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Laurence Polsky begins Aug. 8
By AMANDA HARRISONStaff writer
Starting Aug. 8, Calvert County’s new health officer will be Laurence Polsky of St. Mary’s County, according to a release from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Polsky replaces former county health officer David Rogers, who retired in June after 39 years. Tuesday was Polsky’s last day at Shah Associates in Hollywood, Md., practicing obstetrics and gynecology, he said.
After working in Southern Maryland for 15 years, Polsky said he is excited for the new “opportunities to do good in the county” because it provides a “different avenue to help residents.”
A nurse practitioner at Shah Associates, Lorraine Diana, said she has worked with Polsky for about 12 years.
“He goes to great lengths to educate his patients,” she said. “His patients love him very much. ... It’ll definitely be tough for them” to lose him.
Diana said, though, she recognizes that Polsky will be able to “affect more people in a positive way.”
But before he implements any new programs, Polsky said, he wants to have “a good talk with everyone” to see where new programs would be beneficial and where additional service is needed to boost existing programs.
Two of the “biggest [health] drivers in the county,” Polsky said, “are diabetes and smoking,” which he plans to focus on and provide the public with more help in combatting. In addition, he hopes to bring the number of influenza vaccinations up because currently the county is “a little under the state average,” he said.
Joshua Sharfstein, DHMH secretary, said in the release that DHMH is “delighted” Polsky is going to be a leader for the county’s health department as Polsky works to “protect the health and welfare of their communities.”
Polsky said that as the new health officer, he wants to “make sure [the staff] have all the resources they need” as the county transitions to meet the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform law.
“It’s wonderful that he’s leaving to go do this job. Calvert County is certainly getting a wonderful physician,” said Diana.
Polsky also serves as chairman of the Community Health Advisory Committee for St. Mary’s County, according to the release.
He has also practiced at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and OB/GYN of St. Mary’s in Leonardtown.