From Weeds to Wells to Wellness Local Health Departments are Always on the Job

Local Health Departments (LHDs) play a broad and critical role in protecting the public's health. As attendees to the MACo Winter Conference session, "Protecting the Public's Health: Weeds to Wells to Wellness," learned the full scope of what they do and the health and economic impacts they have on local communities is not always evident.   Kevin Sumner, President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)  set the stage with a  look…

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Opioid Questions Asked and Answered at #MACoCon Round Table

The MACo Winter Conference closed out with an interactive round table session that provided an opportunity for audience members and panelists to share insights and answer questions related to what's working, what's not, and what is next for the opioid crisis. The first half of the session was a Q&A between facilitator Nastassia Walsh, Program Manager, National Association of Counties (NACo), and panelists Steve Schuh, Executive Director, Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC); Birch Barron, Deputy Director, Opioid…

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Breaking Behavioral Health Barriers Behind Bars and in the Communities

Attendees of the MACo Winter Conference session, Who's Falling Through the Cracks: Addressing Gaps in Behavioral Health Services, heard frank discussions from panelists on the scope of behavioral health issues in local communities as well as what is being done what more is needed to close gaps in addressing behavioral health issues. Much of the discussion centered around the criminal justice population. Dan Martin Senior Director of Public Policy for the Mental Health Association of Maryland (MHAMD)…

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County Human Services Deliver Seamless Support for Community Members in Crisis

At the MACo Winter Conference session, Constituents in Crisis: Human Services to the Rescue!, audience members learned about the broad continuum of county agencies and programs that are dedicated to providing community-based services to address the special needs of children, families, older adults, and persons with disabilities. Christine Kay, Director of the Carroll County Department of Citizen Services started the panel off with explanation of how county human service agencies (also known as citizen services or community…

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Diversity Caucus Installs 2019 Board at #MACoCon

The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus (Diversity Caucus), a chapter organization of MACo, installed its 2019 Executive Board at the MACo Winter Conference. The 2019 Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus Board: President Craig Rice (Montgomery County Council Member), First Vice President Craig Mathies (Somerset County Commissioner), Treasurer Deni Taveras (Prince George's County Council Member), Second Vice President Sharon Green Middleton (Baltimore City Council Member), and Secretary Opel Jones (Howard County Council Member). The Diversity Caucus provides…

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No Public Safety Agency is an Island…Partnerships are Key!

At the MACo Winter Conference General Session, The Life Saving Power of Public Safety Partnerships, county emergency managers, correctional officers, and law enforcement discussed the role they play and the collaborations they form to protect communities from all sorts of dangerous situations – from active shooter encounters to weather disaster response and recovery. Clay Stamp, Director of Emergency Services for Talbot County and a Senior Emergency Management Advisor to Governor Larry Hogan, kicked off the panel…

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Prince George’s Court Program Focuses on Reentry and Reducing Recidivism

An article in The Washington Post highlights Prince George's County Court Reentry Court Program. Started in 2013, the Re-Entry Court is one of only two such programs in the state. Through the three phase program individuals who have been convicted of crimes and incarcerated are released early under supervision and provided a range of treatment and support services -- substance use and mental health treatment, life skills and relationship building, education and job training --…

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Federal Prosecutors Launch “SOS” Program to Pursue Fentanyl Cases in Baltimore

In an Op-Ed in The Baltimore Sun, U.S. Attorney for Maryland, Robert K. Hur, explains a new initiative his office is launching to ramp of federal enforcement of criminal fentanyl distribution cases in Baltimore: Under this program, every arrest in Baltimore for fentanyl distribution will be reviewed jointly by the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland to determine whether the case will be prosecuted in…

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Q&A Showcases How Counties Partner and Prepare for Emergencies

You've got questions, Kevin Aftung, Director of the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management has answers. From 911 systems to floods and active shooter events, Aftung provides an emergency manger's expert answers to pressing questions in the December 2018 COG Quarterly Magazine: Ask an expert showcases an innovator in the Baltimore region who is at the pulse of his or her industry through a Q&A. We sat down with Kevin Aftung, director of the Anne…

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Anne Arundel Appoints New Fire Chief and Detention Center Superintendent

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman has named Spokane Fire Department Assistant Chief Trisha Wolford as the county's Fire Chief -- the first woman to serve in that role. Wolford succeeds Fire Chief Allan Graves who retires at the end of the month. The Baltimore Sun report: The appointment of Wolford is a homecoming. She began her fire service career in Anne Arundel County in 2006, serving for 10 years in the fire department as…

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