Cynthia Morrow Inaugural Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion

Cynthia Morrow
Cynthia Morrow Portrait

Dr. Cynthia B. Morrow, former commissioner of health for Onondaga County, has been appointed the inaugural Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion in the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. 

Morrow is a professor of practice in Maxwell’s Department of Public Administration and International Affairs and an assistant professor in SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities and Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Previously, she has served as director of preventive services for the Onondaga County Health Department, a primary care physician in private practice in Florida, and medical director and staff physician for the Guam Department of Health.

“The Center is fortunate to have recruited Dr. Cynthia Morrow, a hardy veteran practitioner of both global and local public health initiatives,” said Sidney Lerner, a Syracuse University alumnus whose gift funds the Center and the Chair. “Cynthia’s wisdom and years of hands-on work in the field will help drive SU’s unique talents to a leadership role in this golden age of bringing the public to public health.” Lerner, a former advertising executive, has dedicated himself since retirement to improving public health.

As Lerner Chair, Morrow will teach public health at the graduate level. She will also be involved in community projects sponsored by the Lerner Center, such as the work in Syracuse’s Near Westside that investigates the link between nutrition and health. The Center is also developing collaborative projects with two other Lerner Centers located at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University.

Morrow earned a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from Swarthmore College and a combined MD and MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina.

“I think it is really exciting to have the opportunity for me to grow my knowledge and skills in academia and apply it to what I’ve learned in real life public health,” said Morrow. “I plan to help the Lerner Center to grow more partnerships around public health promotion. Public health is everybody’s responsibility, not the responsibility of any single organization or agency, and I think that growing partnerships is the best way to have a collective impact on the public’s health.”

Since its establishment at SU in 2011, the Lerner Center has created and run the Healthy Monday Syracuse campaign, developed or collaborated on several public health initiatives, has sponsored four graduate-level Lerner Fellows, and continues to grow its staff and faculty. Its mission is to improve the health of the community through service, research, education, advocacy, and policy. It works together with citizens, students, and public health professionals to identify needs, develop programming, and deploy collaborative initiatives.

Read more about Dr. Morrow in the Syracuse University Magazine Winter 2015 edition.