Commissioners Meet with Health Officer

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Commissioners Meet with Health Officer

Prince Frederick, MD - 12/6/2012

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By Marty Madden

Calvert Health Officer Dr. Laurence Polsky
Calvert Health Officer Dr. Laurence Polsky

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, the Calvert County Commissioners convened as the county’s Board of Health for the purpose of receiving the semiannual report from the health officer. Dr. Laurence Polsky became the county’s health officer this past summer, following the retirement of Dr. David Rogers. The health officer is required to submit a report to the Board of Health twice a year.

Polsky reported the department’s annual budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 totals $10.3 million, with $5.1 million of that coming from state grant funds. The county government provides approximately $2.4 million in funds and most of that money ($890,817) goes to “community health,” which includes

“health promotion and education, disease surveillance, family planning, and maternal and child health.” Polsky reported the local health department provides 120 jobs in the community.

Another big local budget component is environmental health ($523,910). The Safe Harbor facility for battered women and their children operates on an annual budget of $211,361. Polsky admitted “we’ve had some budget issues” regarding the facility but pointed out the FY 2013 figure represents about 10 percent of the department’s local budget.

Areas in which the Calvert County Health Department staff is trying to improve efficiency includes reassessing staff time in clinics, aggregating field inspections and working with the state and county to optimize technology use.

Polsky reported that in 2013 his department plans to combine community rabies and influenza vaccination clinics. This will be done in an effort to help decrease clinic costs and up the numbers of humans and animals receiving protection. The health officer stated one major educational outreach the department will work on will be Lyme disease control. “Better education of the population is the best thing we can do,” Polsky said.

There are also plans to possibly initiate internships for Calvert County Public Schools’ students.

Polsky asked that there be no alarm over the fact that statewide data shows Calvert County’s cancer mortality rates are ahead of Maryland’s statewide averages and 25 percent above the U.S. rate. “These statistics always lag about two to three years,” said Polsky.

For more information about the Calvert County Health Department visit www.calverthealth.org.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.



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