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Bissonnette announces Health Director

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

CHICOPEE A veteran of the city's Health Department has been named as its new director.

On Friday Mayor Michael Bissonnette formally announce the appointment of Lisa Sanders as the new department head.

"She's professional, she's competent and she will make sure the Board of Health gets the job done for the city of Chicopee," Bissonnette said.

Bissonnette added that Sanders is "breaking a lot of barriers." She is the first African American and the first woman to head a city department.

Health Commissioner Frank Boran said Sanders was one of three candidates for the position.

"She is a great addition to the health department as its director," he said.

Sanders is a Chicopee resident, a native of Springfield and a graduate of American International College with a degree in biochemistry. She has been working for the city since 1996 when she was hired as a laboratory technician at the wastewater treatment plant.

In 1997, she became a registered sanitarian and began her career at the health department. She performed restaurant, pool and camp inspections among other duties.

In February of this year, she was named as the acting director of the department.

Sanders said that she hopes to work closer with Elms College to establish greater ties with the college's nursing program and that she will work on the city's emergency preparedness plan.

The Department's day to day responsibilities include inspections of the 350 entities that hold a license to serve food, she said. Each of those stores, restaurants or schools are inspected twice a year and the Department schedules up to 60 inspections each month. Problem spots receive inspections every two months, she added.