Health Commissioner resigns over principles: Matt's Memo

Dr. Cynthia Morrow.

She has calmly and wisely held the collective hand of our community as she walked us through a range of public health problems that stretch from Shigellosis to Listeria, HIV/Aids to Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Over the last nine years Dr. Cynthia Morrow effectively communicated the importance of washing hands, wearing condoms and getting vaccinated for the flu.

She explained why some of our favorite dining sports were having problems with food borne illnesses. Hinderwadels survived a scare with Campylobacter. Her guidance helped Twin Trees survive a food poisoning scare. The Plainville Restaurant closed its doors when Salmonella was too much to overcome.

Dr. Morrow guided Onondaga County through the H1N1 scare and a concern about hepatitis in a high school. She explained the dangers of a spread of Whooping Cough and stressed the importance of child health programs for children under two and mothers in impoverished neighborhoods.

In fact, it was controversy over who should oversee health programs for the Maternal and Child Health division that led to Dr. Morrow handing her resignation to County Executive Joanie Mahoney. Dr. Morrow could no longer operate as the head of the Health Department knowing that this critical area was being moved into the Department of Social Services.

The County Executive is allowing Morrow to leave instead of conceding to the Doctor's wishes about retaining the current organizational structure. She will be hard pressed to find a better advocate for improved public health or a better communicator of the concerns our community faces.

Dr. Morrow says she hopes to find a new way to serve Central New York. Our region will be better off if we can keep her in our backyard.


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