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HEALTH
By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun | January 4, 2011
Former Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein is returning to Maryland after nearly two years in the Obama administration to head the state health department, a role that will include carrying out the president's health care overhaul in Maryland. Gov. Martin O'Malley said Tuesday that he was "ecstatic" and "delighted" by Sharfstein's decision to leave his "very important national position" as the principal deputy commissioner at the Food and Drug Administration, the No. 2 position in the federal agency.
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HEALTH
By Scott Dance and The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
Maryland public health officials are putting caregivers - from Baltimore's major teaching hospitals to strip-mall urgent care centers to ambulances - on heightened alert for signs of Ebola as details emerge about missteps in Dallas, where a man with the deadly virus was initially sent home from a hospital. Health care providers have for months been preparing for Ebola's potential arrival in the U.S., and on Tuesday confirmed a Liberian man visiting family in Dallas had the virus.
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HEALTH
By John Fritze and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | April 3, 2014
Maryland's top health official told a congressional panel in Washington on Thursday that IT contractors were to blame for the state's troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and suggested that the state may reimburse the federal government if it can claw back money from those companies. Though Maryland Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein has repeatedly testified in Annapolis about the launch of the glitch-prone website, the hearing by a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was the first time he has publicly addressed questions from federal lawmakers about the exchange.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
The state's Mental Hygiene Administration didn't have adequate procedures to ensure consumers given care were eligible, according to audit by the Department of Legislative Services during fiscal 2013. The state funds in question totaled $16.4 million. The total budget that year was $788 million when federal funds were counted. The audit also found reviews weren't done in a timely manner by an accounting firm hired to monitor some of the agency's fiscal functions, with some reviews taking up to an extra 21 months.
EXPLORE
February 21, 2012
I am surprised that the Towson Times (Feb. 15) would endorse the medical marijuana bill favored by state Del. Dan Morhaim (HB1158) and not endorse the medical marijuana bill (HB1024) favored by Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Sharfstein has an outstanding record in protecting public health from untoward side effects of drugs and other consumer products, and there is ample reason to believe his stance on medical marijuana is based on similar concerns.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown and Matthew Hay Brown,matthew.brown@baltsun.com | March 12, 2009
The White House reportedly has tapped Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein to be deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The Harvard-educated pediatrician would serve under Dr. Margaret A. "Peggy" Hamburg, the former New York City health chief who is to be nominated FDA commissioner, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Sharfstein, the White House and the FDA all declined to comment. Sharfstein told The Baltimore Sun in December that he loved his job and was "looking forward to another year of public health progress in the city."
SPORTS
By Bill Free and Bill Free,SUN STAFF | April 17, 2002
Cornell junior right-hander Dave Sharfstein has his fastball flirting with 90 mph, and he has quickly become one of the top closers in the Ivy League. Sharfstein (River Hill High) has a 2-1 record, four saves, a 2.30 ERA in 19 1/3 innings, 25 strikeouts and six walks in 14 appearances. He is expected to break the school single-season record of 19 appearances. It's been something of a rags-to-riches story for Sharfstein. It started at River Hill, where he had a so-so, injury-marred career before going off to York (Pa.)
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown and Matthew Hay Brown,matthew.brown@baltsun.com | March 29, 2009
When he took over as Baltimore health commissioner, Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein says, he was unsure whether he would last three days. Recalling that beginning in a letter to friends and colleagues this month, he described the public health challenges facing the city as "awesome" and named a few: young mothers unable to get needed support before, during and after pregnancy; thousands of residents who can't access drug treatment; tens of thousands shut out...
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2011
The chief of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene testified Monday against a bill that would legalize medical marijuana, potentially dooming a plan that had been on track to pass the General Assembly this year. The proposal, which cleared the Senate last year and attracted more than 60 House co-sponsors this year, would enable doctors to prescribe marijuana for patients with chronic pain or diseases and establish a tightly controlled network of state-registered growers and dispensaries.
NEWS
By Stephanie Desmon and Matthew Hay Brown and Stephanie Desmon and Matthew Hay Brown and,stephanie.desmon@baltsun.com and matthew.brown@baltsun.com | December 16, 2008
Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Baltimore's outspoken health commissioner, is regarded by many as a leading candidate to head the Food and Drug Administration. Sharfstein is a former congressional staffer who carved out a national profile by convincing drug companies to stop marketing cough and cold medicines to young children. The 39-year-old pediatrician has been spending two days a week in Washington lately as one of a handful of people reviewing health policies for President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.
