A Message from the Health Officer

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is dedicated to partnering with our local health care providers and institutions to optimize the health of our county’s residents. Our efforts to work with and support our local health care service providers include the following:

  • Ensuring health care providers have access to public health information that may impact the care they provide to their patients. This information could include updates on public health emergencies, infectious disease trends and emerging outbreaks, community health and emergency planning, and evidence-based practice tools to assist providers in the clinical setting.
  • Deliver community-based services to complement or extend the clinical care our local health care providers give to their patients. This includes case management support services for a variety of our residents, including individuals with disabilities, older adults at risk for institutionalization, pregnancies at risk for poor maternal and perinatal outcomes, infants and toddlers at risk for developmental delay, women and children at nutritional risk, and those diagnosed with specific infectious diseases.
  • Monitor infectious disease trends and respond to suspected infectious disease cases that may have severe public health consequences. This often involves working closely with health care institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes on infection control measures.
  • Improve access to care by: determining eligibility and enrolling children and pregnant women into Medical Assistance health insurance, coordinating free cancer screenings for financially eligible adults, referring adults for emergency dental care, and providing immunizations and other clinical services where existing gaps in care have potential population-level impact.

The health department also focuses on population level strategies to prevent and control chronic diseases; decrease infant mortality and optimize maternal and child health; improve behavioral health outcomes; prevent, investigate and control infectious diseases and potential environmental health threats; and increase access to care. We work very closely with a variety of community partners to accomplish this, including those represented in the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership.

This section of our website is a key resource for local health care providers, and will continually be updated to respond to your expressed needs. I encourage you and your staff to bookmark this page for easy access to information and referral forms. Also, please let us know if you have suggestions for this site or how we can better support health care providers in our county.

Meena Brewster, MD, MPH
St. Mary’s County Health Officer