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Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County health commissioner since 2014, to leave county government

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta discussing ways to deal with the coronavirus during a briefing held Wednesday in the office of Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. As of now, Onondaga County doesn’t have any cases of the coronavirus. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Dr. Indu Gupta, who has served as the Onondaga County health commissioner since 2014 and helped guide the county through the coronavirus pandemic, will leave county government this summer.

Dr. Gupta’s last day will be July 1, and Onondaga County says it will conduct a nationwide search to find its new health commissioner, per a Wednesday announcement.

“It’s sweet because there’s nobody who has earned the right to start that next chapter of their life more than Indu Gupta,” Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said in a mid-afternoon press conference about Gupta’s pending departure. “Dr. Gupta, from the beginning of the pandemic, was meeting with me, my deputy commissioner, my commissioner of emergency management regularly throughout every day. We worked countless hours together. We dealt with things that most people who will ever live in these roles will never deal with. It’s been a long pandemic and I’m happy for Dr. Gupta and whatever comes next for the next chapter of her life.”


McMahon also noted that Gupta didn’t join him to speak with the media because it’s an “emotional day” for Gupta, having informed her senior staff of the decision earlier in the day.

“She has put her heart and soul into this position,” he added, noting that she’ll share public comments in the near future.

For the last seven and a half years, Dr. Gupta has led the Onondaga Health Department through “several public health crises” and secured the department’s first accreditation from the National Public Health Accreditation Board, per Onondaga County’s announcement.

“Onondaga County has been incredibly lucky to have had the leadership and guidance of Dr. Gupta for the last seven and a half years,” McMahon said. “She has served as a trusted advisor, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am eternally grateful for her service.”

McMahon went on to say that Dr. Gupta has “admirably led” one of the biggest departments in county government and “leaves big shoes to fill,” but McMahon says he knows the county will always be able to rely on her for her advice and counsel.

Onondaga County says Dr. Gupta’s accomplishments includes two brand new public-health programs to address the opioid crisis and a tri-county tobacco-prevention program, along with securing recurring funding for the programs.

Dr. Gupta made “every decision with a focus on the overall mission of the Health Department which is to improve and protect the health of our community in collaboration with community partners to address and improve the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of the community,” per the Onondaga County statement.

Along the way, Dr. Gupta also became president of the New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO). Under her leadership, NYSACHO secured increased reimbursement for Article 6 public-health programs in the state budget “which will result in savings of local dollars.”

“In partnership and collaboration with our many partners in the health field, we will begin a nationwide search to find our next health commissioner. Dr. Gupta leaves an incredibly strong and robust health department and I am forever thankful for her service and commitment to our community,” McMahon said.


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