Commissioner of Public Health, Monroe County
Years in current role: 5
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the privilege and responsibility of serving Monroe County, providing education and guidance to help people and families lead a healthy life, and to support the development of systems and services that enhance public health.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the greatest challenge for many of us, and the same is true for myself and my team at the Health Department. My team has risen to the occasion, of working long hours amidst a constantly changing pandemic, and I am extremely grateful for their time and service.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the health care industry in the next 3-5 years?
How we emerge from this pandemic will be our legacy in health care. We have long needed a stronger and more integrated mental and behavioral health system, and if we do not set our sights on that in the wake of this pandemic it will be the greatest missed opportunity of our generation.
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
I am fortunate to serve a number of community organizations, but serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Willow Domestic Violence Center of Rochester has stood out for me as among my most meaningful commitments, especially during the pandemic. The last 20 months have been challenging for everyone, and this is especially true in homes and families that are impacted by domestic violence and threats to safety.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
On a professional level, I am eager to rebuild a more integrated health and public health system for this community, one that engages our community, nonprofit organizations, libraries, and educational institutions more fully in serving public health. On a personal level, I’m looking forward to a vacation!