New council on AIDS omits key senator 12 members are holdovers from old state council.

September 11, 1991|By Sue Miller | Sue Miller,Evening Sun Staff

The new 21-member Governor's Council on HIV Prevention and Treatment does not include state Sen. Paula C. Hollinger, a veteran member of the AIDS Advisory Council that Gov. William Donald Schaefer disbanded several months ago.

Hollinger, D-Balto. Co., said, "That's absurd."

The makeup of the council was made public yesterday by Schaefer.

Explaining her terse reaction last night, Hollinger said: "I do chair the House subcommittee of the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee that handles all the AIDS legislation and not serving on the council is a little bit absurd.

"I don't want to jump to any conclusions, but I will definitely check this out tomorrow. No, I have not been contacted."

The governor is expected to launch the first meeting of the long-awaited new council Sept. 19 with a new focus -- prevention the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome -- and a discussion of his proposed legislation to mandate HIV testing of health care workers performing exposure-prone invasive procedures and of patients undergoing those procedures.

"We will be looking at our own legislation and their legislation, whatever it is, will come through our subcommittee," Hollinger said. "So, it certainly was to the governor's benefit to have me on there, but I have no idea why I wasn't appointed."

Schaefer was not immediately available for comment. Michael Golden, a state public information officer, said he had no idea why Hollinger was not on the list. Golden said he was "pretty sure" the council membership was limited to the 21 names.

But, Dr. Richard T. Johnson, the director of neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who was chosen by Schaefer to head the council in June, said he believes the panel still has about five openings.

The new organization also plans to work on strategies to obtain additional health care funding and to promote HIV prevention and education programs, concentrating on programs that will educate youth about at-risk behavior and changing behavior of intravenous drug users and their sexual partners.

The new council has only nine new faces; the rest are holdovers from the AIDS Advisory Council first established in 1987.

Serving for the first time are Del. James E. McClellan, D-Frederick; state Sen. Arthur Dorman, D-Prince George's; Dr. Fred A. Gill, infectious disease specialist, Montgomery County; Ferne E. Johnson, Health Education Resource Organization; James R. Swenson, vice president and corporate actuary, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland.

Also, Robert C. Adams Sr., Silcox-Merritt Funeral Services; Elias A. Dorsey, acting Baltimore commissioner of health; Dr. Don-Neil Brotman, a private practice dentist; and Charles E. Wilkerson, head of the English Department at Old Mill Senior High School in Anne Arundel County.

Members from the old AIDS commission include:

Dr. Jack M. Zimmerman, chief of surgery, Church Hospital; Dr. John G. Bartlett, chief of the division of infectious diseases, Johns Hopkins Hospital; Dr. John P. Johnson, associate professor of pediatric immunology, University of Maryland School Medicine; Maureen E.H. McCleary, director of the Office on AIDS, Prince George's County Health Department.

Also, Dr. Margaret W. Bridwell, health center director, University of Maryland College Park; Dr. Roger L. Eldridge, assistant director and director of special patient program, University of Maryland Dental School, Baltimore; Curtis L. Decker, executive director, National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems.

And, Robert B. Watts, retired judge and lawyer; Merry L. Coplin, deputy commissioner, Maryland Division of Correction; Robert W. Eastridge, acting deputy secretary for public health services, state Health Department; Howard E. Marshall, retired business executive; and John R. Watson III, reading room librarian, National AIDS Clearinghouse.

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