Mattapoisett’s new Board of Health Agent, Kayla Davis, said she is “excited and eager” to not only sustain the busy department’s programs and services, but also to help the community in understanding the many roles the Board of Health ensures regulations are being met.
Davis is a Wareham native, and until recently, was the Bourne Health Inspector. When the director’s job was posted for Mattapoisett, Davis sought the position and, at age 24, said she may be the youngest health agent in the state. That aside, her credentials are many.
Davis holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health from Rivier University in Nashua, New Hampshire. She said she began her education in nursing but along the way found that she could serve many more people if she pursued public service. After researching municipal public health, she changed majors.
Considering that the role of the Board of Health agent covers an expansive list of areas of responsibility, including everything from trash and recycling collection to inspecting restaurants and residences, emergency preparedness and septic systems to name a few, certification in specialized areas is mandatory.
Davis has completed a number of courses securing certifications in first aid, OSHA standards, soil evaluations, recreational pools and Serve Safe. She has also completed certifications provided by FEMA, training in housing inspections by the Massachusetts Public Health, and Public Health Institute certifications in, bed bugs, hoarding, mold, tanning facilities, food safety for food establishments and food protection programs.
Davis said that given the current concerns over the spread of viruses, Mattapoisett’s response team is ready. She said that the public health nurse Amanda Stone has provided expert guidance and assistance for some time and has been instrumental in helping her during these first few weeks on the job. She briefly explained that a network approach from private physicians to hospital protocols coupled with public health staff is in place, should someone be diagnosed with a dangerous communicable pathogen.
For Mattapoisett, having a new Board of Health agent after 30 years is a big change, Davis acknowledged. She credited an active and involved Board of Health team for not only helping her but in preserving the town’s overall health and well-being. That team is comprised of Ken Dawicki, Russell Bailey, and Carmelo Nicolosi.
As the summer season emerges from the winter gloom, Davis will be tasked with ensuring that the town’s beaches are safe for swimming, that rental units meet code, and that restaurants and eateries are clean and serving food stored appropriately.
On the issue of trash and recycling, Davis said that the town has done a good job educating the residents about the right materials to recycle but that the global issue is far from resolved.
Over at the transfer station located at the end of Tinkham Hill Road, Davis said that new scales will help in collecting the right fees. She noted that the new equipment should generate additional revenue for the town.
While she confided that becoming a public servant in the role of board of health agent “…isn’t that popular,” for her it was the right fit. “It really spoke to me.”
Davis can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Mattapoisett Board of Health
By Marilou Newell