ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan announced that he has named Robin Rickard to serve as executive director of the state’s Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC). Rickard, the center’s deputy director, has served as acting director since April, when Steve Schuh was named Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing and Medicaid for the Maryland Department of Health.
The Opioid Operational Command Center facilitates collaboration between state and local public health, human services, education, and public safety entities to reduce the harmful impacts of opioid addiction on Maryland communities.
“Here in Maryland, we have been shining a spotlight on the heroin and opioid crisis, which has become even more acute during the pandemic,” said Governor Hogan. “This is more than just a healthcare crisis, it is tearing apart families and communities. Robin has dedicated her career to solving these problems, and she is passionate about public service. At this critical moment in the fight against the opioid epidemic, we are fortunate to have Robin coordinating our frontline efforts to save lives.”
“I want to thank Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford for this amazing opportunity,” said Rickard. “I am honored to continue the great work of former Executive Director Steve Schuh. Anyone who knows me either personally or professionally knows that saving lives of individuals who suffer from substance use disorder has been a passion of mine for over a decade. I am looking forward to working with all of our state and local partners to take on a more aggressive approach in bringing our fatality numbers down. One life lost is too many.”
In addition, Marianne Gibson, the center’s director of planning and state partner coordinator, will succeed Rickard as deputy director.
About Robin Rickard. After Robin Rickard received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1999, she was immediately sworn in by the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State’s Attorney. Rickard prosecuted hundreds of cases from District and then Circuit Court.
In 2008, Rickard became involved with Anne Arundel County’s drug courts, and oversaw both the District and Circuit Drug Courts for the State’s Attorney’s Office while prosecuting drug distribution cases.
Rickard has worked closely with the Office of Problem Solving Courts, the Anne Arundel County Health Department, Parole and Probation, police departments, as well as local treatment providers. Additionally, she has worked closely with the AACO Safe Station Project, the Not My Child program, and served on the local Fatality Review Board.
Rickard has served as the Deputy Director and Chief of Staff of the Opioid Operational Command Center since March 2019.
About Marianne Gibson. Marianne Gibson joined the Opioid Operational Command Center in 2019, serving as director of planning and state partner coordinator.
In this role, Gibson led the development of the Inter-Agency Opioid Coordination Plan, the state’s strategic plan for responding to the opioid and overdose crisis. Prior to joining the OOCC, Gibson served as the behavioral health prevention administrator with the Howard County Health Department, where she managed the county’s primary-and-overdose-prevention programs, and as a program manager with the University of Maryland Baltimore, where she provided technical assistance and evaluation support to Maryland’s 24 local jurisdictions implementing a public health planning model to prevent consequences from substance use.
Gibson holds a B.A. in social work from Salisbury University and an M.S. in health science from Towson University.