Baltimore, MD – Governor Larry Hogan announced the nomination of Dennis R. Schrader as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health (MDH). Schrader has served as the Acting Secretary since December 2020, replacing Robert R. Neall, who retired. 

Dennis R. Schrader

Schrader previously served as Acting Health Secretary of the Department in 2017 and as Deputy Secretary for Healthcare Financing and Chief Operating Officer from January 2018 to December 2020. Schrader continues to manage the state’s hospital surge operations to ensure state hospitals do not exceed capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as statewide COVID-19 vaccination operations.

“I am honored and humbled that Governor Hogan has put forth my nomination to lead MDH during these challenging times,” said Schrader. “Clearly my primary focus continues to be steering MDH through the COVID-19 crisis and getting as many Marylanders vaccinated as possible. We remain committed to protecting the public health of all Marylanders.”

Schrader’s career spans almost five decades and includes service as a U.S. Navy Captain and duties at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. His prior appointments include Deputy Administrator of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and Director of the Maryland Office of Homeland Security, focusing on emergency response and recovery, including biological incidents. In the private sector, he spent 16 years at the University of Maryland Medical System, focusing on major project development and hospital operations.  

In addition to the nomination of Schrader, MDH announced the appointment of Atif Chaudhry as MDH Deputy Secretary of Operations. Chaudhry previously served as the Acting Deputy Secretary of Operations since August 2020, and the administration’s Director of the Office of Facilities Management and Development since 2017. 

The Deputy Secretary of Operations oversees the MDH Hospital System, Office of Facilities Management and Development, Office of Preparedness and Response, Office of Safety and Secured Transport, and Office of Procurement and Support Services. Chaudhry replaces Gregg Todd, who left the department in 2020.

“I look forward to the ongoing challenge of supporting the Department’s operational and logistical COVID-19 response,” said Chaudhry. “We have all been tested beyond anything we could have imagined during the past year, but I am honored to be given the opportunity to continue serving the residents of Maryland in this critical mission.”  


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