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Commission on Public Health Hosts Maryland Secretary of Health, Discusses Importance of Health Equity and Primary Care

The Maryland Commission on Public Health held its June monthly meeting on Thursday, June 6, at the Baltimore County Department of Health. As part of its mandate to study the Maryland public health system at state and local levels, the Commission invited Dr. Laura Herrera Scott, Secretary of Health for the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and Ben Steffen, Executive Director of the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC), to speak on opportunities to improve public health for all Marylanders. Secretary Herrera Scott discussed her priorities at MDH and its component administrations of Medicaid, public health, developmental disabilities, and behavioral health. Equity and reducing health disparities were highlighted throughout her presentation. Greater alignment between programs and delivery systems, especially for behavioral health, was noted as critical to addressing those inequities. The Commissioners and the Secretary shared a robust conversation on the importance of primary care in addressing health equity challenges across the state. They highlighted the role of local health departments and community health centers in improving access to health care in their communities. The discussion identified concerns with Maryland’s primary care workforce shortage, including in rural jurisdictions. Secretary Herrera Scott noted how Maryland’s application to the States Advancing All-Payer Health […]

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