Trumbull hires Director of Health to lead new department

Trumbull has hired a Director of Health, to lead the town’s new department, starting this summer.

First Selectman Tim Herbst announced last week that the town is hiring Rhonda Capuano, a Trumbull resident and former health professional with the city of Norwalk. Capuano served as a health education coordinator in Norwalk for 32 years, until 2009. She has since been director of the Dr. Robert E. Appleby School Based Health Centers.

Last December, The Town Council voted to leave the Trumbull Monroe Health District, essentially disbanding it. The proposal was put forward by Herbst who said the town having its own health department would lead to more local control and some savings. The new Trumbull Health Department will start July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year.

The town's job posting for the position in March said it pays $91,000 a year. Duties include overseeing the inspection of food service establishments, sub-surface sewerage water and wastewater systems, private and semi-private drinking water supplies, housing and commercial or industrial establishments to assure that town and state health codes are maintained and/or violations are corrected.

On Wed. May 13, the Trumbull Board of Health unanimously recommended Capuano to the First Selectman for appointment, according to a press release from the town.

“The Board of Health and I are excited to welcome Rhonda Capuano as our new Director of Health,” Herbst said in a release. “Rhonda’s thirty-year track record as a public health professional for the City of Norwalk makes her uniquely qualified to lead our department forward. Her educational background coupled with her public sector experience has developed the necessary skill set that will make our Department of Health accountable to our residents and responsive to our businesses.

“I have every confidence that Rhonda has the judgement, leadership, temperament and communication skills necessary to lead the Trumbull Health Department,” Herbst said.

Capuano will be working with the town and the Health Board to provide a seamless transition from the Trumbull Monroe Health District, Herbst said. Details of the location and hours of service for the new Health Department will be announced soon, according to the town.

Capuano holds a Master’s in public health from Southern Connecticut State University and has a BS in Community/School Health Education from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has led a number of school and community-based health centers and vaccination programs, according to the town. Capuano has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Southern Connecticut State University, teaching public health and wellness and is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Capuano and her husband are Trumbull residents. Her children attended the Trumbull Public Schools.

“I am very excited to have this opportunity to help launch the new Trumbull Health Department and look forward to providing outstanding public health service to the citizens of our community,” she said in the town release.