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Comstock Center has a long-standing history of collaborating with the health department on projects to improve community health. Dr. Comstock advised community health leaders on many of the key challenges over the years. The Johns Hopkins Preventive Medicine Residents visit the Washington County Health Department annually to observe public health operations at the local level.

The Center is currently planning a one-week epidemiology course. The course will be directed by Moyses Szklo, MD, DrPH, and will cover health monitoring surveillance and drawing inferences from statistical associations.

The Center has also established a collaboration with the Washington County Health Department and the Baltimore Diabetes Research and Training Center to fight the diabetes and obesity epidemic in Washington County.

Examples of public health activities in recent decades include:


  • Cholesterol screening of 25,000 County residents (Part of CLUE II)


  • An assessment of the public health needs of African Americans in the Jonathan Street area in Hagerstown
  • Evaluation of a life safety education program (Children’s Village)
  • Study of teen pregnancy rates in the County


  • Survey of local high school students on eating and exercise practices
  • Family history of heart disease and barriers to screening – clinic survey
  • Survey of the health status of residents of Washington Co.
  • An evaluation of the smoking cessation program


  • Initiated a collobrative study of the sources of the opioid epidemic in Washington County​


Publication – Addictive Behaviors: Alberg AJ, Stashefsky Margalit R, Burke A, Rasch KA, Stewart N, Kline JA, Ernst PA, Avey A, Hoffman SC. The influence of offering free transdermal nicotine patches on quit rates in a local health department’s smoking cessation program.  Addict Behav. 29(9):1763-78, Dec 2004.