Public Health Challenges

April 08, 2019 By: Bob Atlas

Maryland’s hospitals embrace an innovative, far-reaching model of health care delivery that holds the promise to keep people healthier and reduce the overall cost of providing care for all.

To help meet these goals, the state’s hospitals work to address the causes of poor health and disease risk in our communities, which often are rooted in how and where we live, learn, work, and play.

National Public Health Week, which ends today, offers an opportunity to consider our most pressing community health challenges:

  • An estimated one in five Marylanders suffers from mental health and substance use disorders.
  • With one of every eight Marylanders affected, we face a virtual obesity epidemic which contributes to a wide range of health problems — such as heart disease, joint problems, some cancers, and diabetes.
  • Violence plagues our communities, causing physical harm to some and traumatizing secondary victims, often children.

Maryland’s hospitals work year-round to tackle these challenges — partnering with state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. The goal: healthy communities everywhere.

When people do need health care, hospitals are working to make it more affordable and accessible. And, our hospitals and doctors and nurses are treating the whole person.

But hospitals and clinicians cannot do this all on their own. Keeping people healthy takes steady commitment from other stakeholders, like state and local governments, the education system, health insurers, nursing and assisted living centers, and individuals and families themselves.

Let’s all work together to build a healthier Maryland.