The Caroline County Commissioners and the Honorable Dennis R. Schrader, Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene, have announced the appointment of Scott T. LeRoy to serve as Health Officer for Caroline County, Maryland. Mr. LeRoy is filling the position previously held by Dr. Leland Spencer, who served both Caroline and Kent Counties as Health Officer. Dr. Spencer will continue to serve Caroline County on a part-time basis, providing clinical oversight of Health Department programs, while continuing his role as Health Officer for Kent County.
The Commissioners thanked Dr. Spencer for his thirteen years of service to Caroline County. “Lee has been a true advocate for public health and a good partner,” said Commissioner Wilbur Levengood. The Commissioners noted that Dr. Spencer provided capable management during one of the most challenging periods of change in both government and healthcare, and played a major role in negotiating the County’s agreement with Shore Regional Health for expanded services and healthcare access. “All Caroline residents owe Dr. Spencer a debt of gratitude for the work he has done,” Commissioner Levengood stated.
Mr. LeRoy comes to Caroline County with 24 years of experience in public health. He currently serves as the Director of Health and Human Services for the City of Danbury, Connecticut, a position he has held for the last twelve years. In this capacity, Mr. LeRoy is responsible for the effective implantation of a wide variety of services and programs to meet the health and social services needs of the City’s diverse population of 85,000. Mr. LeRoy’s career has exposed him to every facet of public health, including environmental health and regulation, program design, and public health emergency planning. Mr. LeRoy has shown a strong record of building partnerships to improve public health outcomes and working well with state and local leaders.
Commission President Dan Franklin stated, “Scott has a hands on approach to health and human services that is a great fit for Caroline County. We were impressed by the scope of his experience and his educational background. There won’t be anything he encounters on the job that he hasn’t done and excelled at before.” The Commissioners noted that among Mr. LeRoy’s strengths are his direct and extensive experience in all areas of public health. “Scott has shown strong leadership skills and has what it takes to move the needle on public health issues for Caroline County. We’re very excited for what the future holds,” President Franklin added.
Mr. LeRoy has a bachelor’s degree of science in Environmental Sciences & Technology from SUNY Environmental Sciences & Forestry College at Syracuse University, as well as a Master’s of Science degree in Experimental Pathology from New York State Medical College. He earned a Masters of Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University. Additionally, Mr. LeRoy has completed advanced leadership and management training, including the CDC’s Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI) and the prestigious Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education for Senior Officials in Government.
Mr. LeRoy was appointed Health Officer after an extensive nation-wide search and multi-step evaluation process. After three rounds of interviews, which included input from healthcare and community partners, Health Department Staff, and County government and DHMH senior leaders, the Commissioners are confident that Mr. LeRoy had the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to lead the Health Department.
The Caroline County Commissioners are deeply dedicated to improving the health of their community and have made improving health outcomes one of their primary focus areas. “The health issues facing our community are too important to continue with a part-time Health Officer,” stated Commission Vice President Larry Porter. “We are investing in a full-time Health Officer to provide public health leadership, not just to the Department, but to the wider community. We can’t make progress without the kind of leadership Scott brings to the position.”
Mr. LeRoy stated that he found Caroline County’s passion for public health and partnership inspiring. “Through my conversations with the Commissioners, as well as everyone I met along the way, I understood how rare Caroline County is as a community,” Mr. LeRoy said. “I’m aware of its challenges, but also its opportunities. I’m excited to get to work improving health outcomes and access for all residents.”
While named the Caroline County Health Department, the organization is part of the State of Maryland’s Department of Mental Health and Hygiene (DHMH). The local Health Officer is nominated by the Caroline County Commissioners and confirmed by the Secretary of DHMH. The Health Department provides programs related to communicable disease, immunizations, maternal and child health, community data collection, trending and surveillance, health assessment, planning and quality improvement, health education programs, chronic disease prevention, emergency preparedness, and environmental health regulation, inspection and licensing.
Enhancing healthcare access, addressing the behavioral health crisis, responding to communicable diseases, substantially improving rates of chronic disease, and improving customer service are all issues Mr. LeRoy has identified as key focus areas.
Mr. LeRoy plans to relocate to Caroline County next month and will remain a county resident during his tenure. “I grew up in a rural area very much like Caroline County,” Mr. LeRoy said. “My wife and I were impressed by the strong sense of community here and know this will be a great place to raise our daughter. We’re looking forward to being a part of the Caroline County family.”