Onondaga Co. Health Commissioner resigns amid dispute with County Executive

<font size="2">Dr. Cynthia Morrow</font>

Onondaga County's Health Commissioner has submitted her resignation over a dispute with the County Executive Joanie Mahoney.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Dr. Cynthia Morrow announced she was resigning because of Mahoney intention to remove certain programs from the jurisdiction of the Health Department. Those programs involve the department's Maternal and Child Health division which oversees WIC (Women's Infants and Children) and Healthy Start.

Morrow told reporters that Mahoney wants those programs to be administered by the Department of Children and Family Services. "I support the idea of improved coordination of services, however I strongly believe that Maternal and Child Health is a core public health function and is best supported and thrives best in a public health model. For those reasons we have to agree to disagree and that is the reason I submitted my resignation." Morrow said.

Mahoney's office has appointed Michelle Mignano as interim Health Commissioner. Morrow says she will stay on for the next several weeks to help with the transition. "This is not about right or wrong, it's about differences in how to accomplish that... and I just have a very different vision."

In announcing Morrow's resignation, County Executive Joanie Mahoney put out a statement. "Onondaga County is fortunate to have strong legacy of capable Health Commissioners and Dr. Morrow has served County residents admirably."

Dr. Morrow has served as Onondaga County's Health Commissioner for the past nine years.