Calvert County Health Department
About Our Agency: Historical Beginnings
While the history of organized public health in Maryland began with the establishment of the Baltimore City Health Department in 1797, in Calvert County it was not until 1900 that the Calvert County Commissioners appointed part-time the county’s first Health Officer. In 1924 the Health Officer became full-time and acquired the services of a public health nurse, thus establishing, in a very rudimentary beginning, Calvert County’s first health department. A sanitarian and secretarial help were added in 1933. During the years that followed the health department grew very slowly and endeavored to provide a reasonably full range of services, including communicable disease control, sanitation, regulation of on-site septic systems and wells, restaurant inspections, prenatal clinics, well baby services, school health services, home health services, and mental health services.
By 1973, with a county population of about 22,000, the staff of the health department consisted of a physician health officer, three sanitarians, six public health nurses, a part-time ear and eye screening technician working in the schools, and three clerical support workers, with an operating budget of less than $500,000. At this point, Calvert County became the fastest growing county in the state with the result that, parallel to the county’s growth, the health department grew rapidly as the variety and demand for services increased. During the 1980’s mental health services were greatly expanded and substance abuse treatment services were added. Today, the Calvert County Health Department, now serving a population approaching 100,000 and employing approximately 130 persons, many of whom are highly qualified professionals, provides a full range of local public health services funded with an annual operating budget exceeding $10,000,000.