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Dawn Marie Prandi, REHS

Environmental Health Coordinator

Somerset County Department of Health

Somerville, NJ 08876

Biography

Dawn Marie Prandi is the Environmental Health Coordinator for the Somerset County Department of Health in Somerville, New Jersey. She joined the department in 2004 to oversee inspection and enforcement activity conducted pursuant to New Jersey’s County Environmental Health Act. Specific program responsibilities include the review of daily environmental field reports, issuance of enforcement documents to non-compliant entities, conducting settlement conferences, and ensuring the program remains consistent and compliant with the goals and procedures of the State Department of Environmental Protection. In conjunction with State and Local environmental health colleagues, she also plays a role in evaluating the environmental health needs and resources of the community and maintains liaisons with various agencies to ensure effective delivery of services.

 

Ms. Prandi holds a degree in Environmental Biology from Cook College, Rutgers University. She is also a New Jersey State-licensed Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS). She began her career in environmental public health in 2001 while working as the sole REHS in the State’s smallest local health department. The experience gave her broad exposure to a wide variety of public health issues and refined her interest in epidemiological investigations. Pursuing this interest, she was accepted in 2003 to attend the CDC’s Epi-Ready training, a pilot program to prepare local health investigators in Foodborne Outbreak Investigations. Ms. Prandi plans to pursue a graduate degree in Environmental Epidemiology in the near future.

Leadership Development Opportunities

Being a part of this Leadership Institute has been a tremendous catalyst for my personal and professional growth over the past year. The use of self-assessments, particularly the Skillscope 360, was invaluable. They say we are our own worst critics, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that many of my colleagues saw strengths in areas that I did not give myself credit for. Naturally, there was also plenty of room for improvement!  Fortunately, the mentors and leadership coaching available through EPHLI never disappointed, and I was able to meet many of the personal goals set forth in my Individual Development Plan.

 

Using Systems Thinking illustrated the benefits of developing strategic partnerships and finding key leverage points to tackle complex problems. The principles learned over the past year are being applied to my day-to-day tasks, and remain in the front of my mind when considering potential new projects. I'm also better able to see the 'big picture' of environmental public health throughout the nation, and how my job fits into that framework. These skills will be placed into immediate use later this year while implementing the PACE EH assessment tool within our Department. The EPHLI experience has surpassed all of my expectations and I am sincerely grateful to have been given this opportunity.