Montgomery County Receives Major National Investment for Community-Based Efforts to Prevent Chronic Disease

Silver Spring, Maryland (March 3, 2016) –   Trinity Health, one of the country’s largest health systems, has awarded a Montgomery County, Maryland collaborative $500,000 per year for three to five years to implement a range of public health strategies that can reduce obesity, promote tobacco-free living, and address social determinants that impact health outcomes. The grant is one of six made nationally through Trinity Health’s new Transforming Communities Initiative.  The local collaborative includes Trinity Health member Holy Cross Health, the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and Healthy Montgomery, the county’s local health improvement coalition.  IPHI will serve as the lead agency for the effort.

TCI launch Mar 2016

Holy Cross Health is proud that its Montgomery County partnership has been selected by Trinity Health for this multi-year, multi-million dollar grant to support and promote healthy lifestyles,” said Kevin J. Sexton, president and CEO of Holy Cross Health. “It is a logical extension of the work Holy Cross has done over many years in providing healthcare access to all and creating community partnerships to improve health.  We are very appreciative of the high quality partners who have joined together in this effort.”

The strategies will focus on policy, systems and environmental changes that offer long-term benefits for community health improvement, with a focus on the communities of Gaithersburg, Germantown, Long Branch and Takoma Park.  The announcement was made at an event held Tuesday, March 1 at Holy Cross Hospital.

“Montgomery County has tremendous leadership and collaborative spirit across government and community organizations,” said Michael Rhein, President & CEO of the Institute for Public Health Innovation.  “This is an extraordinary opportunity to work together to create healthier conditions and environments in areas of the county where we’ve identified some critical needs as well as notable assets.”

“This grant represents an important milestone in showcasing the strength of our partnership between Holy Cross Health, Institute for Public Health Innovation and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (MCDHHS),” said Uma Ahluwalia, director of MCDHHS.  “It advances the agenda of Healthy Montgomery, an effort to improve the health and well-being of our county’s residents.  We are humbled and grateful to be chosen and look forward to making important gains in the areas of obesity prevention and smoking cessation.”

In a later phase of the program, Montgomery County partners will have the opportunity to access low-interest investment loans through a complementary arm of the Trinity Health initiative to support interventions related to key determinants of health, such as access to healthy food, affordable housing and early childhood issues.

“I am delighted that Montgomery County has been selected as one of six communities nationwide to participate in the Transforming Communities Initiative,” said County Councilmember George Leventhal, chairman of the Council’s Health & Human Services Committee and co-chair of the Healthy Montgomery Steering Committee.  “This designation confirms that our efforts through Healthy Montgomery to bring together stakeholders to set public health priorities, improve population health and eliminate health disparities are making a real difference.”

For more information on the Healthy Montgomery Transforming Communities Initiative, contact Evelyn Kelly, ekelly@institutephi.org.