Dept. launches Winnable Battles, refines focus on 6 areas for Marylanders
Aligns with broader CDC campaign, seeks improved health indicators in a year
Baltimore, MD (July 14, 2016) – Today the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene launched Winnable Battles, a statewide effort to address emerging public health challenges. The effort also capitalizes upon organizational opportunities for department employees to contribute to a focus area tied to their interests.  
“Winnable Battles is a platform for in-house innovation here within the department to better serve Maryland,” said Secretary Van T. Mitchell. “We will focus on six areas – customer service, disease prevention, healthy communities, healthy lifestyles, sobriety and recovery, and workplace wellness. We want to help our employees embark on journeys to improve their own health, as well.” 
The purposes of Winnable Battles are to identify priority strategies within each focus area, to define targets and for health department employees to work across units and programs to make meaningful progress within the next year.  
Winnable Battles at Health and Mental Hygiene is adopted from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where Director Dr. TomFrieden has chall​enged state health officers from across the nation to adopt the focus-based initiative aimed at quickly achieving positive public health results. Health and Mental Hygiene is at the forefront of states implementing Winnable Battles.  
The Winnable Battles team at the department comprises more than 60 staffers from all major branches of the agency. Today’s launch is a result of their work over the past 12 months to identify the priority areas, to understand their current landscapes and to identify new paths forward. During the next 12 months, the teams will focus on specific strategies to increase HPV vaccinations; to promote lead-free kids; to train military veterans and their families in identifying warning signs of suicide and to promote positive help-seeking behaviors; to increase smoke-free housing environments; to implement Gov. Larry Hogan’s new Customer Service Pledge; and to promote worksite wellness as a Healthiest Maryland Business.  
The Winnable Battles vision, mission and core values express a promise: to lead the way in making measurable, positive difference in the health and well-being of every Marylander, both within and outside of the department. For information and updates on the program, visit