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Healthy Washington County Collaboration is One-of-a-Kind in the Nation

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Healthy Washington County, co-chaired by leaders at Meritus Health and the Washington County Health Department, has successfully partnered with the Collaboration for Healthier Lives, a key initiative of The Consumer Goods Forum, since September 2017, on a private-public project called “One For Good,” recently highlighted in a published report: https://www.theconsumergoodsforum.com/wp-content/uploads/empowering-US-shoppers-to-make-healthier-choices-final.pdf

Aimed at supporting and empowering citizens to adopt healthier diets and lifestyles, program leaders selected Hagerstown/Washington County as the target region of the U.S. chapter’s pilot program. More than 50 planned events at retail and community locations have generated more than 30,000 interactions so far. Events have included healthy cooking demonstrations at the YMCA of Hagerstown, support during senior days at Walgreens and Walmart Wellness Days and healthy food sampling events at Martin’s.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis response team met weekly to allow retailers, manufacturers, health professionals and community representatives share updates on the needs of the community and make targeted donations to help meet those needs. Through the “One for Good” initiative, 200 thermometers, 5,000 gowns and 2,000 surgical masks were donated to Meritus Medical Center and several government organizations; 4,000 cloth masks were provided to local organizations; and shelf-stable food products for 3,500+ home-delivered meals were given to the community.

“It has been amazing to see these diverse groups working together to improve health,” says Allen Twigg, co-chair of Healthy Washington County and the executive director of behavioral and community health at Meritus Health. “The One for Good initiative helps us all make healthier choices each day … and we’re really just getting started!”

Going forward, the partnership is focused on supporting the Go for Bold initiative to lose one million community pounds by the year 2030. More information on Healthy Washington County and the Go For Bold initiative is available at healthywashingtoncounty.com.

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