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    The HEZ Application Process is NOW CLOSED.

    Community Eligibility

    DHMH and the CHRC held a public comment period during the summer of 2012 to solicit feedback on the selection criteria for the HEZs, the potential uses of HEZ funding, and the outcome metrics that should be developed to monitor the progress and implementation of the HEZs. This public comment was summarized in a Joint Chairmen’s Report submitted to the legislature in August 2012. As stated in the Joint Chairmen’s Report, an HEZ is a community or a cluster of contiguous communities that are comprised of one or more zip codes. In order to be designated an HEZ, the proposed zip code(s) within a potential HEZ area must meet each of the following four criteria:

    1. An HEZ must be a community, or contiguous cluster of communities, defined by zip codes boundaries (one or more multiple zip codes);
    2. An HEZ must have a resident population of at least 5,000 individuals*;
    3. An HEZ must demonstrate economic disadvantage by having either:
      • A Medicaid enrollment rate above the median value for all Maryland zip codes; or
      • A WIC participation rate above the media value for all Maryland zip codes; and
    4. An HEZ must demonstrate poor health outcomes by having either:
    • Life expectancy below the media value for all Maryland zip codes; or
    • A percentage of low birth weight infants above the median value for all Maryland zip codes.

    The Department has set the median value for economic disadvantage (Medicaid enrollment or WIC participation) and poor health outcomes (life expectancy or % of low birth weight infants) as the eligibility cutoff. An HEZ made up of multiple zip codes must meet these thresholds in each zip code if the values are known.

    * The overall resident population in a proposed HEZ must total 5,000 individuals or more. If a proposed HEZ is comprised of multiple zip code areas, it is not a requirement that each zip code area have a population of 5,000 or more.

    Based on these eligibility criteria, most communities in Maryland were eligible to apply for HEZ designation. The Call for Proposals (click here) issued by the CHRC in October 2012 generated 19 applications from 17 jurisdictions. The applications were evaluated by a Review Committee and based on recommendations from the CHRC, the DHMH Secretary designated the first five HEZs.

    PLEASE NOTE: The Health Enterprise Zone application period is now closed.

    HEZ Eligibility Data Map

    Data for zip codes with a population of 5,000 or more is available in the Interactive HEZ Eligibility Data Map below.

    Interactive HEZ Eligibility Map:



    Map Notes:

    • Zip codes shown in yellow do not meet the baseline eligibility requirement for that criterion.
    • Zip codes shown in red meet the baseline eligibility requirement for that criterion.
    • Zip codes shown in white do not show data because they do not have a resident population of at least 5,000. These zip codes may be eligible if they are added to other zip codes such that the total resident population of the proposed HEZ reaches 5,000 individuals or more.