Division Organization

 Deputy Director, Environmental Health Nilsa Gonzalez

Nilsa Gonzalez is the Deputy Director of Environmental Health in HHSA’s Public Health Branch. In that role, Nilsa is responsible for 14 compliance and enforcement programs within the division, including Retail Food Inspection, Hazardous Materials, and the Emergency Response team. The division regulates over 5,000 businesses in Tulare County, necessitating that she work with business owners, cities, county, state, and federal partners, and community stakeholders. 
Serving Tulare County for over 17 years, Nilsa’s responsibilities also include the oversight of the Public Health Laboratory and the Public Health Preparedness Program (PHEP). Nilsa currently serves on the Tulare County Health Advisory Board and is a member of the California Environmental Health Association (CEHA) and the California Conference of Directors in Environmental Health (CCDEH), where she serves as the regional treasurer and secretary. 
Nilsa has a passion for community service and strongly believes in building relationships. A native of Tulare County, Nilsa holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental health and industrial hygiene from Cal State University, Fresno. 

Surveillance Supervisor Sonia Carranza Surveillance Supervisor, Sonia Carranza

Sonia Carranza began a career in Environmental Health in 2002 as Extra Help for reviewing well permits, conducting data collection for wells and conducting public pool and spa inspections. She went on to obtain and maintain certifications as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and as a Certified Lead Inspector Assessor.  She has served in various capacities conducting inspections of food facilities, pools, spas, employee housing, and sewage, trash, and vector complaints. She has conducted inspections of properties occupied by children who have lead poisoning. Currently, she serves as the Program Supervisor for the County and oversees Retail Food Program, Camps, Detention Facilities and co-supervises countywide complaint investigations and the Recreational Health Program.  Sonia currently participates on Central Valley Food Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC).

Dairy and Recreational Health Supervisor Cindy Prah Dairy and Recreational Health Supervisor, Cindy Prah

Cindy Prah has been employed by Tulare County Environmental Health Services Division for over 25 years. She maintains certification as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and as a Registered Dairy Inspector and has been active in the Dairy Program for the past 23 years. Currently, she serves as the Program Manager for the County Approved Milk Inspection Service (AMIS) which oversees dairy farms and soft serve facilities in both Tulare and Kings Counties. In addition, she co-supervises countywide complaint investigations and the Recreational Health Program.

Cindy is originally from Southern California and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Geology. She currently serves on local and state committees including the Tulare County Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Milk Inspection Advisory Committee. Formerly, she served as the Tulare County Representative for the Central Valley Food Committee.

Cindy enjoys volunteer work for philanthropic and other organizations such as the Visalia Breakfast Rotary and at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) annual International Aerospace Conference. 

 

CUPA Supervisor Joel Martens  CUPA Supervisor,  Joel Martens

Joel Martens began his career as an Environmental Health Specialist in 1987. He has supervised the CUPA for the County of Tulare for the past 14 years.

He currently serves on the CUPA Forum Board and is the Statewide Issue Coordinator for the Hazardous Materials Business Plan Technical Advisory Group (HMBP TAG), and Co-Chair of the Hazardous Materials Steering Committee (HMSC).

Martens is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and Registered Hazardous Substance Professional, and is certified as a Hazardous Materials Technician.

 

Integrated Waste and Land Use Supervisor Ken Bowers Integrated Waste and Land Use Supervisor, Ken Bowers

Ken oversees a team that encompasses many wide ranging programs in Environmental Health.  These programs include: water well construction, household hazardous waste, land use, integrated waste, body art, and the Local Enforcement Agency for solid waste.  Ken considers himself fortunate to work with a very talented group of individuals.  His environmental management philosophy is to protect public health in as business friendly a manner as possible given the limitations in regulation. 

Ken comes from humble beginnings and worked himself through school at California State University Fresno.