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Former Balt. Health Commissioner Joins O’Malley Administration

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Former Baltimore Health Commissioner, Maryland Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–The New Year brings new faces to the O’Malley administration. Former Baltimore Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein leaves his post with the FDA to become the Maryland Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports the transition comes at a time of anticipated changes in the health care system.

The principle deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is leaving the Feds for the State.

Former Baltimore Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein sounded the warning against giving cough and cold medicine to toddlers, which led manufacturers to recommend against using their products for children under four.

In addition to administrative duties, he set an example for city workers and the public at large to take the stairs instead of elevators.

Sharfstein moves from city to state as the new Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“There will be a lot of changes in health care,” Sharfstein said.

The administration has designated areas of health care that need improvement but isn’t ready to weigh in on specific bills, including a possible dime-a-drink alcohol-tax increase. 

“There’ll be a lot of ideas that come forward in the course of this General Assembly,” O’ Malley said.

Sharfstein’s first day as secretary is Jan. 12–the start of the 2011 legislative session.

Sharfstein was recommended for the post by current health secretary John Colmers, who is stepping down.

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