Per Montgomery County:
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 28, 2022
The joint Health and Human Services (HHS) and Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee will meet on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 9:30 a.m. to receive an update on the status of the hiring process for the Montgomery County health officer and discuss options for public health leadership structures within state law.
The members of the HHS Committee include Chair and Council President Gabe Albornoz, Council Vice President Evan Glass (Lead for Homelessness & Vulnerable Communities) and Councilmember Craig Rice.
The members of the GO Committee include Chair Nancy Navarro and Councilmembers Andrew Friedson and Sidney Katz.
More detail on the agenda item is provided below.
Briefing: The joint HHS and GO Committee will receive an update on the status of the hiring process for the Montgomery County health officer and discuss options for public health leadership structures within state law.
Dr. James Bridgers has been serving as Montgomery County’s acting health officer since Dr. Travis Gayles resigned from the position on Aug. 12, 2021. The Council extended the period of Dr. Bridgers’ appointment in this acting capacity until March 8, 2023. In the process to permanently fill the health officer position, multiple candidates have ultimately declined to accept the role.
The County has been advertising to fill one position to serve as both the County health officer and chief of public health which requires that the individual selected for the role be a physician. At the Council’s Board of Health briefing on May 19, 2022, executive branch staff raised the possibility of changing the minimum requirements for the position and the need to develop a leadership structure that supports the health officer and the public health team.
On March 22, 2022, the Council unanimously passed a resolution affirming support for the work of public health officials.
The Committee meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee agendas, Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.
The Council recommends that residents, who choose to attend in-person Council or committee meetings, get fully vaccinated to protect themselves and others against COVID-19. If this is not possible, virtual participation is encouraged.
Council and committee meetings are streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.