Harford County Appoints New Health Officer

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Credit: Van Fisher/Patch

HARFORD COUNTY - The Maryland Department of Health approved Marcy Austin as Harford County’s new health officer. She started at her new position on Friday, October 28.

In a county health department news release, Austin said she is excited to help make Harford County a healthier place.

“I look forward to developing more public health programs with our incredible staff and to building on existing relationships with our community partners, our clients, and the state and local governments with the continued goal of making Harford County a healthier place to live, work and play.”

On October 18, Harford County Council recommended Austin as the County’s next health officer in a 6-1 vote.

Nearly 40 applications were reviewed, and six candidates were interviewed by the nine-person search committee tasked with nominating the next county health officer. Maryland State law says that once a county nominates a health officer, the state health officer has the final say on the appointment. On Monday, Austin was approved to take the vital position of Harford County’s top health advisor.

Controversially, Austin is not a licensed medical doctor but has served as the acting health officer since the Harford County Council voted to remove former health officer David Bishai in October 2021.

According to state law, a county health officer does not need to be a licensed physician if the deputy health officer is one. Harford County hired Jamie Sibel, a preventative health physician, as the deputy county health officer in September.

Austin has had a long career at Harford County Health Department. She started in 2003 and has held a variety of roles since. She worked as director of administration and deputy health officer at the department.

Harford County Councilman, Patrick Vincenti, said he looks forward to working with Austin in the future.

“My colleagues and I look forward to our continued work with her as we advance the health of Harford County,” Vincenti said.

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