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Bellone, Tomarken: Suffolk County Restaurant Inspector Selected for Prestigious Fellowship

Bellone, Tomarken: Suffolk County Restaurant Inspector Selected for Prestigious Fellowship

(Hauppauge, NY-July 29, 2014)  Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Commissioner of Health Service James Tomarken, MD, MPH, today congratulated Suffolk County Senior Public Health Sanitarian Lisa Potopsingh, who was one of ten applicants selected to participate in the Fellowship in Food Protection Program, a year-long program administered by the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI).

“We congratulate Lisa Potopsingh, who stood out from over 150 applicants nationwide and is one of only ten to be selected for this prestigious fellowship,” said County Executive Bellone. “This achievement is a testimony to Suffolk County’s outstanding public health protection program.”

The other nine members chosen to be among the Cohort of Fellows represent agencies from the states of Colorado, Oklahoma, Indiana, Florida, Louisiana, New York, Iowa, and Washington, and Chatham County in North Carolina.

The Fellowship in Food Protection Program is a year-long program that provides future regulatory leaders with an intensive professional development experience focused on critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills within the framework of food regulatory science, law and policy.

“Suffolk County’s highly trained food inspectors are also educators. They not only inspect food establishments but also educate food handlers on how to prevent foodborne illness” said Dr. Tomarken. “It is not surprising that one of our own would be selected for this prestigious fellowship.”

Lisa, who hails from Commack, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2006, joined the Department of Health Services as a food inspector the same year and was promoted to supervisor in 2013.

The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) is a leading food protection organization dedicated to protecting the world’s food supply. Established in 2009, IFPTI is dedicated to improving food safety by building training systems, providing regulation and standards-based curricula, and delivering training for U.S. and international public and private sector food safety professionals.

The program includes a series of three week-long sessions, two of which will be held at IFPTI’s global headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan and one to be held in Rockville, Maryland. The fellows will also complete research projects during the year and present their findings at the 2015 Association of Food and Drug Officials Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

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