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Garrett County Hosts Panel of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Judges in Pursuit of the Culture of Health Prize

May 4, 2017 | Press Releases

Out of 3,069 counties in the United States, Garrett County was chosen by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a finalist to receive the distinguished honor of being a community that demonstrates a culture of health and spirit of collaboration.  Five members of the site visit team visited Garrett County last week to complete the last phase of the application process.  Members were from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

“A big thank you goes to the many community partners who work hard every day to make Garrett County a special and unique place to live, work and play,” said Health Officer Rodney Glotfelty. “All the programs and initiatives are what made our application exceptional and brought the team here!  And special thanks to Kimi-Scott McGreevy from GRMC for writing the grant and to Bob Stephens and Shelley Argabrite for coordinating and facilitating the Culture of Health Prize application and site visit.”

The review team’s four-hour tour started at Garrett Regional Medical Center.  The site visitors met with social workers, coordinators, home health nurses, and a patient to discuss how the hospital coordinates its Well Patient Program and works with Mt. Laurel Medical Center and Home Health at the Garrett County Health Department to ensure patients are discharged and have a successful transition home. The Well patient program is a hospital program that helps patients manage chronic diseases to keep people healthy.

Next, they visited Crellin Elementary School where they were greeted by Garrett County School Superintendent, Barbra Baker.  Two fifth grade students provided Muck Boots for the visitors and proceeded to lead them around the grounds, showcasing agricultural projects and incorporating local culture and history.  The Learning Beyond the Classroom Bus was on site and Steve Knepp from the Judy Center gave the visitors the opportunity to board the bus and learn more about how the program serves the community.

The third stop was the Market Fresh Pavilion where visitors met with Commissioner Paul Edwards, and the Mayor of Oakland, Peggy Jameson.  Cheryl Deberry and Willie Lantz discussed the farmers market, the commitment of the economic development office to invest in agriculture, and the University of Maryland Extension Office’s services to the community including providing leadership for the Western Maryland Food Council.

The final stop was the Community Aquatic Recreation Complex where the visitors were greeted by Garrett College President, Richard Midcap.  A tour of the facility was given by Steve Putman, Director of the CARC, and ended with Commissioner Jim Hinebaugh, alumni, and current students of Garrett College talking about the impact of tuition-free education.

A leadership dinner was the capstone of the day where site visitors met with Barbra Baker, Superintendent of Schools; Charles Wilt, CEO of Mt. Laurel; Gregan Crawford, Community Action; Dorothy Walters, Community Advocate; Mark Boucot, President and CEO of Garrett Regional Medical Center; and Rodney Glotfelty, Health Officer at Garrett County Health Department. The panel was particularly impressed with the community’s leaders coming together to form the Health Planning Council for strategic planning and collaboration to advance the health and welfare of the community.

GRMC President and CEO stated, “…our community should be proud of the fact that we work together in a very coordinated way and that that we put collaboration and teamwork above competition.  While the community has a lot of resources, we still have a high prevalence of diabetes, heart disease as well as a high prevalence of smoking and obesity.  Our culture of health will continue this journey of collaboration and development to help people live their lives to the fullest, in good health.”

A community breakfast was held the next morning to enable the site visitors to get to know the operational aspects of Garrett County’s culture of collaboration among community leaders, policy developers, and stakeholders. The site visitors asked questions about the opportunities for the community in regards to digital services, transparent planning, and community engagement, all of which are centered in the county’s innovative digital community planning tool hosted on  Site visitors were also interested in how the community makes decisions about health, specifically concerning the Health Planning Council.  The last major theme illustrated throughout the questions posed to community stakeholders honed in on measuring our successes.  Questions like, ‘how do we know our programs are successful; and how we track that progress as a community,’ were of special interest to our Culture of Health Prize site visitors.

For Immediate Release:  May 3, 2017
Contact Person: Diane Lee, PIO, 301-334-7689


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