Washington County Health Department undergoes a major change, discontinues ambulatory services


The Washington County Health Department is undergoing a major change. 

Washington County Health Department will discontinue their ambulance services. At the Division of Behavioral Health Sciences in Hagerstown, officials discussed how the department is taking on a more active role as the Local Addiction Authority (LAA) focusing on services from prevention, crisis and three residential programs that include women and children, adolescent and a jail substance abuse program.

“Just some more resources to keep our guys occupied, so they don’t have times where they’re not tempted to go back to their old ways” said Hagerstown resident Eva Gillard. 

Health officials say the county has a high rate of smoking over the state average in pregnant women. For the first time, they are offering a “Baby and Me” service starting from age 18. The focus is to have babies born healthy. 

“If they continue to be smoke free then we offer our diaper and wipe voucher for them as an incentive. So the way we determine if they are smoke free is by a c-o meter test and that looks at the carbon monoxide in your blood system,” said Holly Luther, Prevention Services Coordinator at the Washington County Health Department. 

With the ongoing opioid crisis, it’s important to get the word out to local health and community providers. Matthew Janisko came all the way from Salt Lake City, Utah to see what works with his treatment program. 

“I’m in the process of finding my own treatment center back in Utah. I think the treatment industry is highly fragmented and there’s a lot of changes that need to be made. I’m just trying to network and talk to people and see what we can do to change things around,” said Janisko. 

Eva Gillard says at one point she was going through a tough time and was incarcerated and now works at Ladders to Leaders to help others.

County health officials will officially discontinue service July 1. For a list of the full services and to find out more information check out their website here

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