Bernard A. Simons Appointed Director of Maryland's Developmental Disabilities Administration

BALTIMORE, MD (February 18, 2014) - Bernard A. Simons has been hired as director of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, DHMH Secretary, today announced.

Mr. Simons has 30 years of management experience in providing community and facility-based supports to people with intellectual developmental disabilities. He has a strong history of building partnerships with consumers, families, providers and other state agencies to further the advancement of the state's clients.

Mr. Simons is active with numerous national associations and is knowledgeable about federal policy on developmental disabilities.

"Mr. Simons is a professional with a proven track record," said Dr. Sharfstein," His history of building coalitions among clients, providers and policymakers will be invaluable as DDA moves forward. In addition, I want to take this opportunity to thank Patrick Dooley for serving as DDA’s acting director and for his guidance during this transition."

Most recently, he served as the Director for the Division of Developmental Disabilities for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. While there, he oversaw a $849 million budget; 3,360 employees; supports for 34,000 people, and redesigned statewide quality enhancement services from focusing on compliance to achieving measureable outcomes. Prior to that position, he was Superintendent of Missouri's Bellefontaine Habilitation Center.

“Bernie Simons is a proven leader in the field of developmental disabilities,” said Nancy Thaler, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services. “He has a life-long commitment to supporting people with disabilities and their families; a strong belief that people should fully participate in community life, and the skill to manage large public service systems to achieve that outcome.”

Mr. Simons has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts; a Masters of Arts in Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Special Education from Boston University.

Mr. Simons will start mid- April.


Substance Abuse Help


Zika Information


Rabies Information




Fatalities related to intoxication down in Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico in 2017

Snow Hill, MD- Deaths related to drug and alcohol intoxication, including opioid overdoses, are down in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset Counties, according to 3rd Quarter 2017 Overdose Data released by the Maryland Department of Health last week. From January through September 2016, compared to the same period in 2017, intoxication fatalities are down 20-percent in Somerset County, 42-percent in Worcester County, and 32-percent in Wicomico County. The drop-off in the Tri-County region comes at a time when overall drug and alcohol related deaths in Maryland are on the rise.

Read more ...

Public Education to Combat Statewide Opioid Epidemic

 Baltimore, MD (January 26, 2018) — The Maryland Department of Health today announced two multi-media advertising campaigns to help raise awareness and combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Read more ...

Proposed legislation, increased bed capacity, more positions will mitigate decade-long issue and improve care

Baltimore, MD (January 23, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Health today announced proposed departmental legislation, as well as administrative actions, to address longstanding systemic issues involving court-ordered placements for individuals requiring mental health treatment. The Department has worked diligently to reverse a nearly decade-long problem of backlogs for justice system-involved individuals who require court-ordered placement for mental illness treatment at its hospitals.

Read more ...

Directs Attorney General to File Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers; Announces Plans to Convert Former City Jail into a Secure Treatment Facility, Enhance Data Sharing Among First Responders, Strengthen Volume Dealer Law to Include Fentanyl

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford today unveiled a series of executive actions and proposed legislation to continue the administration’s aggressive fight against the heroin and opioid crisis. The governor also authorized the Attorney General to file suit against select opioid manufacturers and distributors on the grounds that they have misled the public and helped to create the addiction crisis gripping Maryland and the nation.

Read more ...

Baltimore, MD (December 7, 2017) – The 14th Annual Maryland Health Equity Conference, which focuses on needed coordination, collaboration, and available opportunities to address population health and health disparities in Maryland, was held today in Baltimore.

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program