choices-final.pdf
Aimed at supporting and empowering citizens to adopt healthier diets and lifestyles, program leaders selected Hagerstown/Washington County as the target region of the U.S. chapter’s pilot program. More than 50 planned events at retail and community locations have generated more than 30,000 interactions so far. Events have included healthy cooking demonstrations at the YMCA of Hagerstown, support during senior days at Walgreens and Walmart Wellness Days and healthy food sampling events at Martin’s.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis response team met weekly to allow retailers, manufacturers, health professionals and community representatives share updates on the needs of the community and make targeted donations to help meet those needs. Through the “One for Good” initiative, 200 thermometers, 5,000 gowns and 2,000 surgical masks were donated to Meritus Medical Center and several government organizations; 4,000 cloth masks were provided to local organizations; and shelf-stable food products for 3,500+ home-delivered meals were given to the community.
“It has been amazing to see these diverse groups working together to improve health,” says Allen Twigg, co-chair of Healthy Washington County and the executive director of behavioral and community health at Meritus Health. “The One for Good initiative helps us all make healthier choices each day … and we’re really just getting started!”
Going forward, the partnership is focused on supporting the Go for Bold initiative to lose one million community pounds by the year 2030. More information on Healthy Washington County and the Go For Bold initiative is available at healthywashingtoncounty.com.