As the Harford County Health Officer, I want to share my thoughts about the new medical campus plans proposed for Aberdeen. Addressing substance use disorders and mental health is a top public health priority. It is gratifying to see our community come together to work toward that objective with the Aberdeen medical campus plan.
The delivery of acute health care services is important, but public health strategies for promoting health and preventing disease are just as critical. We are proud that our health care delivery and public health systems have together led to Harford County being named in the top 6 percent of healthiest communities in the country – with a ranking of 185th best among 3,000 communities nationwide, according to a recent U.S. News and World Report.
Today’s pressing needs include full service behavioral health services. To accomplish this, our community needs specialized care to manage both mental and physical ailments together because mental and physical health are intimately linked. As the saying goes, “There is no health without mental health.”
The Harford County Health Department is proud to be part of the conceptualization and development of the new Harford Crisis Center, a much-needed behavioral health 24/7 call center/crisis walk-in center, scheduled to fully open in Bel Air in the Spring of 2019. The establishment of a full service behavioral health service hospital in Aberdeen will expand these program services into a comprehensive model. We need them both.
We are living longer, but need to improve the quality of that longer life. The earlier we get education and treatment to manage health conditions, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure, as well as depression and other conditions, the better our quality of life. It is that simple.
Russell W. Moy, MD, MPH
Harford County Health Officer