County names new public health director

JOHNSTOWN – A New York City woman has been named Fulton County’s new public health director.

Dr. Irina Gelman of Brooklyn will replace Denise Frederick, who retired.

The Board of Supervisors last week appointed Gelman to the $77,000 per year position. She was chosen from a field of more than 25 candidates, based on her knowledge of medical practices and her academic background in public health, Administrative Officer Jon Stead said today in a news release.

Gelman most recently served as chief resident of podiatric medicine at Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn. Prior to her medical school training, she served as a public health program director for Early Care in Brooklyn, an early intervention program service provider. In addition to her doctor of podiatric medicine degree, she has a master’s degree in public health from NOVA Southeastern University and she is pursuing finalization of a Ph.D in public health, the news release said.

“She demonstrated her knowledge in the medical field and a strong desire to introduce new initiatives,” board Chairman William Waldron, who represents Johnstown’s fourth ward, said in the release. “Her ideas for improving public health services in rural areas particularly impressed the board.”

Human Services Committee Chairman Joseph DiGiacomo, the Broadalbin supervisor, stated in the release: “Dr. Gelman took a keen interest in our community and explained her ideas for the future. She clearly is someone with high energy and I think she’ll make a real impact in our community.”

The release says Gelman’s salary will be advancing to $80,000 after one year of satisfactory service. She will be relocating to Fulton County with her family and is expected to begin her new duties about Jan. 7, the release said.