The Harford County Health Department, in partnership with other County agencies, is hosting its annual Local Health Improvement Coalition (LHIC) meeting to discuss the future health priorities of Harford County.
In 2011, Maryland launched the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP) to prioritize Maryland’s health concerns. The goal of SHIP is to provide a framework for accountability, local action, and public engagement to create and measure the progress of Maryland’s health. This initiative is implemented at the local level through LHICs. The purpose of the LHIC is to improve the health of all residents with particular attention to health disparities.
Current health priorities of the LHIC include behavioral health, tobacco use, and obesity prevention. Positive changes have been made in the County during the past six years in an effort to reduce tobacco use and to encourage healthy eating and exercise behaviors. Unfortunately, the heroin epidemic has dominated the efforts of the behavioral health group and does not seem to be going anywhere soon.
Interim Harford County Health Officer, Dr. Russell Moy, predicts that behavioral health will continue to be a major concern and a top health priority by the conclusion of the meeting. “With the Governor issuing a State of Emergency for the Opioid Epidemic and the increasing number of overdoses and overdose deaths Harford County continues to witness, there’s no doubt that our community will continue to make this a high priority until there is a resolution.”
Community partners will gather on October 26, 2017, to determine new priorities and initiatives in hopes to keep working towards the vision of the health department; to make Harford County the healthiest county in Maryland.
For more information about the current LHIC, visit the health department’s website at http://harfordcountyhealth.com/harford-county-local-health-improvement-plan/.