Monroe County Executive Adam Bello Announces Reappointment of Dr. Michael Mendoza as Commissioner of Public Health

August 11th, 2022

Photo of Mendoza

Pending Legislative approval, Dr. Mendoza would serve a second six-year term leading the Monroe County Department of Public Health

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Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today announced the reappointment of Dr. Michael Mendoza for a second six-year term as the Monroe County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) Commissioner of Public Health.

“Throughout the greatest health crisis our community has seen in more than a century, Dr. Michael Mendoza has been a steadfast partner and leader as we focused on ensuring the health and safety of Monroe County residents,” said County Executive Bello. “With his help, my administration forged lasting, cooperative relationships throughout our healthcare systems, brought necessary care to our underserved residents and kept our residents educated and informed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to continuing our partnership as we take on the opioid epidemic, continue to make progress providing early intervention services and make MCDPH more accessible for all our residents.“

Dr. Mendoza is Monroe County’s 9th Commissioner of Public Health. He served as Interim MCDPH Commissioner from April 2016 through December 2016 and began a full-time, six-year term on January 1, 2017.

“It has been a privilege to serve as Commissioner of Public Health, and I want to thank County Executive Bello for the opportunity to continue in this role upon legislative approval,” said Dr. Mendoza. “When I became Commissioner, I did not anticipate our community would soon face a pandemic, particularly one as persistent as COVID-19. My team and I have learned so much from meeting this extraordinary public health challenge, and we have forged strong relationships throughout Monroe County. If there is a silver lining to the pandemic, it is our increased ability to handle every public health issue that comes our way.”

“Monroe County was so fortunate to have Dr. Mendoza serving as our Commissioner of Public Health, especially during these past few years of the overwhelming public health crisis,” said Dr. Theresa Green, president of the Monroe County Board of Health. “His consistent leadership, calming demeanor and commitment to following the science undoubtedly saved many lives and instilled a needed sense of calm during extreme chaos. He also understood the critical need to safely reopen businesses, get children back to school and help us all start living our lives again. I am so proud of the work Dr. Mendoza has done, and have no doubt that he will continue to excel in this position. It is my honor to support his reappointment.”

A Professor at the University of Rochester in the Departments of Family Medicine, Public Health Sciences and Nursing, Dr. Mendoza has focused on improving the overall health of County residents by strengthening the collaboration between clinical medicine and public health in Monroe County. He has a particular focus on addressing the disparities in health and health care.

Prior to 2016, Dr. Mendoza served as Medical Director for Highland Family Medicine, one of the largest medical training practices in the country.

He received his medical degree from the University of Chicago, his Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois, his Masters in Business Administration from the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester and his undergraduate degree in environmental studies from the University of Chicago. Dr. Mendoza is board certified in family medicine, continues to see patients as a primary care physician at Highland Family Medicine and continues to serve as a teaching physician at Highland Hospital. He also serves as the Chair of the Emerging Issues Committee of the New York State Association of County Health Officials, where he is on the forefront of evolving state-wide public health issues including the opioid crisis, violence and climate change.

During his tenure with the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Dr. Mendoza:

  • Led the department out of a long period of instability, after years of the department having no Commissioner or Interim Commissioners

  • Grew the department by nearly 15%, improving MCDPH’s efforts to prevent disease, promote healthy habits and improve our quality of life

  • Expanded mobile outreach offerings to provide services to Monroe County residents where they are, rather than requiring them to come to the Department

  • Oversaw the administration of more than 165,448 COVID-19 and Monkeypox vaccinations

  • Oversaw the administration of more than 74,000 other vaccinations to uninsured or underinsured individuals, including children in foster care and refugees

MCDPH provides a wide range of services including: caring for individuals and families dealing with substance use disorder; helping babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities grow; protecting people from natural and built hazards that threaten our health and safety; preventing the spread of potentially dangerous bacterial and viral infections; improving the health and well-being of women, their children and their families; administering immunizations, providing testing treatment and care for sexual health and tuberculosis patients; offering health and wellness education; public health emergency preparedness; and providing copies of Monroe County birth and death records.

Dr. Mendoza has recently received the following honors:

  • Friend of Education Award, School Administrators Association of Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region, 2021

  • Edward Mott Moore Physician of the Year Award, Monroe County Medical Society, 2021

  • New York State Commendation, Senator Jeremy Cooney, 2021

  • President’s Medal, St. John Fisher College, 2022

  • Citizen of the Year, Brighton Rotary, 2022

Dr. Mendoza’s reappointment is pending approval by the Monroe County Legislature.