Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil’s WATCH Program Receives 2018 Maryland Rural Health Program Award

Accepting the 2018 Maryland Rural Health Program Award were Bari Klein, public health program manager, Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil; Harford County Councilman James V. “Capt’n Jim” McMahan, Jr.; Dr. Cydney Teal, chief medical officer, Union Hospital of Cecil County; and Sharon Lipford, executive director, Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil. (Photo Courtesy of Maggie Carmack Photography)

Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil’s WATCH Program(Wellness Action Teams of Cecil and Harford) received the 2018 Maryland Rural Health Program Award the evening of October 22. The award was presented at the Maryland Rural Health Association’s annual meeting and awards ceremony in Cambridge.

The Rural Health Awards recognize individuals and organizations in rural communities for outstanding program development and health efforts. The awards are presented by the Maryland Rural Health Association, Rural Maryland Council and the State Office of Rural Health.

The WATCH Program was founded in 2016 from a grant through the Health Services Cost Review Commission, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health and Union Hospital of Cecil County.   WATCH, comprised of nurses, social workers, community health workers and a pharmacist, aims to help residents reach their health and wellness goals to prevent re-hospitalization through care coordination, health education and resource support.   

The teams use innovative technology to keep people on track with appointments,medications and other health care needs. More than 2,000 people were served by the WATCH Program over the past year.

This award is based on important community partnerships including University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, Union Hospital of Cecil County, Cecil County Department of Community Services/Office on Aging, Harford County Health Department, Harford County Department of Community Services/Office on Aging and Harford Community Action Agency.

“We’re honored to receive the 2018 Maryland Rural Health Program Award,” said Sharon Lipford, executive director of Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil. “It is a privilege to work with people with chronic illnesses in their homes and in the community. Small changes can have a great impact in improving a person’s health and improve their quality of life. We partner with many organizations to make our communities in Harford and Cecil counties the healthiest in Maryland.”

About Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil
Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil is dedicated to the health and wellness of the northern Chesapeake community. Founded in 1993 as a nonprofit by leaders from University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, Harford County Health Department and Harford County Government, Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil is a coalition of local government agencies, businesses, nonprofits and citizens dedicated to improving the health of Harford and Cecil county residents through healthy lifestyles, community partnerships and improved care coordination for people with chronic illness.

About University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
In December 2013 Upper Chesapeake Health became University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. It consists of the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center in Bel Air, the Senator Bob Hooper House in Forest Hill and the University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. The leading health care system and largest private employer in Harford County, UM Upper Chesapeake Health offers a broad range of health care services, technology and facilities to the residents of northeastern Maryland. Visit for more information.

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