For Immediate Release June 14, 2022

UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown is now recognized by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a Healthy People 2030 Champion.

As a Healthy People 2030 Champion, the Chestertown hospital has demonstrated a commitment to helping achieve the Healthy People 2030 vision of a society in which all people can achieve their full potential for health and well-being across the lifespan. ODPHP recognizes the hospital as part of a growing network of organizations partnering with ODPHP to improve population health and well-being at the local, state and tribal levels.

“Being recognized as a Healthy People 2030 Champion really validates the model of care we are building here in rural Kent and Queens Anne’s counties,” said Dennis Welsh, Vice President of Rural Healthcare Transformation and Executive Director of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. “It demonstrates the alignment of our work to create healthier communities with that of the national Healthy People 2030 initiative.”

Welsh cited specific examples of the Chestertown Rural Health Care team’s progress in advancing community health. In March 2022, UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown achieved designation as a Level 1 Age Friendly Health Care System by the Institute of Health Care Improvement; in May, the hospital achieved accreditation as a Geriatric Emergency Department by American College of Emergency Physicians. Jeanette Jeffrey, Health Educator with the Rural Health Care Transformation team, has conducted a survey regarding transportation needs for health care access in Kent County and helped facilitate focus group discussions regarding health care needs around the region. She also has provided Mental Health First Aid and Healthy for Life™ classes free of charge that have enrolled 295 individuals. Plans for more health and wellness classes are currently in development.

“As we continue on our quest to become the health care provider of choice in the region, we’ll continue to implement best practice programs and services specifically designed to meet the needs of the rural communities we serve,” Welsh said.

Healthy People 2030 is the fifth iteration of the Healthy People initiative, which sets 10-year national objectives to improve health and well-being nationwide. Healthy People 2030 Champions are public and private organizations that are working to help achieve Healthy People objectives. They receive official support and recognition from ODPHP.