This month marks the beginning of our county-wide Community Health Assessment process where we have both the privilege and responsibility to accurately collect and report what issues matter most to our community members! We each have our own ideas about what it means to be healthy and what we feel the biggest issues are for ourselves and our community. That’s why we need EVERYONE to take this survey!

Conducting a Community Health Assessment is a fundamental tool of public health practice, it’s a requirement through Federal law for our hospital system, as well as, continued accreditation by the National Public Health Board. The Garrett County Health Department works closely with Garrett Regional Medical Center, Mountain Laurel Medical Center, and the Behavioral Health Administration to ensure we have a comprehensive assessment that exceeds the requirements of all of our partners. In turn, we are better equipped to make informed decisions regarding policies and strategies and are poised to respond together when data is shared transparently across sectors.

Our previous CHA is over 700 pages long, it’s an enormous report filled with data we collect from our own community (primary data) and data that’s been collected by others (secondary data). You can read it online, or download certain sections that are of particular interest to you by visiting, under the section called “community” another menu opens for you to see all the previous work and keep up-to-date with our current process.

In 2019, over 2,000 people responded to the survey and we conducted ten focus groups.  Based on the top five areas our community selects from the survey, we then discuss those areas deeper in the focus groups. Think of this survey as the broadest brushstroke, with the focus groups to follow as the detailed work to drill down into the specifics of each issue.

We’ve found keeping the questions to ten or less allows for a 2-5 minute survey completion which helps our overall collection. If you have five more minutes, please click the link and take the survey:

BONUS: After completing the survey you will also have the opportunity to enter the prize drawing for several different prizes and an opportunity to Help us out by asking your friends and neighbors to take this short survey!

Shelley Argabrite
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