The St. Mary's County Health Department and the Maryland Rural Health Association are seeking healthcare professionals and community members to participate in focus groups about healthcare in St. Mary's County. Data collected will help to inform the development of a Rural Health Plan for Maryland.

Focus groups are being held throughout Maryland's 18 rural counties to learn about what works, what doesn't, and how health care can be improved. In particular, the focus groups will discuss:

-- the health and well-being of you and your community

-- experiences with doctors, hospitals and other health care facilities

-- available local resources for health and wellness

-- how health care organizations can help community members be healthier

The St. Mary's County focus groups will be held Thursday, April 6, 2017. Questions are general and responses are based on personal experience. All participant information and responses will be confidential. To participate, you must:

-- reside or work in the St. Mary's County

-- be 18 years or older

-- be able to give consent for participation; and

-- pre-register with the St. Mary's County Health Department

This is an opportunity for you to have your voice heard in an anonymous way and inform future health efforts in your community. Space is limited and registration is required. Light refreshments will be served and community participants will receive a $25 Walmart gift card, all provided by the Maryland Rural Health Association.

Please call the St. Mary's County Health Department at 301-475-4323 for more information or to register.