The High-Stakes Fight Against Pandemics and Opioids at #MACoCon

Public health emergencies over the last five years give way to best practices amongst local health departments in preparing for the worries of tomorrow. 

County health departments are in a unique position when it comes to managing a public health crisis. There are the obvious consequences such as physical injury and limitations on resources like supplies and medicine in the near term. Additionally, a public health emergency can often involve the less apparent and long-term effects an emergency can have on the mental health of the public. These complications are often seen in the immediate aftermath of an event as well as carry-on well after an event takes place requiring services that can scale with the scope of the problem. This opening roundtable will discuss what counties are doing and what resources are needed in planning for the next crisis and beyond.

Title: Opening Roundtable: Your County’s High Stakes Fight Against Pandemics and Opioids

Description: County governments are truly on the front lines having faced the multi-level crisis of the COVID pandemic, all the while suffering a continuing but less heralded crisis of opioid misuse. Public health leaders will host an interactive discussion on the county role, still ongoing, in managing the worries of today, and preparing for the worries of tomorrow. What resources do we need locally? What do we do differently if there’s a “next” time? What parts of your community are being disproportionately affected? Learn from a storied panel about what county leaders can control and where they are at the mercy of higher governments and the medical community.


  • Robert Stephens M.S., Health Officer, Garrett County
  • Laurence Polsky M.D., Health Officer, Calvert County

Moderator: The Honorable Clarence Lam, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Wednesday, January 4, 2023; 10:45 am – 11:45 am

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Hit the Ground Running,” will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD from January 4-6, 2023 (with a pre-conference orientation for new county officials on January 3).

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: