The Community Health Improvement Process for Montgomery County, Maryland
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Community Benefits Reporting By Hospitals

Please CLICK HERE to see the most current Community Benefit Reports for Montgomery County Hospitals.
 
Healthy Montgomery serves as the local community health improvement process for Montgomery County, Maryland.
 
To assist the hospitals in our community with integrating Healthy Montgomery activities into the Community Benefit Narrative Requirements as described by the HSCRC, the following materials are provided here:
Overview of Process
 
The Montgomery County Community Health Improvement Process launched in June 2009 with a comprehensive scan of all existing and past planning processes. Past assessment, planning, and evaluation processes were compiled that related to health and well-being focus and social determinants of health across a multitude of sectors, populations, and communities within Montgomery County.
 
By 2010, the focus was on establishing a core set of indicators that could be examined through a comprehensive needs assessment that resulted in approximately 100 indicators being released at the launch of the Healthy Montgomery website on February 2011.
 
During 2011, Healthy Montgomery collected information on the health and well-being status of Montgomery County residents, along with socio-demographic information to produce the Healthy Montgomery Needs Assessment, which was sent to the Healthy Montgomery Steering Committee (HMSC) in September 2011 for their use in setting health and well-being priorities in Montgomery County .
 
In October 2011, the HMSC held a half-day retreat to choose the key strategic priority areas for improvement activities. The priority setting process utilized an online survey tool that the Steering Committee members completed prior to the retreat to enable them to independently evaluate potential priority areas by five criteria:
 
1. How many people in Montgomery County are affected by this issue?
2. How serious is this issue?
3. What is the level of public concern/awareness about this issue?
4. Does this issue contribute directly or indirectly to premature death?
5. Are there inequities associated with this issue?
 
The survey results were compiled for each member and for the entire HMSC. The results were ranked and provided at the retreat to initiate the group process. Through multi-voting and consensus discussion, the Steering Committee narrowed the top-ranked priority areas to the following: 
  • Behavioral Health;
  • Cancers;
  • Cardiovascular Health;
  • Diabetes;
  • Maternal and Infant Health; and
  • Obesity
 
In addition to selecting the six broad priorities for action, the HMSC selected three overarching themes (lenses) that Healthy Montgomery should address in the health and well-being action plans for each of the six priority areas. The themes are:  
  • Lack of access; 
  • Health inequities; and
  • Unhealthy behaviors.
 Based on the decisions by the Healthy Montgomery Steering Committee in May 2012, the first two of six work groups were established, composed of individuals who are experts in the respective priority areas. Their task is to develop, execute, and evaluate specific action plans that are designed to improve the health of the residents of Montgomery County. The phased-in approach of work group formation and execution was in response to the limited resources to support the work groups - Behavioral Health and Obesity will be the first two focus areas to complete action planning starting in June 2012. The remaining four areas will be phased in as staffing resources permit later in 2012 or 2013 to complete action plans for all six areas.

Indicators for Table II Narrative Requirements
 

*Health inequities are differences in health status, morbidity, and mortality rates across populations that are systemic, avoidable, unfair, and unjust.