Dr. Joshua Sharfstein is stepping down as Maryland's top health official to take a position with Johns Hopkins University.
His departure at the start of next year will coincide with the end of Gov. Martin O'Malley's second term in office. Sharfstein has served as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since 2011.
Sharfstein, a pediatrician, brought a strong public health emphasis to the post, including efforts to reduce substance abuse and lower infant deaths. In January, Maryland became the first state in the country to accept caps on hospital payments by Medicare and Medicaid.