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Putnam County Department of Health

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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 Employee Spotlight: Alison Kaufman

30 April 2024

Alison Kaufman, DVM, MPH, is the Epidemiologist at the Putnam County Department of Health. Lucky for Putnam, she made her way here a few years ago after working at the health departments in Dutchess County and New York State. Continue reading for more about Dr. Kaufman and her career in Public Health.

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

I am a real infectious disease nerd, so my favorite thing is to learn about agents of disease and how they behave in the environment and in relation to their hosts. Then I love to share what I’ve learned and watch others go from thinking the science is too complicated or intimidating to thinking it’s really fascinating!

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

About a year ago we started developing an intervention to increase early childhood immunization coverage in Putnam County by working with County Pediatric providers to use tools available in the New York State Immunization Information System. It’s been really rewarding to see that intervention progress from an idea, to a bunch of protocols, to implementation with participating practices, and finally to visible improvements in practice vaccine coverage rates. It’s been a real team effort, and a very positive experience.

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

I have a few routine disease surveillance activities that I do on a weekly basis, but for the most part my days are variable depending on what project I am working on or what event I am responding to. One day I might be analyzing an outbreak, the next I might be writing a survey instrument, and the day after that I might be summarizing health indicators for the county.

What do you wish the public knew about your job?

I wish that the public knew that Public Health is a labor of love. I witnessed colleagues make incredible personal sacrifices without thinking twice during the pandemic. People come to public health from so many different disciplines where they could make more money, but they choose public health because they want to use their expertise to contribute to their community. I wish the public could see my fellow public health professionals the same way that I do.

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

A supervisor in my first job in public health told our division that problems are usually problems with systems, not problems with people, and I’ve never forgotten that. People get upset and frustrated when things don’t work well. Developing functional and efficient systems goes a long way not only to getting things done, but also to making people get along better while they are doing them.

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

I think the most important lesson I have learned is to be persistent. Public health is by definition an inter-disciplinary and highly collaborative endeavor. Working across disciplines and in collaboration with the community and other organizations is absolutely vital to making accurate assessments and developing effective solutions to problems, but it can be a slow process. I’m not patient by nature, but I’ve learned to be patient and not give up because persistence is rewarded with good results.

Dr. Kaufman’s background as a veterinarian before coming to Public Health gives her a unique perspective on the many ways public health can be impacted by environmental factors. She is also the resident tick expert in the health department, and recently spearheaded the effort to create a new website dedicated to ticks and tickborne disease prevention. Check it out at


Welcome Message

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health is to improve and protect the health of our community.

We strive to prevent the spread of disease, protect against environmental hazards, promote healthy lifestyles, ensure access to quality health services, and respond to disasters.

We encourage you to explore our website and contact us if you have any questions.

In the event of an emergency, Health Department staff are available 24/7. Please call 845-808-1390 to report a public health emergency, rabies exposure, communicable disease, water outage or sewer overflow.
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Contact the Department of Health

  • Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD

    Commissioner of Health

Putnam County Office Building

40 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel, New York 10512

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