New school/community medical advisor job created to meet state law

Dr. Andrew J. Carlson has been named to the position of community and school medical advisor, a new stipend position created to meet state law.

Mayor Ben Blake said the city didn’t need a medical advisor for many years because its health director was a medical doctor, which Blake said is relatively uncommon in the state.

Retired Health Director Dr. Andrew Dennis McBride had his medical degree, but the new health director, Deepa Joseph, who took his place this week, does not. Rather, Joseph has a masters degree in public health.

“The vast majority of municipalities in the state have a separate health department director and medical advisor,” Blake said.

Carlson will provide consulting services for the Board of Education and the city related to medical issues in the schools and community at large. Someone with a medical degree is required, for example, to provide oversight or authority when school nurses are required to administer medicine to school children, Blake said.

The new health director’s salary isn’t as high as McBride’s was because of the responsibilities that will now be handled by the new community and school medical advisor. McBride earned about $136,000, and Joseph’s salary will be about $115,000.

Carlson’s stipend will be $15,000, Blake said.

“This is really following the norm,” Blake added, saying that a public health director must hold a degree in public health but is not required to be a medical doctor.

School Supt. Dr. Elizabeth Feser was part of the process to select Carlson as the community and school medical advisor because most of his duties will be school related.

“Dr. Carlson will be a wonderful asset to the school system evidenced in his medical expertise, knowledge of the schools, and commitment to the youth in Milford,” Feser said.

A lifelong resident of Milford, Carlson graduated from Joseph A. Foran High School. He earned his undergraduate degree in biology, neurobiology and behavior from Cornell University and his medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Currently, Carlson serves as a managing partner at Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, P.C., where he provides pediatric primary care to his patients. He also is the school physician/consultant for Hopkins School in New Haven.

“Most notable is Dr. Carlson's commitment to this community through his involvement in coaching youth sports, as well as serving on various related committees,” city officials said in a press release.

“I am very honored to be working with the City of Milford and the Board of Education as their new medical advisor,” Carlson said. “As a Milford native, I have enjoyed helping some of my hometown parents keep their children healthy and look forward to expanding this role as I work with Mayor Blake, Ms. Joseph, the new director of health; Ms. Campbell, the director of nursing, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Feser, and the other excellent school health staff.”

Blake said, “Dr. Carlson is a well known physician in our community, and Milford is excited to work with him to ensure the medical administration of the city and the continued oversight of good health in our schools.”