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Maryland needs an engineer for efficient COVID-19 response | READER COMMENTARY

Gov. Larry Hogan (right) tours the Baltimore Convention Center with Dennis R. Schrader, then-deputy secretary and chief operating officer for the Maryland Department of Health. Mr. Schrader is now acting health secretary and Governor Hogan's nominee to run the department. (Luke Broadwater/Baltimore Sun)
Gov. Larry Hogan (right) tours the Baltimore Convention Center with Dennis R. Schrader, then-deputy secretary and chief operating officer for the Maryland Department of Health. Mr. Schrader is now acting health secretary and Governor Hogan's nominee to run the department. (Luke Broadwater/Baltimore Sun) (Luke Broadwater/Baltimore Sun)

I have no idea what they in Annapolis have against Dennis Schrader (”Maryland’s vaccine rollout, health secretary pick merit scrutiny,” Jan. 20). I have never met the acting health secretary. What I do know about Mr. Schrader is that he’s an industrial engineer which makes him the right person to serve as the secretary of the Maryland Department of Health to address the COVID-19 vaccination issue.

Industrial engineering has to do with production, whether it is setting up a production line to produce widgets or automobiles or the dishwasher in your kitchen. Or, as I did many years ago, set up the worldwide ground communications system for the space program.

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Putting myself in Mr. Schrader’s shoes, I would look at the approximately 3,300 general dentists in Maryland who may regularly see, let’s say, five patients a day. That would equal 16,500 vaccinations. Multiply that by five days a week equals 82,500 vaccinated Marylanders. Times four weeks in a month equals 330,000 inoculated citizens. Ergo, applying industrial engineering, in three months, the dentists of Maryland will have taken care of 990,000 or almost 17% of the state’s 6 million population.

I was inoculated recently and it was methodical, considerate and very formulaic, but I, even having been away from the field many years, saw efficiencies that could be made without hampering or degrading the procedure. Remember, most people want to get it over with. A byproduct could be getting Marylanders to take care of their teeth.

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Albert Bedell, Baltimore

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