Health Priority Areas

In 2009, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital obtained a federal grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration in order to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment for St. Mary’s County. Holleran, Inc., a leading medical research organization, contacted over 1,100 residents in the community via phone, face-to face interviews, and as part of focus groups. Data was also collected from public health surveillance systems. Information from a secondary profile in 2011 yielded additional quantitative and qualitative findings. Upon completion of the surveys, ongoing meetings with teams of health care professionals, social service agencies, public health representatives, and other local organizations were held to determine health priorities for St. Mary’s County. Key health priorities were chosen according to seriousness of the issue and the ability for the community to make an impact on improving the condition. As a result of the data compiled through previous and recent community health needs assessment tools, it was determined that priority health needs in St. Mary’s County include:

Access to Healthcare Services

Behavioral Health (including Mental Health and Substance Abuse)

Healthy Eating, Active Living, and Overweight/Obesity

Tobacco Use and Exposure to Secondhand Smoke