Access to Health Leadership Team / Local Health Improvement Coalition & Maryland SHIP


The Access to Health Leadership Team and Local Health Improvement Coalition (Access/LHIC) is a group of individuals who work together to improve the health of our community. It was established as part of the Maryland State Health Improvement Process (SHIP) that began in 2011. The Access-LHIC reviews state and local health data, identifies local health priorities, and creates action plans to address identified issues. Focus is on issues that aren’t otherwise being addressed.

Meetings are held quarterly at the Carroll County Health Department – usually in January, April, July, and October – on the 3rd Wednesday, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Carroll County citizens are encouraged to attend the meetings, which are open to the public.

CLICK HERE for the 2019 Access-LHIC Meeting Schedule

To confirm meeting information, please contact Karen Davis or Maggie Kunz before attending:

410-871-7442  |

410-876-4924  |

CLICK HERE for Access/LHIC Minutes & Agendas

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The Local Health Improvement Coalition is under the direction of the Carroll County Health Officer, Ed Singer. As part of The Partnership’s Access to Health Leadership Team, the Access/LHIC has two co-chairs; Dorothy Fox, Executive Director and CEO of The Partnership, and Health Officer Singer. Members work for local organizations concerned with health, such as the Carroll County Health Department, Carroll Hospital, and Access Carroll.

Serving as the lead organization, The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County’s Board of Directors and staff are active members of the Access-LHIC. The Partnership provides oversight and direction through the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process. This process supplies primary and secondary data such as demographics, Carroll Hospital data, and SHIP indicators. These results are then utilized in the development of the Community Benefit and Health Improvement Plan for Carroll County, guiding the LHIC’s activities and many community organizations’ strategic plans.

The Partnership provides additional support by addressing interrelated goals, coordinating Leadership Teams to address the community’s identified health priorities, providing data and reports to enhance Access-LHIC projects, and by serving as a planning hub for coordinated community health improvement efforts. The Access-LHIC provides in-depth updates annually to The Partnership’s Board of Directors to assure excellent community coordination.

Local Health Improvement Coalition Vision and Mission

Vision:  The Local Health Improvement Coalition of Carroll County will mobilize support to achieve better health in Carroll County.

Mission:  The Local Health Improvement Coalition of Carroll County will improve the health of all residents with particular attention to communities and sub-groups with health disparities by providing a health improvement framework with support for local action and linked to the State Health Improvement Process.

Current Progress

Local Health Improvement Coalition Areas of Focus

Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity

Groups addressing these issues: Leadership Teams of The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County (Advancing Health and Wellness and Healthy Aging), Carroll Hospital, Carroll County Health Department, and the Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities.

Current Initiatives:

  • Walk Carroll; Stay Strong videos; NoBody is Perfect, Carroll’s Cooking for Wellness and nutrition education; Healthy U presentations (The Partnership),
  • Health Department and Carroll Hospital programs that address prevention and management of chronic illness, such as blood pressure screening, National Diabetes Prevention Program, and the Diabetes Management program,
  • The Bureau of Aging and Disability’s Living Well Chronic Disease Self-Management program.

Behavioral Health

Group addressing these issues:

Behavioral Health and Addictions Planning Committee

Current Initiatives:

  • Substance Use and Mental Health Resource Guide
  • Areas of focus: Children’s and veterans’ mental health issues; public awareness and education; crisis response; prevention and recovery services for mental health and substance use; evidence-based practice, and quality outcomes.

Dental/Oral Health

Group addressing these issues: Carroll County Health Department Oral Health program, Mission of Mercy, Access Carroll, Inc.

Current Initiatives:

  • Swish and Smile fluoride rinse program in schools; dental services expansion,
  • Dental Access program; initiatives focusing on hypertension and oral health, HPV prevention.

Access to Care (included in every other priority)

Groups addressing these issues are varied.

  • Transportation: Transportation Advisory Council (TAC).
  • Resources: Carroll Card guide to community services; Cross-Agency Training.

See The Partnership’s Access to Health page for more information.

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Access/LHIC also considers the impacts of broader health issues, including safety and social determinants of health such as housing and education (see

Local Health Improvement Process Reports

The most recent Local Health Improvement Process report was created in 2016. It outlines health priorities, goals, and action plans.

To track progress toward the action plan’s Local Health Improvement Process objectives, indicators with reliable data sources are being tracked in Our Community Dashboard – CLICK HERE to view. Look for indicators with Maryland SHIP Target tabs.

The Carroll County Health Department reports progress to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).  For more information about the State Health Improvement Process, please CLICK HERE.

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Community Health Needs Assessment for Carroll County (CHNA)

Information from the CHNA is used by many community partners to plan, implement, and assess health improvement strategies.  This information is especially valuable to the Access/LHIC.   CLICK HERE for more about the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)

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SHIP, LHIP, and LHIC: Background and History

State Health Improvement Process (SHIP)

The State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) introduced the State Health Improvement Process (SHIP) in 2011. The SHIP aligns with a subset of objectives from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy People 2020, a science-based effort for improving the health of all Americans.

The Maryland SHIP objectives were carefully selected to focus on factors that are most critical for achieving the SHIP’s goals of health equity and improving the health of Maryland residents.

Local Health Improvement Process (LHIP)

Recognizing that local energy and leadership are critical for progress in public health, the SHIP asked each jurisdiction in Maryland to initiate a Local Health Improvement Process (LHIP) that identifies local health priorities and proposes improvement action plans, as part of the larger State Health Improvement Process.

In 2012, under the direction of our local Health Officer, Carroll County was charged with establishing a Local Health Improvement Coalition as part of the SHIP Process. The Health Officer is a key member of the Board of Directors of The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County. With the Health Officer’s encouragement, The Partnership’s Board took on the responsibility of serving as the Local Health Improvement Coalition.

A Local Health Improvement Team (LHIT) was also formed to advise the Coalition and carry out the Local Health Improvement Process. This group joined The Partnership’s Access to Health Care Leadership Team.  The LHIT renamed itself as the Local Health Improvement Coalition when a separate Team and Coalition were no longer required, and meetings are now held at the Carroll County Health Department. Moving forward, The Partnership continues to be a key participant in the Local Health Improvement Process, lending coordination and expertise to the Coalition.


For more information, please contact Karen Davis or Maggie Kunz:

Karen Davis, Administrative Coordinator
The Partnership

Maggie Kunz, Health Planner
Carroll County Health Department


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