Meritus News



Healthy Washington Co. Celebrates Remarkable Community Milestone

October 6, 2023 - Press Release

When people are closer to a healthy weight, they experience improved health including lower blood pressure, a reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes, decreased joint issues, and more.  Three years after Meritus Health and Healthy Washington County launched Go for Bold, a community-wide campaign to help Washington County achieve improved health by losing 1 million community pounds by 2030, the community has logged more than 100,000 pounds lost.

“Go for Bold has brought together our entire community - local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses and residents - united in their dedication to improving the health and well-being of Washington County residents,” said Maulik Joshi, Dr.P.H., President and CEO of Meritus Health. “This incredible milestone shows the power in working together as a community to improve health.”

In recognition of the milestone of 100,000 pounds lost and three-year anniversary of the initiative’s kick-off, a celebration dinner was held with state, local and community leaders on Thursday, October 5, 2023.

The evening featured Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services for the Maryland Department of Health. He is well known for being a leader in improving health outcomes by developing innovative collaborations across healthcare, public health and communities – the embodiment of Go for Bold.

Additionally, during the event, Dr. Kalyanaraman was joined by the following community leaders for a panel discussion: Paul Frey, Washington County Chamber of Commerce; Dr. David Sovine, Washington County Public Schools; Allen Twigg, Meritus Health; and Earl Stoner, Washington County Health Department.

The exciting milestones reached include:

  • Over 102,000 pounds lost in total
  • Over 6,300 registered users
  • Over 1,200 have entered their weight in the last 90 days
  • Over 50 organizations have had at least one person enter weight
  • 35 organizations have recorded at least 100 pounds lost
  • 15 organizations have recorded at least 500 pounds lost

“We are proud of our community for talking the talk and walking the walk when it comes to this measurable commitment to the health of Washington County. This milestone of 100,000 pounds lost stands as an example of what great things we can accomplish when we work together,” said Allen Twigg, executive director of behavioral and community health for Meritus.

"All of the organizations involved in Healthy Washington County work constantly to provide resources and services for our area's residents to be their healthiest," said Earl Stoner, health officer with the Washington County Health Department. "Whether it's preventing diabetes, organizing activities to get people moving or providing blood pressure checks at local events, we all have the same goal, which is why we work together as the local health improvement coalition."

As the Go for Bold program continues to gain momentum, Healthy Washington County remains steadfast in their commitment to empowering individuals and families to make healthier choices, live more active lives and collectively reach the 1-million-pound target by 2030.

Ready for a change? Learn more about Go for Bold at

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