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Beilenson Resigns as Health Officer, Takes on New Health Care Challenge

Peter Beilenson will head the state's first health care co-op while Maura Rossman steps into County health officer role.

The man called a “hero” by the Maryland Daily Record for, among other things, his implementation of the Healthy Howard Health Plan, is stepping down from his position as Howard County health officer.

But Peter Beilenson is staying in the health care industry; he will be assuming the CEO role of the state’s first health care co-op, Evergreen Health Cooperative, made possible by a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

Evergreen's start-up costs were funded by a $65 million federal loan secured by Beilenson and a group of collaborators including County Executive Ken Ulman.

“Peter is one of the most innovative public health leaders not only here in Maryland but across the nation,” Ulman said in a statement. “I am looking forward to continuing our partnership as he moves forward with Evergreen.” 

Ulman said he will be nominating Maura Rossman to step into the Health Officer role. Rossman has been the Health Department’s medical director since 2007 and has been serving as the deputy health officer of clinical services for the past two years. As of Tuesday, Rossman is acting health officer, Ulman said.

“While Peter will be missed,” Ulman said in the statement, “Dr. Rossman has been an integral part of our Health Department and has forged meaningful partnerships at local and state levels, and most importantly with the community.”

“I am excited and honored by this opportunity,” Rossman said in a statement. “It is a privilege to live and work in a progressive county that supports public health infrastructure and initiatives for all Howard County residents and serves as a model for other communities.”

Beilenson served as the Baltimore City health officer for 13 years before coming to Howard County five and a half years ago. During his tenure, he and Ulman created the Healthy Howard Health Plan, which gave uninsured Howard County residents access to health care.

Beilenson led the group that formed the Evergreen Health Cooperative. According to the Baltimore Sun, Evergreen will be the state’s first non-profit health cooperative.

The cooperative will be made up of clinics staffed by a primary care doctor, a nurse practitioner, health coach, social worker, care coordinator and receptionist.

“As I have said many times, it has been a pleasure working for an elected official like Executive Ulman who puts so much time, energy and political will into making public health issues a priority,” Beilenson said in a statement.  “I will miss this job tremendously."

Related articles:

- Howard County Officials on Health Care Decision: ‘Hard Work Ahead’

- Soda Ban In Howard County? Public Health Leader Says No

MG42 October 10, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Glad to see him go. He failed at the Healthy Howard Access Plan which cost Howard County taxpayers about $2 million. How much do you want to bet this Evergreen Co-op will pull a Solyndra and default on the loan?
Ann Delacy October 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Peter Bellenson is a good man and very talented. I look forward to the opportunities for affordable health care he will provide through Evergreen Health Care Co-Op.
MR6453 October 11, 2012 at 03:48 AM
You'll be "looking" for a long time.
bill bissenas December 13, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Good riddens. But they'll find someone to replace him that is just as much a proponent of the nanny state.
bill bissenas December 13, 2012 at 01:29 PM
That's the new Beilenson scam? I give it a year, maybe two, max, before it fails. Not unless he can convince socialists/progressives in government to fund his scheme, then it might last a bit longer.

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