Healthy Harford, a nonprofit that inspires and empowers healthy people, healthy families and healthy communities, has appointed Sharon M. Lipford as executive director. She began her new position July 1.
Healthy Harford was founded in 1993 by community leaders from the Harford County Health Department, Harford County Government and University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, with a goal of making Harford County the healthiest community in Maryland.
Lipford most recently served as deputy director of the Department of Community Services for Harford County Government, where she was responsible for strategic planning and the administration of the department’s budget. She provided oversight leadership for six divisions: aging, behavioral health, citizen services, community development, drug and alcohol prevention and human relations. Lipford is also the chair of the Harford County Health Department Local Health Improvement Coalition-Behavioral Health Committee and serves on the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Negotiation Team and Critical Incident Stress Management Team as the mental health professional.
Prior to her work for the Department of Community Services, Lipford was executive director of the Office on Mental Health/Core Service Agency of Harford County, overseeing the public mental health system. In addition, she has worked for the Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections; Baltimore County Health Department’s Core Service Agency; and Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc.
“Sharon brings more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit executive leadership and is knowledgeable in the management of complex systems such as aging, disability, behavioral health, homeless and criminal justice services,” said Lyle Sheldon, president of Healthy Harford. “We know that she will be a great advocate as we embark on this new journey to inspire and empower healthy people, healthy families and healthy communities in Harford County.”
In her new position, Lipford will provide direction, oversight and evaluation for all collaborations, partnerships, committees, services, programs and initiatives associated with Healthy Harford.
Lipford holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She is a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical.
Lipford serves on numerous advisory councils and boards for system development, collaboration and integration. Her professional affiliations include being a field instructor/liaison for the University of Maryland School of Social Work. In addition, she is a graduate of the Harford Leadership Academy and has served on its board of directors; received expert trainer status from the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Academy; and is a member of the Women’s Giving Circle of Harford County.
She is widely published. Lipford has received several awards for excellence including two awards this year: On Our Own of Maryland Distinguished Service Award and recognition from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for Critical Incident Response at Cedar Lane.
About Healthy Harford
Healthy Harford is the Healthy Communities Initiative of Harford County. A nonprofit 501c3, Healthy Harford is a coalition of local government agencies, businesses, nonprofits and citizens dedicated to improving the health of Harford County residents.
Founded in 1993 by community leaders from the Harford County Health Department, Harford County Government and Upper Chesapeake Health, Healthy Harford’s sole vision is to make Harford County the healthiest community in Maryland.
About University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
In December 2013, Upper Chesapeake Health became University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. It consists of the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center in Bel Air and the University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. The leading health care system and largest private employer in Harford County, UM Upper Chesapeake Health offers a broad range of health care services, technology and facilities to the residents of northeastern Maryland. Visit www.umuch.org for more information.