Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore is resigning to pursue other opportunities, she said in a letter to the Cincinnati Board of Health.
Moore’s resignation will be effective March 5. The city’s health commissioner position is appointed by the Cincinnati Board of Health, not the city manager.
In the letter, she thanked her department’s employees for their “tireless commitment to serving our residents” and applauded board members, city leadership and bargaining unions for their work in helping the department become accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board.
“As I stated on my first day, I was here to build and to collaborate, and I feel I have accomplished that,” Moore wrote in her letter. “I am very excited for what lies ahead for this great city and look forward to the progress ahead. I will continue to be an advocate for our most vulnerable populations to ensure equitable access to quality healthcare.”
“I am very excited for what lies ahead for this great city and look forward to the progress ahead. I will continue to be an advocate for our most vulnerable populations to ensure equitable access to quality healthcare,” she wrote.
The Cincinnati Board of Health will work with the city to form a search committee and conduct a national search for her replacement, board chair Dr. Edward Herzig said. Assistant Health Commissioner Domonic Hopson will become the interim health commissioner when Moore officially leaves, Herzig said.
Moore was hired by the Cincinnati Board of Health in August 2018. She came to Cincinnati from the city of St. Louis Department of Health, where she last served with praise as acting director.
Moore has been a mainstay of the city’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, working closely with then-mayor, John Cranley.
Mayor Aftab Pureval praised her for her work in a statement.
“Every resident of our city owes Dr. Moore a debt of gratitude. During a pandemic that rocked our city to its core, she provided the steady hand and the guidance we needed. And most importantly, her community involvement has been unlike any other,” Pureval said. “Coming to Cincinnati, she dove right in and ingrained herself in the fabric of our health network and communities who have for too long been overlooked.
“COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted our Black and Brown neighbors, and Dr. Moore worked tirelessly to combat this systemic challenge by prioritizing racial equity and making access to testing and treatment in our most vulnerable neighborhoods central to her mission.”
Moore was hired in 2018 and previously worked as St. Louis’ health commissioner. The health commissioner oversees hundreds of employees and 22 health centers.