Fran Phillips returning to state health department

E.B. Furgurson III
Contact Reporterpfurgurson@capgaznews.com

Fran Phillips, who has served as Anne Arundel County’s acting health officer since last year, is returning to the Maryland Health Department to again serve as deputy secretary.

County Executive Steve Schuh made the announcement Thursday.

“Anne Arundel County has been blessed to have such dedicated public servant like Fran serving our citizens,” Schuh said. “She leaves an incredible legacy of public service in our jurisdiction, and we wish her well as she pursues this incredible opportunity.”

Phillips will play a key role in the state’s efforts in the fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic, provide management oversight for the state’s rural health plan and lead other state initiatives for programs including asthma, lead poisoning, smoking cessation and more.

“My experience here in Anne Arundel over the past year has been really challenging and also very, very rewarding,” Philips said. “We had successes as well as lessons learned. I look forward to taking the insights I was able to gain to a new, wider perspective.”

Phillips had served as Anne Arundel’s health officer from 1993 to 2008, when she left to take the deputy secretary position at the state office, where she stayed until 2013.

She served as vice chairwoman of the Maryland Health Care Commission before returning to the acting county position.

She will report directly to State Health Secretary Robert Neall, who, when he served as Anne Arundel County Executive, first appointed Phillips as the county health officer.

She returned to the county last year after the departure of health officer Jinlene Chan, who took a temporary position at the State Department of Health. Chan still serves as state Assistant Secretary of Health.

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