Washington County Health Department (WCHD) is part of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), as well as an agency of Washington County government. The Washington County Commissioners serve as the official Board of Health. Funding for WCHD is a combination of federal, state and county monies, plus third-party and private-pay reimbursements.
Washington County is located in the western part of the state of Maryland. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Virginia to the south, and West Virginia to the south and west. Its county seat is Hagerstown. The county has a total area of 458 square miles.
In Washington County, the origins of public health can be traced to 1911 and the formation of the Washington County Branch of the Maryland Association for the Prevention and Relief of Tuberculosis. However, it was not until 1926 that the Washington County Commissioners appointed the first Health Officer.
From 1936 to 1958, the health department was located at the Washington County Hospital. In 1955, Andrew K. and Gladys B. Coffman, local philanthropists, donated land for Coffman Health Center and the Coffman Research Center, a cancer research laboratory for the National Institutes of Health. Funding from the Appalachia Regional Commission in 1977 provided for major renovation and expansion of these facilities.
Located at 1302 Pennsylvania Avenue, Hagerstown, MD, these facilities now house the headquarters of the Washington County Health Department and the George W. Comstock Center for Public Health Research and Prevention. In addition, programs are administered and services provided at over fifty county locations, including all public schools.