Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil is the healthy communities initiative of Harford and Cecil Counties,  dedicated to the health and wellness of the northern Chesapeake community – in mind body and spirit. Founded in 1993 as a non-profit 501c3 by leaders from UM Upper Chesapeake Health, the Harford County Health Department, and Harford County Government – Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil is a coalition of local government agencies, businesses, non profits, and citizens dedicated to improving the health of Harford and Cecil County residents through education, policy changes, improvements in the built environment, increased access to care, and improved care coordination for people with chronic illness. Learn more about this amazing group.

UM UCH and Healthy Harford’s WATCH
Providing care and support for our most vulnerable patients.

Two years ago, UM UCH started an initiative called the Comprehensive CARE Center that has already changed the way we care for individuals who frequently visit our hospitals and Emergency Rooms.  The Comprehensive CARE Center in Bel Air helps connect individuals with their primary care physician (or helps them find one) and, if needed, locates additional medical specialists as well as community resources for transportation, home health services, and insurance assistance.  The CARE team makes sure the individual patient understands his/her medications, how to take them and who to call with questions so they can manage their treatment on an ongoing basis.  When our resources are combined through enhanced community partnerships, we are able to help these people maintain or achieve better health, which ultimately results in better care for them and an overall improvement in the health of our community. 

In addition through a Health Services Cost Review Commission Transformation Care Grant received last year, support was provided to allow us to start community-based care management teams, which we call our Wellness Action Teams in Cecil and Harford Counties (WATCH). The WATCH teams are comprised of nurses, social workers, community health workers and a pharmacist who are focused on working with individuals in their homes to address medical and social challenges. 

In summary, the WATCH teams:

  • Make house calls
  • Support medical needs
  • Evaluate if the individual has additional challenges with transportation or need further support in areas such as energy assistance or food support
  • Determine if the individual could benefit from additional community supportive care services such as supplemental security income, adult protective services, etc.
These teams work with individuals for approximately 90 days to develop and monitor care plans that help them better understand their clinical conditions and coordinate care for follow-up appointments.   There are four WATCH teams:  two dedicated teams in Harford County, one team in Cecil County and another team that works with individuals living in communities on either side of the Susquehanna River. The WATCH program has been truly transformational for hundreds of our community’s most vulnerable people.