Thirteenth Annual Food Operator’s Seminar Held – New Expo with Food Industry Vendors Helps Draw Record Crowd

Brewster, NY— A record crowd of nearly 200 attendees—chefs, caterers, owners, food establishment operators and other food industry representatives—were in attendance for the Thirteenth Annual Food Operator’s Seminar and Expo on April 23. For the first time, the event featured an expo with food industry vendors, displaying their products and services. The jam-packed event offered a “one-stop” opportunity for food operators to learn about the latest dining trends, enhance their business skills, and improve their bottom line. At the same time they were able to visit with vendors, see products first-hand and learn about the latest services available to make their facilities run as smoothly as possible.

“This event surpassed all expectations,” said Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, the Commissioner of Health. “We work year round with all our food operators, with this event we advanced those efforts to a higher level. Public health is about building community partnerships—it is fundamental to the way an accredited health department operates. As our public health sanitarian Shawn Rogan who oversees the PCDOH’s food industry program has said many times, ‘When our restaurants succeed, we all benefit,’ and I certainly agree.”

Shawn Rogan, who together with event coordinator Jane Meunier, oversees the Food Operators Seminar and Expo, thanked his colleagues for their ongoing success in changing Putnam’s food-licensing culture from one historically viewed as regulatory, to a more supportive relationship in which the goal is improving quality and problem solving.  “We have more in common with food operators than you might think. We are both service-based operations,” said Mr. Rogan. “This event helps us strengthen our working relationships and it is our residents who ultimately benefit.”

Vendors were not the only newcomers to the event. Public health professionals from health departments in the surrounding counties of Westchester, Orange and Dutchess County also attended. They were interested to see how the event was planned and to study how they might coordinate a similar event in their own county.

The event also offers an opportunity for the health department to recognize food establishments for lifetime achievement, distinguished performance and operational success in the past year. Health Inspectors Commendation Awards went to George Seitz at the Arch Restaurant and another to David Humphreys of Wandering Dave’s Fork in the Road, both in Brewster in the Town of Southeast.

The 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Joseph Iebba, from Nicola’s Italian Restaurant in Philipstown. The department’s highest and most stringent honor, the Commissioner’s Gold Award for operational excellence was presented to James and Patricia Turco who own and operate the Ice Cream Studio in Lake Carmel, Town of Kent.

Commissioner’s Gold Awards also were awarded to Patrick Rodia from the Carmel Central School District and Cathy Ashe from the Brewster Central School District. These awards recognized nine specific schools. Food service director at Mahopac High School Rob Campisi, from Aramark, won for the first time. The remaining eight were repeat winners: Matthew Paterson School, ten times; John F. Kennedy Elementary School, eight times; Kent Primary School, seven times; and George Fischer Middle School, 6 times. Carmel High School and Kent Elementary School both won for the fifth time. Brewster High School brought home the gold for the fourth time and Henry H. Wells Middle School won gold for the third time.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Putnam County Executive Odell Attends Putnam County Leadership Breakfast, Addresses Working Together With New York City

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the Putnam Business Council recently welcomed representatives from the New York City Department of City Planning at the Putnam County Leadership Breakfast on April 25th.

During her presentation, Carolyn Grossman Meagher of New York City Planning addressed several inequalities and the need for New York City to reach out to its neighboring communities to ensure that the entire Hudson Valley Region thrives.

Meagher is the Director of the new Regional Planning Division of New York City Planning. The Division was created with five objectives: to connect with regional governments and planning officials, to analyze, aggregate and disseminate regional data, to instill regionalism in Planning activities, to cultivate opportunities to cross-border collaboration, and to inform regional policy and capital priorities.

Odell said she was optimistic about this new Division.

“New York City has seen the most post-recession economic and job growth in our region,” Odell said. “while areas outside of New York City saw slower wage growth. I am looking forward to working with New York City Planning for the benefit of the entire Hudson Valley.”

Odell added that this partnership will be immensely valuable since there is a dramatically large population in the Hudson Valley that commute to jobs in New York City, as well as a smaller population that commute from New York City to the Hudson Valley.

Click here to see her presentation via PDF

Community Health Survey: You Talk, We Listen Department of Health and Putnam Hospital Request Public Input

BREWSTER, NY— The Putnam County Department of Health and Putnam Hospital Center  are asking residents to complete a brief community health survey known as the “community asset survey.” Residents are being asked what they think are the greatest strengths of the community and where the gaps exist so resources can be directed adequately to develop a healthier community. Over 200 people have expressed their views, but everyone who lives or works in Putnam County is encouraged to voice their opinions.

“Community health improvement is most successful when it is driven by direct community input” explains Commissioner of Health Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “This is why we encourage all community members to participate.” The health department and Putnam Hospital Center collaborate with public health partners to analyze resident feedback alongside an array of socio-economic factors. The result is an accurate community health assessment and subsequent Community Health Improvement Plan.

From start to finish, the survey has five, easy-to-answer questions that can be completed in five to ten minutes. Utilizing a wide-ranging list, the survey asks respondents to identify the county’s greatest strengths as well as to help pinpoint where the county should focus improvement efforts.  Dr. Nesheiwat reminds, “Community health is not defined by medical diagnoses alone. Crime levels, clean environment and transportation access all contribute to the overall health of a community.”

The quick and anonymous survey is on the homepage of the Putnam County website at www.putnamcountyny.com and will run until May 31. The direct link is: https://tinyurl.com/Community-Asset-Survey-2019. Putnam County businesses and other organizations that wish to ensure their employees’ opinions are counted can contact the health department at 845-808-1390 or are encouraged to email the survey link directly to their employees.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com ; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.