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Governor Larry Hogan Announces New Health Secretary

Former State Senator, County Executive Robert R. Neall to Lead Department of Health, Dennis Schrader to Serve as Chief Operating Officer

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced the appointment of former Anne Arundel County Executive and State Senator Robert R. Neall as Secretary of the Department of Health. Neall will replace Secretary Dennis Schrader, who will continue to serve the department as Chief Operating Officer.

This announcement is in response to action by the Maryland Court of Appeals to stay a ruling by the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, which found that actions by the Maryland General Assembly and the State Treasurer to withhold payment from Secretary Schrader and former Planning Secretary Wendi Peters were unlawful. The ruling directed the Treasurer to immediately reinstate their salaries.

The Court of Appeals announced that it will delay hearing the case for another six months.

“The Circuit Court’s ruling was crystal clear – lawfully appointed public servants are legally entitled to a paycheck and the Maryland Constitution was violated when their pay was denied,” said Governor Hogan, “Due to the fact that Secretary Schrader had already been illegally denied pay for six months, allowing his compensation to be delayed for an additional six months was simply not an acceptable option.”

“I want to thank Secretary Schrader for his dedicated, unwavering, and incredible service to the citizens of Maryland, despite the unjust and appalling circumstances imposed on him,” said Governor Hogan. “During the most important health care debate in a generation, Secretary Schrader dedicated himself tirelessly to protecting Marylanders. I could not be more proud of the work he has done, and I am confident that he will continue to serve this state with distinction in his new role.”

“Bobby Neall is an extraordinary public servant, and I am confident that working together as a team, he and Dennis will continue to lead the department in a manner that always puts the needs of Maryland citizens first,” the governor continued.

An experienced public servant for more than 40 years, Neall has served as a senior advisor to the Hogan administration since 2016, focusing on agency efficiency improvements, greater accountability and performance benchmarks, and improved customer services throughout Maryland state government.

Previously, Neall served as the CEO of a Medicaid managed care company and has held various positions in the Johns Hopkins Health System, including director of finance, director of marketing, vice president for development and external affairs, and vice president of governmental relations. Neall served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates (1975-87), Anne Arundel County Executive (1990-94), and a member of the Maryland State Senate (1996-2003).

“I am proud to continue serving the people of Maryland in this new role and thank Governor Hogan for the opportunity,” said Neall. “I look forward to utilizing my extensive background in health care to continue the important work of the department, further our goal of improving the health status of every Maryland citizen, and helping to ensure access to quality health care.”

“It’s been a great honor to spend the past year transforming the Health department and working hard on behalf of Maryland citizens to ensure access to quality, affordable health care,” said Schrader. “In my new role, I look forward to continuing our mission, and working together with Secretary Bobby Neall to change Maryland for the better.”

Both of these appointments will take effect on January 9, 2018.



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