#MACoCon Attendees Explore How to Best Support Local Health Departments

At the 2023 MACo Winter Conference, attendees explored the vast roles of local health departments, their unique state-local infrastructure, and how county governments can best support them.

Local health departments are a robust resource for citizens from clinics for routine care and addiction treatment to elder care services and safety classes for new parents. These teams of physicians, nurses, social workers, sanitarians, counselors, therapists and other allied health and support personnel are ready to help.

At MACo Winter Conference session, “Help Your Health Department Help You,” county health officers led attendees through the most effective ways to leverage their critical resources to keep  counties healthy and thriving before, during, and after the next crisis.

During the session, Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch walked attendees through his county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, lessons to apply to future public health crises, and why local health departments and county governments must work in tandem to address them.

Anne Arundel County Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman cleverly explained the collaborative public health infrastructure between health departments and county governments using the example of potable water access and service.

Lastly, Frederick County Health Officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer walked the audience through the robust role of their local health department, including providing constituents with direct medical services. She noted that for every $1 spent on prevention, a county saves $5.60 in health spending.


  • Dr. Gregory Branch, Health Officer, Baltimore County
  • Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, MACHO President, Health Officer, Anne Arundel County
  • Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, Health Officer, Frederick County


  • The Honorable Karen Lewis Young, Maryland State Senate

This session was held on January 5, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

More about MACo’s Winter Conference: