Featured Advisory Council Member
Dr. Michael Mendoza
In addition to his role as the Commissioner of Public Health for Monroe County, Dr. Michael Mendoza serves on the advisory council for the MPH program. Even as he approaches a variety of public health challenges while interacting with people across the community, he supports the growth of the public health program at Fisher while maximizing external partnerships for student success.
Since the public health field is rapidly changing, Dr. Mendoza advises students to “not plan too far in advance.” The COVID-19 pandemic elevated the field, and Dr. Mendoza suggests that aspiring public health practitioners understand the importance of communication.
“Communication has always been at the heart of public health work—with the community, colleagues, or policymakers—whether it’s about data, stories, or research findings. All of this has always been challenging, and the pandemic has added on top of this the challenge of communicating about risk and uncertainty with a polarized public.”
Now, more than ever, health and medical professionals must be prepared to engage a variety of stakeholders to truly influence health outcomes. “Much of what determines the health of a population is not easily addressed from within the walls of traditional health and clinical settings,” says Dr. Mendoza.
The MPH program at Fisher can prepare students to work on complex problems for their communities, and Dr. Mendoza says “the MPH is the first step in a career that inherently involves lifelong learning.”