In 25 years in human services, Corinda Crossdale has served in Republican and Democratic administrations, overseeing programs for children and the elderly and people with chronic conditions.
Helping people, she said, is apolitical.
“If you’re homeless, you’re not thinking if your provider is a Democrat or a Republican,” she said. “You’re thinking about finding stable housing for your family, getting basic needs met.”
Crossdale, who most recently served as Commissioner of the Department of Human Services under Republican County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, has been named Deputy County Executive for Health and Human Services by incoming Democratic County Executive Adam Bello.
Crossdale, 51, said Bello wanted to focus on children and family services. She said he approached her about the newly created position, part of a fundamental restructuring of the county executive’s office.
Crossdale will oversee the operations of health and human services. “This will ensure the organizational structure reflects my commitment to making an impact on the most critical issues we face – from the opioid crisis to (Child Protective Services) and Early Intervention – and to delivering a responsive government to the community we serve,” Bello wrote in a news release announcing his first group of appointments.
In addition to Crossdale’s position, Bello announced these senior-level appointments:
- Jeffery McCann, Deputy County Executive;
- John Bringewatt, Monroe County Attorney;
- Laura Smith, Chief Deputy County Attorney;
- Patrick Meredith, director of Parks Department;
- Andrea Guzzetta, director of Human Resources Department;
- Joanne Giuffrida, deputy director, Human Resources Department;
- Amy Grower, chief of staff
Crossdale had served as head of the state Office of Aging until she returned to Monroe County in 2016. She said the creation what is essentially a cabinet-level position to Bello provides a direct link to the new county executive. She said the new county executive also seeks diversity.
“I think it brings a different lens and a a different perspective to the conversation,” she said. “You have such a diverse population in Monroe County.”
She said the inclusiveness is an opportunity for new voices to be heard. “It’s an opportunity to do something different and really change the dynamics of Monroe County with some longstanding issues we now we have an opportunity to address.”
Crossdale cited having an opportunity to affect poverty. “It’s coming at a great time because the economy as a whole is better. This will help lift some of our families out of poverty. And making sure that folks who may not have had access to opportunities in the past now have those opportunities to access … to education, to employment, to training.”
As commissioner of human services, Crossdale oversaw the Office of Mental Health. The office collaborated with the Department of Public Health to teach people how to use Narcan, a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose.
Deaths appear to be down from previous years, with 80 fatalities in the first six months of 2019, according to data relayed by the health department from the Office of the Medical Examiner. Full year data for 2019 will not be available for a few months. Unofficial data collected by law enforcement shows that from January through November 2019, depending on the month, Hispanics made up from 5% to 26% percent of deaths and African-Americans made up from 5% to 14% percent of deaths.
Crossdale said that the addictions expert would fall under her office.
Bello in November named a transition team to come up with a collective vision for county government and recommendations for his administration. The report hasn’t been delivered. Resumes still are being accepted from people interested in jobs in county government. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.