New health inspector aims to make a difference

Nov 4, 2023

From cooking in a kitchen to coordinating an emergency room, Samantha Monast has explored her passions for both the culinary arts and health sciences.

Now, Monast will draw from those experiences to fulfill her dream to work in both fields as Wareham’s newest health inspector.

Monast, a Rochester resident living on the border of town, studied culinary during her time at Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School and also earned a business degree from Quincy College.

In college, Monast worked in the kitchen at Beth Israel Hospital in Plymouth and following graduation, she became an emergency room coordinator.

Monast said although she loves being in the kitchen, she disliked being a cook, so she began to consider other options.

She said she always admired the work of the health inspectors who would come and go from the kitchens she’s worked in and decided to pursue it.

“Between the culinary background, and then the ER background, which is health related, I just fell right into it,” she said. 

Monast later became secretary of Wareham’s Board of Health, as the health inspector position was unavailable, and she would sometimes assist the health inspector.

She said, “I was watching the other health inspector and I was like, ‘I just love what he does.’”

She added, “He's out and about helping the community. He's talking to people and I was like, I want to be out and about talking to people, helping and making a difference — not sitting in an office.”

Monast said she has completed a dozen public health courses and has been doing some additional training leading up to starting the job.

As health inspector, Monast will be inspecting food establishments, rentals and any sort of health complaint that arises. 

In addition, she will conduct the summer beach sampling to check the bacteria levels of the water — this is the part of the job Monast said she is most looking forward to. She said this was one of tasks she would assist the other health inspector with and she loved being on the beach. 

As a 24-year-old woman, Monast said she believes it might be a challenge from time to time to ensure she receives respect in a male-dominated field, where she will be going into establishments with owners and workers who are older and more experienced.

However, she said, “I’m just excited to get out there, help the community and make a difference. It's really what I want to do.”

Monast is a lover of health professionally and personally. As she put it, she is “somewhat of a health freak.”

She said she loves going to the gym and eating healthy.

When not getting her cheat meal — a broccoli and cheese pizza from Marc Anthony’s — or walking her chocolate lab Bailey, Monast said she can be found running 5ks and marathons.

Monast said she and her boyfriend have completed four 5ks this past summer, including one in Worcester fundraising money for their friend who passed away and became an organ donor.

She said she especially likes the races that are for a good cause, but her favorite one is the Spartan Race, which includes running, obstacles and, of course, mud.