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Putnam County Department of Health

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A PHAB Accredited Health Department

The Putnam County Department of Health is made of several divisions all working towards improving and protecting the health of the community. Click on one of the options below to learn more about that division.

PCDOH Highlights Public Health Engineering with Staff Spotlight

29 February 2024

Earlier this month we took the opportunity to highlight the engineering division in the health department in honor of National Engineers Week. Each staff member contributes to the work of the division, led by Senior Public Health Engineer Joe Paravati, PE. Read more below to find out about Joe and the work he does here at the Putnam County Department of Health.

What is your favorite part of working at the health department?

One of my favorite parts is the good personal relationships that have developed over time with staff. And now that I am a supervisor, working closely with my A-1 staff. I also enjoy interactions with the engineers and contractors.

Is there a particularly rewarding experience you’d like to share?

Obtaining my Professional Engineer’s license in 2009. It was a very stressful experience, and there were times I thought I wouldn’t be able to succeed. When I did, it was extremely rewarding.

What does your day-to-day work look like?

Some of the day is supervision of staff and dealing with their issues and questions. I am also answering questions from the public, engineers, and contractors. Another portion of the day is reviewing large commercial projects, especially water systems.

What do you wish the public knew about your job?

How much work is involved in reviewing large projects, while at the same time providing good supervision to my staff.  This takes more time than people think and can be very stressful.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

From my father: Get a government job.

Former colleagues at my last job prior to coming to the health department were very encouraging to take the job here as well. When the job at PCDOH was posted, I was initially all in on leaving Badey and Watson P.C. The more I thought about it, I became hesitant to leave, and they pushed me to take the job at PCDOH.

What have been some of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout your career?

Learning how to manage my emotions when dealing with the public. Some situations can really test you and it is easy to lose your temper. I have come a long way in calming myself down during tense situations.

Also, keeping my personal issues from interfering with my job. Family issues can come up regularly, for both me and my staff.  Sometimes it’s tough just to get up and go to work. But realizing this happens to everyone, I have had to learn how to temper the personal issues while working.  It can still be a challenge.

One of the important tasks performed by Joe and the rest of the engineering division is to make sure septic systems are designed and functioning properly. This prevents pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen from making their way to waterbodies, lowering the chances of a blue-green algae bloom. More information about septic systems, wells, and other homeowner concerns can be found on our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health/environmental#Residents

Putnam County Office Building

40 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel, New York 10512

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