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Healthy Washington Co. Celebrates Remarkable Community Milestone

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 HealthyWashingtonCounty.com.


Meritus Today

Meritus Surgical Specialists Opens New Location in Frederick

Meritus has proudly opened a new Meritus Surgical Specialists location in Frederick to better serve patients in our region.   Dr. Park, who has achieved groundbreaking advancements in the field of surgery, particularly in laparoscopic techniques and technology, complex hernia repair and foregut surgery, will be seeing patients at the new office, located at 310 W. Ninth Street, Frederick, MD. These are advanced services not currently available in the region, previously requiring people to travel to Washington, D.C. or further.   “So many times the medical conditions my patients are experiencing have a major impact on their quality of life. I’m thrilled to be able to bring my care even closer to them, helping to alleviate the barrier of travel,” Dr. Park said.   For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please click here.


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Shopping and a sports physical: Meritus to open at Valley Mall

The holiday shopping season tends to bring people in droves to the local mall, in pursuit of the perfect gift, or perhaps a photo op with the man in the red suit. Soon, the community will have another reason to head to the Valley Mall, as Meritus plans to open a multispecialty medical practice to include sports medicine, physical therapy and an urgent care in the former Sears department store, besides Dick’s Sporting Goods. “We consider so many factors when we think about expanding our services,” said Meritus Health Chief Strategy Officer Dave Lehr.  “The Valley Mall sits in the perfect geographic location, the cross-roads of I-81 and I-70, where people from across the region can easily and conveniently access care.” The location will open in March, and will officially launch Meritus Sports Medicine, a specialized care setting where athletes of all ages can seek preventative care, including sports physicals, as well as injury care, concussion management and joint and soft-tissue injections. This year, Meritus expanded its support of athletic health in the community via a partnership with Washington County Public Schools, where Meritus-employed athletic trainers provide care to high school athletes on the sidelines.  Meritus Sports Medicine will expands on that model of care and will provide a more direct pathway following a sports injury.  Athletes of all levels are welcomed to the location. “We want our patients to have the best experience possible when seeking care,” Lehr said.  “We envision this location to provide local athletes with the specialized care they need, from the sidelines, through recovery, and back on the field. We are excited to continue to grow to meet the needs of our community, and this is one area we know will have a positive impact.” The location will also offer physical therapy and urgent care services to the community.  Community members with questions about Meritus Sports Medicine are encouraged to email: SportsMedicine@meritushealth.com.

Maintain, Don’t Gain: Don’t wait for Jan. 1 to resolve for good health

By now, we all know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and wellness, and helps prevent or control many diseases and conditions, including a lower risk for heart disease, lowering the risk for stroke, lowering the risk for developing cancer, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, and more. But the holidays can throw a curve in our health plans – cookies, eggnog and large holiday meals often put most of us off track.  By New Year’s we are resolving to be healthier and so goes the cycle of holiday weight gain and hopeful New Year’s loss. Experts as Meritus say there’s another option – try to maintain your current weight during the holiday season. “If you can consider opportunities to balance out the additional calories and indulgences, you can have a healthier holiday season,” explained Beth Fields Dowdell, DNP, CRNP, Supervisor of Meritus Community Health Services.  “The goal should be to maintain your current weight during the holiday season, and then consider new or additional opportunities that lead to a healthier lifestyle in the New Year.” Fields Dowdell said that the community Go for Bold Initiative is a tremendous, free resource for people to track their weight, find healthy recipes or get connected to free fitness classes. “We know that a 30-45 minute walk can help balance out a holiday dessert,” she said.  “We’d encourage our community to try a walking challenge or a free class, so that they can maintain their weight despite some additional events or calories.” She also said that physical activity and healthy food choices aren’t the only health needs to be considerate of during this time. “Many people can experience additional stress or even loneliness during this season.  Go for Bold also offers mindfulness and stress reduction techniques, and perhaps most important, a support network,” she said. Learn more, here.  


Healthy Washington County