Saugus Director of Public Health Greenbaum resigns for “new challenge” at a former workplace
By Mark E. Vogler
After nearly three years on the job, the town’s Director of Public Health, David J. Greenbaum, announced he is resigning to return to Salem, the city he served before coming to Saugus.
“It wasn’t all about the money,” Greenbaum said in an interview after attending his final Board of Health meeting on Monday.
“It was the idea of working in a bigger department and the bigger challenges that come with it,” he told The Saugus Advocate.
“I worked there 12-plus years. I was senior inspector and I was acting health agent there for two years,” he said.
Greenbaum informed Saugus Board of Health members that Jan. 25 would be his final day of work for the town.
At Monday’s meeting, Board of Health Chair William Heffernan thanked Greenbaum for his service to the town. “You’ve been a pleasure to work with,” Heffernan said.
Greenbaum, whose hiring anniversary date would have been Feb. 22, called his employment with Saugus “a great experience.” “I enjoyed my time here,” said Greenbaum, who has about 20 years in the public health field.
“I’m just pleased with the work the board and I did together, protecting public health. I’m glad I came to Saugus. It was a great experience and I enjoyed working here. It was a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” he said.
Working with Wheelabrator
Greenbaum cited his ongoing dealings with Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. as his biggest challenge during his time working for the Town of Saugus. “Wheelabrator is a facility that takes a lot of time and effort. But it makes the job interesting,” he said.
In Saugus, Greenbaum headed up a three-person department that included a part-time public nurse and a part-time food inspector. In Salem, he will oversee a staff of seven, including three full-time inspectors and a full-time nurse. “It’s the challenge of a bigger city and a bigger department – and clearly, with some other things that were intriguing for me,” Greenbaum said.
His message to the Saugus Board of Health, as he leaves for Salem: “The only thing they have to stay on top of is Wheelabrator. It takes a lot of work.”
“Economic development is big, too. There’s a lot of economic development coming in town. There will be some development that will have pools – at the Hilltop and Essex Landing. There will be a number of food establishments coming into town,” Greenbaum said.
“To the people of Saugus, I thank you. It’s been an honor to serve as your public health director,” he said.
Greenbaum has also worked as a part-time health inspector for the Town of Reading, and as a compliance inspector for the North Shore Tobacco Control Program. He is a registered sanitarian. He also holds certifications in ServSafe and as a Servsafe instructor and proctor. Greenbaum holds a bachelor of science degree from Salem State College.
Several of Greenbaum’s accomplishments when he worked for the City of Salem include the update and amendment of the Salem Board of Health’s body art regulations, organization and scheduling of an annual household hazardous waste day, and overseeing the organization and implementation of several H1N1 flu clinics during the 2009 pandemic.
Search underway to replace Greenbaum
The Town of Saugus posted an ad last Friday to begin the search for Greenbaum’s replacement. “This position plans, coordinates, and directs the public health programs and activities of the Town,” the ad notes.
“Enforces public health laws and regulations. Reviews existing laws and regulations and works with governing bodies and policy-makers to update them as needed. Conducts enforcement activities. Coordinates notification of violations among other governmental agencies that enforce laws and regulations that protect the public’s health.
“Conducts inspections of residential and commercial properties in accordance with state and local public health laws and regulations. Jurisdiction includes, but is not limited to: housing, lead paint, food establishments, tobacco sales establishments, massage therapy establishments, septic haulers, rubbish haulers, swimming pools, summer camps, nuisances, and facilities that use or store hazardous materials.
“Issues various licenses and permits based on application review, site inspections, and evaluation of the issues involved. Prepares related reports and records.
“Applicants must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health or related field, with at least 3-5 years of supervisory Public Health inspection experience.”