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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released the 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), and the report shows that mental health is the most important health issue to residents and stakeholders surveyed. The CHNA details the health and socioeconomic needs, issues and barriers of the community.

Key health needs and issues are identified in the report, and these will be used to create a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The full CHNA report is available on the Healthy Montgomery website.

Important health needs identified in the report are listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Access to behavioral health and substance use services
  • Access to human services’ needs, such as education, income, housing, employment, food and personal social services
  • Access to parks, public spaces, wellness and recreation
  • Access to quality dental health services
  • Access to quality primary care health services
  • Access to specialty and extended care
  • Access to technology
  • Access to transportation
  • Active living and healthy and nutritious eating
  • Cultural and language competence
  • Environmental health
  • Health and human services’ system navigation
  • Injury and disease prevention and management
  • Maternal and early childhood health
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Safe and violence-free environment
  • Social associations and community connectiveness
  • Waste management

“I appreciate this report to help us understand where we are making progress and where we can do more. The good news is that Montgomery County has healthier outcomes as compared to the State of Maryland across a range of indicators,” said County Executive Marc Elrich.  “The data also shows that that we need a continued focus on public health-related efforts to address some areas.  We have made access to mental health services a priority and will continue our focus on this and other important issues.” 

Some findings collected from residents and stakeholders that informed the CHNA:

  • Mental health was identified as the most important health problem overall.
  • Residents shared that they are experiencing a lack of mental health insurance and substance use benefits and a lack of bilingual and culturally competent mental health providers to meet the needs of the community.
  • Low crime and safe neighborhoods are the most important factors making up a healthy community.
  • Residents indicated that it was difficult to find a medical provider to support gender-affirming medical care.
  • Better access to family planning services and information is needed throughout the community.
  • High costs of medical and dental care were a barrier reported by residents.
  • Transportation to doctor's and dental appointments was a barrier for residents, with many stating that they must take multiple buses to get to an appointment or ask someone to give them a ride.
  • Zip codes 20838, 20886, 20879, 20906, 20851, 20912, 20902, 20877 and 20903 had rates of uninsured individuals above the County’s average of 9 percent.
  • Residents indicated that they do not have enough money to buy healthy foods to eat.
  • Poor eating habits are affecting the health of the community.
  • Diabetes, arthritis, obesity and heart disease are among the most common health issues reported by residents.
  • Residents reported the need for more linguistically and culturally appropriate information about where to go for help to get health and human services.

“Montgomery County’s CHNA is community-developed and driven,” said Christopher Rogers, acting chief of Public Health Services. “This CHNA describes health needs, issues and barriers from the perspectives of more than 2,500 County residents and stakeholders. In working collaboratively with community leaders and residents, we can now translate this information into action, creating or enhancing programs and policies meant to help support greater access and more equitable health outcomes.”

Residents, community partners and stakeholders are invited to attend a virtual town hall on from 3-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, for a more detailed look at the report’s findings. The town hall will offer an overview and introduction to the CHNA.  Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation during a moderated session.

The event will be of most relevance to stakeholders and community partners who will reference the CHNA’s data and findings.

Advance registration for the virtual town hall is required to receive login information. Register for the Zoom event here.  


If you would like to know more about the CHNA, email Christopher Rogers at [email protected].



Release ID: 24-051
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 3015297669
Categories: Health