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Another deputy mayor leaves, this time for ECMC post

For the second time in four years, Mayor Byron W. Brown is losing one of his two deputy mayors.

Donna M. Brown is leaving the administration to fill a newly created job as a patient advocate at Erie County Medical Center.

"Donna Brown was an excellent member of my administration who brought great passion and dedication to every task she ever undertook," the mayor said Monday.

Donna Brown, no relation to the mayor, is the second deputy to leave the Brown administration since 2006. Her predecessor, Angela D. Joyner, a government administrator from Oakland, Calif., resigned for personal reasons after only four months in the job.

By all accounts, Brown is leaving her $95,004-a-year job willingly.

"I've heard there was a good relationship between her and the mayor," said Common Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr. of the North District, who is close to the mayor. "I've also heard she was recruited by ECMC, so it's not as if she was out looking for a new job."

As deputy mayor, Brown was given one of City Hall's toughest tasks, developing an anti-poverty strategy in a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the nation.

"At the end of the day," she said at the time of her appointment in 2008, "if we can help somebody achieve their goal and achieve their dream, then, to me, that's what I constitute as being successful."

Over the next two years, both Browns were faulted for an anti-poverty strategy that critics said took too long to develop and fell short in laying out a clear-cut agenda.

At ECMC, she will serve as director of patient satisfaction and cultural awareness, a new executive-level position created to improve patient services at the Buffalo hospital.

"Donna is a perfect fit," said Jody L. Lomeo, ECMC's chief executive officer, "because she'll have the clout to reach into all corners of our operation and collaborate with doctors, nurses and staff to create an atmosphere of patient appreciation and diversity that becomes a national standard."

Before coming to City Hall, Brown spent five years at LP Ciminelli, where she worked as the construction company's community liaison to the $1 billion Buffalo school-reconstruction program.

She previously worked at Kensington Bailey Neighborhood Housing Services and, before that, at HSBC Bank USA and the United Auto Workers-General Motors Human Resource Center. She received a bachelor's degree in business management from D'Youville College in 1983.

Brown's departure leaves First Deputy Mayor Steven M. Casey as the only remaining deputy mayor.

e-mail: pfairbanks@buffnews.com

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