With the new year right around the corner, it’s a great time to reflect. The Population Health, Innovation & Informatics Unit traditionally utilizes this quiet week to review the insights we’ve gained, learn from our experiences, and set a course aligned with our community. Below are a few highlights from 2022 related to our community’s well-being!

  1. GC In Motion: a multifaceted initiative increasing access to physical activity supported by CareFirst gave us a unique opportunity to invest financially in our community. The results set new records for engagement! This allowed us to continue the support from CareFirst through 2023! Congratulations, Garrett County; thank you for showing up & speaking up! CareFirst noticed your efforts and engagement! We can continue building programming with you that invests in our people, our place, and our play!

Free State Park Passes: Our collaboration with the State Parks enabled 903 individuals to participate in physical activity pass access programs! Herrington Manor became our central access point and hosted hundreds of programs. If you are interested in learning how to cross-country ski, there’s a course for beginners, offered a few times throughout the winter season with a patient instructor that will take place on a level surface to help you gain confidence! See the events calendar below for more details.

Fitness & Fun Mini-Grants: Investing in local people who are deeply passionate and fully committed to elevating the community by sharing their craft enabled 469 individuals to participate in physical activity classes and community events! Another round of mini-grants will open again in the spring of 2023.

Events: 170+ community events, including various free fitness classes, were held between May and September 2022! We look forward to another incredible year of free community events.

Live Calendar: Garrett County Events found here: https://gcinmotion.garrettcountyapps.com/community-calendar/

Go! Fitness Challenge: As our events began to slow down, our community step challenge kicked off! Our participants have submitted 178 entries and collectively logged 17 million steps! We trekked our way across the country and back, encouraging one another on gogarrettconty.com while earning points for nice prizes (Ahem- $100 Sheetz Gas Cards!) This is a rolling program, so that you can join any time; read more about the program here: https://gcinmotion.garrettcountyapps.com/ or check out the recent blog post on gogarrettcounty.com.

Wall of Gratitude: Watch videos and read more about the GC In Motion program in its entirety here: https://gogarrettcounty.com/garrett-county-in-motion-x-carefirst/

2. Well-Being Guide: We’re delighted to offer our first-ever Well-Being Guide! Created with a special committee of stakeholders, this guide provides nutrition and fitness resources and local support to help us confidently take the first steps of our well-being journey. This guide offers local resources and encourages building a support team that provides support each step of the way! Making the necessary changes to our lifestyles is an investment that yields tremendous benefits! View more here: https://gogarrettcounty.com/a-new-resource-is-available-check-out-the-well-being-guide/.

3. SPINE Food Acces: Grant funding helped solidify collaboration and improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables! They liked what we did so much last year they invited us to apply again for 2023 funding. Read more about this exciting initiative here: https://gogarrettcounty.com/garrett-county-food-access-infrastructure-initiative/

4. Go! Campaigns: Throughout the year, we’ve taken on several initiatives to engage in different ways highlighting community partnerships and local resources. Kick Start, Heart Month, Mental Health, and Walktober. If you missed any of these campaigns, you can access them by visiting gogarrettcounty.com and clicking campaigns in the toolbar.

Also, be sure to check out these recent developments in health planning!

Stay in the loop by visiting mygarrettcounty.com for real-time performance data on local programs impacting the health of Garrett County, mygarrettcounty.com.

Don’t miss our new series, Data Insights. We’re using our Community Health Assessment to develop a concise information brief that connects the data available to us, explanations of why it’s essential in a community, local leadership with contact information, local resources, campaigns, and other ways to get involved. The Data Insights are explored and discussed at the monthly Health Planning Council meeting. Our community prioritized mental health as the number one issue; we began there in December. Your expertise is needed to provide a community pulse and collect more data about mental health in Garrett County. Our next meeting is January 26; we will continue reviewing the Data Insight linked here https://garretthealth.org/data-insight-2022-a-mental-health/ as a baseline and will collectively gather more data on the issues in our community. We will use that information to brainstorm community strategies we can measure as a group. The meetings are hybrid. If you cannot join us in person at the Health Department on 1025 Memorial Drive in Oakland, please join virtually or call in. If you don’t have time for a meeting, you can always join the discussion on mygarrettcounty.com in this action group: https://mygarrettcounty.com/groups/health-planning-council/. We want to hear from you!

It’s difficult to reflect on the pain within the past year; many have suffered insurmountable losses. From a global perspective down to our towns, and often within ourselves, there is no shortage of need. Let’s come together in both the success of things that have gone well and those that are broken. Let’s do our part to help those who need a boost, have honest discussions about our community, and continue to prioritize our healthy lifestyle choices so we can be an active part of a thriving, connected community.

Let’s Go! For It In 2023!

Let’s begin 2023 by creating your well-being pathway. We’ll continue utilizing all our local resources to support you on your journey via gogarettcounty.com. You get to tailor your experience based on the area you want to focus on, and you’ll earn points along the way. This program is custom fit to you and your individual needs.  

A simple tracking form will be available, and we will continue utilizing the points system on gogarrettcounty.com! This is a self-paced, at-home program that adapts to what’s going on when life happens. Fill out the form below to be notified for priority registration, and tell us what kind of prizes you want to see in the prize shop in the coming year.

Fill out the form here: https://bit.ly/go2023form

Go! Garrett County and GC In Motion are programs by the Garrett County Health Department, coordinated by the Population Health, Innovation, and Informatics Unit.

Shelley Argabrite
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