County still without health officer

November 30, 1999|By KATE S. ALEXANDER


Washington County officials say they cannot move forward in the process to hire a new health officer until the state decides on the recommendation made months ago by the county.

Commissioner James F. Kercheval said the county recommended someone to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) in late February after reviewing 15 to 20 resumes for the position previously held by William Christoffel.

Christoffel retired as health officer in October 2006. Since his retirement, the county has been working jointly with the state to fill the position.


John Hammond, spokesman for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said state code dictates the process of hiring a new health officer. According to the code, the county recommends an individual to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary for approval.

"The name is forwarded ... for approval and confirmation. The actual appointment is an oath of office that is administered by the clerk of the court for that particular jurisdiction," Prince George's County acting health officer Gwendolyn Clerkley said.

With the recent appointment of a new Department of Health and Mental Hygiene secretary, Washington County has yet to receive approval for its recommendation to the state. Hammond said secretary John Colmers is reviewing the recommendation.

"This is not something that happens everyday. There is no set time frame," he said.

Kercheval said the county can take no further action on the position until the state secretary either approves or disapproves the recommendation.

In the meantime, Kercheval said Deputy Health Officer Earl Stoner is sharing the duties of Washington County health officer with Frederick County Health Officer Barbara Brookmyer.

County Administrator Gregory Murray said the name of the candidate recommended by the county is a personnel matter and cannot be released to the public.

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