The State Health Improvement Process (SHIP) is geared towards advancing the health of the residents in Maryland by providing a framework for the engagement of the public, accountability and local action. The improvement measures for SHIP are in line with objectives of the Healthy People (HP) of 2020. The HP 2020 objectives were developed by department of health and human services. SHIP also plays an essential role in providing data touching critical health measures at the county and state level. The development of the Local Health Improvement coalitions has been encouraged by SHIP by applying the data from the local and state wide level. There are local healthcare officers who play the essential role of providing a platform where healthcare workers analyze and prioritize the health care needs of the community (Blendon, 2011). There are extensive list of tools and resources that are used to address the healthcare issues within the local jurisdiction. Various stakeholders such as the clinicians, general public, and health planners should find these tools useful in transforming the health and social welfare of the community.
Healthy living is one of the SHIP’s visions that have transformed the public health welfare of Maryland. The vision targets to promote healthy living among children, adolescent and adults, as well as reducing the incidence of infections such as Chlamydia and HIV. Various issues are tackled in the vision of healthy living. They include the problems of obesity in both adult and children; cases of smoking among adults; the issue of tobacco abuse among the adolescent; the incidence rate of HIV; the infection rate of Chlamydia; life expectancy; and physical activity. SHIP aims at increasing the percentage of adults of healthy weight. Healthy weight is essential in preventing and controlling various diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Physical activity is essential in maintaining a healthy weight. Both adults and the adults are encourage to participate in active physical exercises to realize better health outcomes and to prevent the occurrence of undesirable health behaviors. According to SHIP indicators obesity among children is on the increase. As result, children of Maryland are exposed to the development of life-threatening disease like diabetes. The proportion of obese adolescents has tripled in the last two decades. Cigarette smoking is a serious health problem in Maryland that causes 6800 death annually. About 150,000 people have been affected by cancer due to cigarette smoking. The health of Marylanders can be improved by preventing the youth from using tobacco products. There are about 21% of undiagnosed HIV cases in Maryland that needs immediate attention to prevent the escalation of the situation (Dhmh.maryland.gov, 2015).
The SHIP has established an efficient communication infrastructure that plays the role of disseminating crucial on health issues within Maryland. The communication channel includes weekly newsletter publication and social media avenues such as Facebook and Twitter. Communication is essential in relaying public health news across the locality. Life expectancy and quality preventive care has improved significantly since inception of the strategy. The initiative has increased better health care outcomes in Maryland. It has led to the establishment of better physical environment, improved social economic factors, better clinical care, and better health behaviors. SHIP was established with the aim of empowering the community to identify its healthcare needs and participate in implementing evidence-based practice while at the same time estimating success via a common platform (Stavans, 2010).