The Health Planning and Strategic Initiatives (HPSI) division is a 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 unusual and unexpected child deaths in the county and determining if similar deaths can be prevented. The team meets quarterly at 3:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of February, May, August, and November. Discussion of cases is closed to the public but discussion of prevention initiatives is open to the public. If you are interested in attending the open portion of a meeting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Washington County Child Fatality Review Report 2015-2019 for information on child deaths in Washington County and prevention strategies.
Sexual Risk Avoidance Education and Personal Responsibility Education Program – The Maryland Department of Health provides funding for sexual health education programs. With this funding, WCHD partners with Girls Inc. and Washington County Public Schools to implement evidence-informed sexual health education curricula for children in Washington County Public Schools. The purpose of these programs is to educate youth about puberty; sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV; pregnancy prevention; healthy relationships; sexual decision-making and communication skills; and other topics that promote healthy youth development. Parent materials are distributed as well. To learn more, please visit the 3Rs curriculum website.
Healthy Washington County – Healthy Washington County is Washington County’s local health improvement coalition. The Healthy Washington County website contains a collection of information from organizations in the community about health resources available in Washington County. 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.
Cribs for Kids® – The HPSI division runs the Washington County Health Department’s Cribs for Kids® program. This program provides free pack and plays to caregivers of infants who do not have and cannot afford a crib or pack and play. To learn more, call 240-313-3246.
National Diabetes Prevention Program – The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) 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! For Questions or to learn more about upcoming National DPP classes contact Ashley Sanders at Ashley.Sanders@meritushealth.com or call 301-790-8675
Bike Safe Play Court – The HPSI division collaborated with the Hagerstown YMCA and the City of Hagerstown to create this traffic garden located at the Hagerstown YMCA. A traffic garden is a painted streetscape that gives children a safe place away from traffic to learn how to safely ride their bikes on the streets. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to bring their children to the Bike Safe Play Court and use it as a resource to teach them bicycle safety skills.
Mobile Farmers Market – The Mobile Farmers Market, run by VFF Produce, is intended to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and reduce child and family obesity for vulnerable populations in Hagerstown. The Mobile Farmers Market sets up in multiple locations throughout Hagerstown and sells produce from local farms at affordable prices. This program was funded by a grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission. Please check the web page or Facebook page for the current market schedule.
Communications – Media/interview requests and public information act requests, please email email@example.com
The HPSI division manages the WCHD website and social media pages as well as the internal intranet and employee newsletter.