HEALTH
By Kevin Rector and The Baltimore Sun | September 25, 2014
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has been awarded a $3.5 million federal grant to invest in diabetes and heart disease prevention efforts in five designated regions in the state, including Baltimore. The award is one of 21 grants totaling $69.5 million and issued to city and state health departments across the country by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under an initiative "to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending," DHMH said Thursday.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2014
Federal regulators expressed confidence this week in Maryland's move to new technology to run its health exchange website. In a letter to Gov. Martin O'Malley dated Aug. 4, the top official from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it had reviewed the cost and feasibility of using the same platform as used in Connecticut. CMS' approval and ongoing oversight are necessary for the state to make the change, which was needed because the current website used by the uninsured and underinsured to buy health coverage has never worked properly, causing problems for thousands.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, Andrea K. Walker and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | July 30, 2014
Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein said Wednesday he plans to leave his post as secretary of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he drew criticism for the botched rollout of the state's health insurance exchange website. Sharfstein, a trained pediatrician who has spent his career in public service, will join the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as an associate dean in January as the O'Malley administration ends. He took the state post three years ago after developing a national profile for his aggressive pursuit of public health initiatives in children's health, HIV and other areas.
NEWS
Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2014
State officials said at a legislative briefing Thursday that their agencies must do more to flag financial mismanagement at group homes - problems similar to those that went unheeded at an Anne Arundel County facility where a 10-year-old disabled foster child died this month. Maryland's health and human resources secretaries appeared together before a joint committee of state lawmakers in Annapolis to answer questions about oversight of LifeLine, the operator of the group home where the boy died.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | July 19, 2014
The Maryland health agency responsible for overseeing medical facilities, including the group home where a disabled foster child died this month, is moving to reduce the number of facilities it inspects across the state - even as it acknowledges that thousands of complaints and inspections have not been properly handled. The Office of Health Care Quality says the policy change stems in part from a long-standing, and growing, problem: a shortage of inspectors. The agency proposes to cede some oversight to accrediting organizations while focusing its inspections on facilities with a history of serious problems.
NEWS
Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 12, 2014
When Maryland's government hires a company to provide around-the-clock nursing care to severely disabled foster children - arguably the state's most vulnerable residents - it requires the contractor to have its business affairs in order. But LifeLine, which attracted media attention after the recent death of a 10-year-old resident, had many signs that it was struggling financially to staff its Laurel apartments with an appropriate number of nurses. One recent indication was a sign posted on some of LifeLine's units in the Laurel-area community of Russett Green on May 12. "Payroll Alert," read the sign.
HEALTH
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2014
Maryland's poorly performing health exchange will cost taxpayers $33 million more than expected this year, bringing the state's total annual expense to $138 million, officials said Monday. The money is needed, in part, to pay the company hired to help fix the dysfunctional web site and to triple the work force at the state's call center, which has been overwhelmed by requests for help from customers struggling to buy insurance online. Even with the extra spending, it isn't certain the exchange can be fixed - or is worth fixing - in time for the next enrollment period in the fall, officials said.
HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 8, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration withdrew its opposition to legislation allowing doctors and nurses to dispense medical marijuana to patients through academic medical centers, raising prospects for passage this year. Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, the state secretary of health and mental hygiene, said Friday that the administration could support the bill but only if it gave the governor the "flexibility" to suspend the program if the federal government threatened legal action over what it still classifies as an illegal drug.
NEWS
By Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2014
A 10-year-old disabled foster child died last week while under the care of a group home in Anne Arundel County that Maryland health regulators were in the process of closing down, state Health Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein confirmed Thursday. Regulators, he said, are conducting investigations into the July 2 death at the Laurel-area home operated by LifeLine Inc., a state contractor that had provided round-the-clock care for such children - and that was recently warned it would lose its license for having inadequate staff to meet the "health and safety needs of each child" and other issues.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood and Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2014
When Will Boyd arrived Wednesday at the People's Community Health Center's Brooklyn Park clinic, he was furious to learn that the center will close at the end of the month. The 63-year-old has two broken teeth needing repair and said he was told he couldn't be helped there. "This is not a way to take care of people when they've got pain," said the Brooklyn Park resident. Local and state health officials are scrambling to find alternate health care providers for People's 1,100 low-income clients after the Baltimore-based nonprofit announced this week that it will close its five centers in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County.
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