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 (MDH) developed a State Health Improvement Process (SHIP)to determine where we stand, as a state and as local jurisdictions, on 39 health objectives. This data is then used to set health goals aligned with Healthy People 2030, and develop a framework for local accountability.  Of the 39 measured objectives, Harford County is ranked as good or better than the State average in 24 of them, but worse in 15.

Harford County Ranks Worse than the State Average for:

  • Adults who currently smoke
  • Life expectancy
  • Increase physical activity
  • Sudden Unexpected Infant Death rate
  • Children receiving blood lead screening
  • Domestic violence
  • Child maltreatment rate
  • Suicide rate
  • Fall-related death rate
  • Affordable housing
  • Adolescents who received a wellness check within the last year
  • Children receiving dental care within the last year
  • Cancer deaths
  • Drug-induced death rate
  • Emergency department visit rate due to hypertension


Local Health

On the local level, the Harford County Local Health Improvement Coalition (LHIC) lead by the Harford County Health Department, brings together representatives from different parts of the community every October to exam the health of our community and determine a plan for moving forward.

The top three health priorities for Harford County are:

  1. Family Health and Resiliency 
  2. Chronic Disease Prevention and Wellness
  3. Behavioral Health (i.e. mental health and substance abuse)

Each priority forms a Workgroup which develops action plans with measurable goals. They meet either monthly or quarterly and report out at the Annual LHIC meeting. The next annual LHIC meeting is October 7, 2021 from 8:00am to noon at Harford Community College, Chesapeake Conference Room.

Please click here for the latest LHIC information