State and Local Health Improvement Processes

State Health Improvement Process

State and Local Health Improvement ProcessesIn order to create a healthier State, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) – otherwise known as the State Health Department, developed a State Health Improvement Process (SHIP). This process determines where we stand on health issues and then sets statewide health goals to be achieved by a certain date. The present goals are defined to be achieved by 2017. The SHIP includes 6 vision areas and 39 objectives that measure our health. Of the 39 measured objectives, Harford County is ranked as good or better than the State average in 23 of them, but worse in 16 of them.

Harford County Ranks Worse than the State Average for:

  • Adults who are at a healthy weight
  • Adults who currently smoke
  • Adolescents who use tobacco products
  • Life expectancy
  • Increase physical activity
  • Child maltreatment rate
  • Suicide rate
  • Fall related death rate
  • Affordable housing
  • Adolescents who received a wellness check
  • Children receiving dental care
  • Cancer deaths
  • Drug induced death rate
  • Heart disease death rate
  • Emergency department visits for addiction related conditions

View the Harford County SHIP profile.  Step 1. Choose Harford County as the county you would like to view. Step 2.  press view.  Step 3. select a vision area from one of the gold circles.


Local Health Improvement Process

Local Health WorkgroupsOn the local level, each local Health Department developed its own Local Health Improvement Process (LHIP) to determine the most pressing local health issues and come up with a plan to address them.  The Harford County Local Health Improvement Coalition (LHIC) was formed, and every October, the Harford County Health Department brings together representatives from all segments of the community to listens to presentations on the health of our community and decide what to do moving forward.

The top three health priorities for Harford County are: Obesity, Tobacco, and Behavioral Health. To address these priorities, three LHIC workgroups were formed:

  1. Obesity – Chair, Bari Klein
  2. Tobacco – Chair, Vickie Bands
  3. Behavioral health (i.e. mental health and substance abuse)  – Chair, Sharon Lipford

Each Workgroup has strategic initiatives, action plans, and measurable goals. They meet either monthly or quarterly and report out at the Annual LHIC meeting.

Please click here to view the State of the County presentation from the October 2017 Annual Meeting