Opioids and Pandemic Response Discussion Points To Workforce Concerns at #MACoCon

County health officials lead an hour long discussion on the current state of local health departments in the wake of the pandemic and amidst the opioid crisis. 

The MACo Winter Conference was off to a great start with this panel featuring Dr. Laurence Polsky and Robert Stephens. Senator Clarence Lam, was an incredibly informed moderating as a doctor of preventative medicine himself and a leader in shaping the pandemic response in Maryland.

While the meeting began with focused statistics on where Maryland currently stands on the opioid crisis response and COVID-19, much of the discussion focused on how to effectively manage the worries of tomorrow. Major concerns that were highlighted in looking towards the future revolved around the difficulties health departments are currently facing in attracting and retaining staff members in the coming years.

Beyond workforce concerns a major topic that rose to the forefront was recreational cannabis and how counties can prepare for the public health consequences of the roll out in the coming months and years. A greater need for behavioral health resources was also addressed as a statewide issue, particularly in the area of youth services.

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


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

Moderator: The Honorable Clarence Lam, Maryland State Senate

More about MACo’s Winter Conference: