Dr. Michelle A. Gourdine, Baltimore County's top health official for nearly a decade, has been appointed deputy secretary of public health services for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, according to state officials. The appointment by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. will take effect Feb. 1.
Gourdine, a board-certified pediatrician, has served as the county's health officer since 1995 and oversees about 550 employees and a $44 million budget, county officials said.
As deputy secretary, Gourdine, 42, will oversee seven areas of the state health agency, including those dealing with alcohol and drug abuse, AIDS and community health. Her job also includes oversight of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Anatomy Board and 24 local health departments.
"It's an honor to have been asked to take on that responsibility and that position," Gourdine said yesterday.
In a news release issued yesterday, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. said he is disappointed to lose Gourdine, who, he said, has been "on the cutting edge of responding to emerging health issues."
Smith did not immediately name Gourdine's replacement.