The Health Planning and Strategic Initiatives (HPSI) division is a small unit that focuses mainly on chronic disease prevention and management, health promotion, and public health emergency planning. The division is also the point of contact for HIPAA related questions, public information act requests, and media contacts for public information.
What does the Health Planning and Strategic Initiatives division do?
Washington County Pathfinder – The Washington County Pathfinder website is a resource for people to find walking, hiking, biking, and boating opportunities in Washington County. The Pathfinder website and social media were created and are maintained by the HPSI division.
Washington County Walking and Walkability Plan – The HPSI division brought together a group of community organizations to develop the Washington County Walking and Walkability Plan to encourage Washington County residents to walk more and to improve walkability within the county. Walkability refers to how easy and pleasant a place is to walk.
Child Fatality Review – The Washington County Health Department leads the Washington County Child Fatality Review team. The team is charged with reviewing cases of child deaths in the county and determining if similar deaths can be prevented.
Sexual Health Education Programs – The Maryland Department of Health provides funding for sexual health education programs. With this funding, WCHD partners with Girls Incorporated and Washington County Public Schools to implement two programs. One program is called Promoting Health Among Teens, a curriculum implemented with 6th graders in Washington County. The main goals of this curriculum are to promote abstinence, provide alternatives to having sexual intercourse, help adolescents plan for a positive future and ultimately lower the teen birth rate in Washington County. The other program, Personal Responsibility Education Program, PREP, is for 9th graders. In the Promoting Health Among Teens! Comprehensive curriculum, students learn about puberty, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, and pregnancy prevention. Parent education materials are distributed as well.
Healthy Washington County – Healthy Washington County is Washington County’s local health improvement coalition. The HPSI division represents the health department and is the co-chair of Healthy Washington County. As part of the coalition, the WCHD helps implement a Community Health Needs Assessment every three years.
Public Health Emergency Planning – Public health emergency planning is conducted by this division and encompasses all aspects of planning for health and natural emergencies and coordination of agency response to a wide variety of scenarios.
National Diabetes Prevention Program – The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is an evidence-based lifestyle change program for people who have prediabetes or who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Participants work with a trained lifestyle coach during this year long program to make lifestyle changes that can help them cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half! Call 240-313-3302 to sign up.
Stepping On – Stepping On is a seven-week free senior fall prevention class. Older adults who have fallen or are afraid of falling can call 240-313-3349 to sign up and learn how to reduce their risk of falling.