Columbia resident tapped for Howard health officer

State administrator must be confirmed by County Council

April 07, 1999|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

A career public health physician and 14-year Columbia resident has been nominated to be Howard County's new health officer.

Dr. Diane L. Matuszak, 49, of Owen Brown is associate director of community and public health administration for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Her name was submitted Monday night to the County Council as County Executive James N. Robey's choice for the job.

She'll be paid $94,000 a year if the council confirms her and if her current boss, Dr. Martin P. Wasserman, state health secretary, approves.

"I love Columbia. I love Howard County. I'm very interested in what's happening in my own community. This is an opportunity to combine the profession and the county I love," Matuszak said.

Matuszak was selected from a list of 38 applicants for the job and was among eight finalists, county officials said.

Robey interviewed her two weeks ago.

If the council approves his choice next month, administrative officer Raquel Sanudo said she'll seek fast action from the state.

"We're hoping for a quick turnaround," she said.

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Matuszak attended Canisius College, State University of New York at Buffalo and Buffalo School of Medicine, where she received her medical degree in 1974.

She spent three years in family practice in Texas, then two years with the U.S. Public Health Service in Buffalo.

She came to Maryland in 1982 and served as Charles County health officer for two years; after that, she moved to the first of a series of administrative health jobs for the state. She's held her current position for more than two years.

Matuszak would succeed Dr. Joyce Boyd, another Columbia resident who recently retired as county health director after 22 years.

"The first thing I want to do is take some time to meet people, find out what their concerns are, and look at the public health data for the county to see what the community health problems are," Matuszak said.

She is married to Rod Summerford, a systems analyst. They have a 14-year-old son.

Pub Date: 4/07/99

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