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Editorial: Orleans should feel pride with 3 leading state-wide organizations

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 November 2018 at 12:32 pm

Orleans County with about 42,000 people is one of the smallest counties by population in the state. However, three residents – Chuck Nesbitt, Paul Pettit and Dr. Tom Madejski – are leading state-wide organizations after being picked for the posts by their peers.

Chuck Nesbitt

That’s a distinction Orleans County can take pride in. Although we are small in size we aren’t settling for second-rate leadership. In fact, three prestigious groups with membership from throughout the state are turning to Orleans residents for direction.

Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer, on Sept. 25 was elected president of the New York State Association of Counties, a bipartisan municipal association serving all 62 counties of New York State including the City of New York.

Nesbitt, an Albion resident, has also served as president of the New York State Association of County Administrators and Managers since 2008. He has been the county’s chief administrative officer since 2005.

He was called “an experienced and respected county leader,” by Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, the immediate past president of NYSAC. “He will be a tremendous asset to NYSAC during a time when the county voice must be included in state and federal policy decisions.”

As president of NYSAC, Nesbitt said will advocate for counties in Washington and Albany. Many state and federal policies have big impacts on local municipalities. Nesbitt wants NYSAC to track the impact of existing and new state mandates on counties and county taxpayers. Under this initiative, a “Mandate Monitor” will examine the impact of implementing the Raise the Age law and the ongoing impact of other state mandates that consume most or all of the property taxes collected at the county level.

Paul Pettit

Another county official is leading a state-wide association. Paul Pettit is the Public Health director for the Health Departments in Genesee and Orleans counties. He started on June 1 as president of the New York State Association of County Health Officials.

Pettit, an Albion resident, brings a voice for health departments from the rural counties. He has been praised for leading the collaboration among Orleans and Genesee, where the two counties share a director, and other staff and a combined Board of Health.

Pettit and Brenden Bedard, deputy director/director of Community Health Services for the two health departments, also have been picked for the third cohort of The Kresge Foundation’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health initiative.

Kresge’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health is designed to provide leaders with additional knowledge and skills to face the public health challenges in their communities. The initiative is designed to develop local public health leaders in pairs and each pair includes the health officer and a future leader from the public health agency.

Dr. Tom Madejski of Albion also has taken the reins of an influential state-wide organization this year. Madejski on March 24 was appointed president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.

Dr. Tom Madejski

Madejski works in Medina with General Physician, P.C., on Ohio Street. He is also president of the medical staff at Medina Memorial Hospital, as well as medical director of the Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation Center in Albion, and Absolut Care in Gasport.

As president of the Medical Society, Madejski oversees all the public health and legislative activities of the state’s principal professional organization for physicians and will work to protect and defend the rights of all patients in New York state.

During his 25-plus years with the Medical Society, Madejski has worked on a wide range of issues including: advocacy for HIV testing and treatment for newborns, electronic interchange of health data with privacy protections, reducing social ethnic and other healthcare disparities, and the opioid crisis in WNY and throughout the state.

Madejski and the Medical Society advocate for improved access and the betterment of health for our patients at both the state and federal levels.

We wish Nesbitt, Pettit and Madejski well during their tenure leading these organizations, and look forward to seeing what they bring back to the county from their experiences.

(In addition to these three, Scott Schmidt of Medina, the chief coroner for Orleans County, also has served as president the past nine years for the NYS Association of County Coroners & Medical Examiners.)


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