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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Faces of Food Safety: Dr. Tempora Fisher, DVM - Protecting Public Health, Mentoring the Next Generation

Dr. Tempora Fisher speaking to meeting attendees as a member of a panel.Tempora Fisher is a Veterinary Medical Officer in the Office of Field Operations (OFO), working out of headquarters in Washington, D.C. Fisher works in the Recall Management and Technical Analysis Division (RMTAD), Domestic Operations Branch. RMTAD works with various FSIS program areas, industry and stakeholders to coordinate domestic and import food safety functions (e.g., recalls) in district offices across the United States. “My critical thinking and data-driven analyses used with the latest available scientific evidence and food production data with applications to statutes impact public health by ensuring a safe and wholesome national food supply,” Fisher said.

Veterinary medicine and public health have always been a lifelong interest for Fisher. Early on, she was a student trainee in the pediatric ward of a local hospital as a high school student and a laboratory animal veterinary medical student/assistant at M.S. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Fisher started her federal career in 2004 as a USDA 1890 National Scholar working in various program areas within FSIS, including the Office of Public Health Science (Eastern Laboratory) and in the Jackson District in a poultry processing plant. “Once I completed my Bachelors of Science in Agriculture at Southern University A&M College, and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Tuskegee University, I accepted a Veterinary Medical Officer position in headquarters. This position was a good fit for my background, interests, and experience,” Fisher said.

“I believe that one should always take the time to mentor upcoming professionals in their field, even if you are an upcoming professional yourself.”

Dr. Tempora Fisher

Fisher says that she enjoys the daily impact she has in protecting the food supply. “It is truly an honor to uphold my veterinary oath and serve and protect the public in this capacity,” Fisher said. She also states that she enjoys the people she works with. “Even though our staff is small, wework hard to successfully promote food safety,” Fisher said. “My job involves a lot of communication with people throughout government, industry, and academia, so I enjoy the collaboration that accompanies that aspect of my job. One of my favorite experiences was giving a presentation on the FSIS recall process to a Chinese delegation who expressed having walked away with a better understanding of the process as a whole,” she said.

In addition to her passion for public health, Fisher also has a passion for mentoring. Her message to her Agency colleagues is, “I believe that one should always take the time to mentor upcoming professionals in their field, even if you are an upcoming professional yourself. The success we come across in our personal and professional lives is due in part to someone taking the time to guide us through our everyday experiences. The Agency continues to make a huge impact in protecting public health through ensuring the safety of an ever-changing food system, and it will continue to do so by nurturing and sustaining talent,” she said.

Fisher feels that the i-Impact initiative is helping to build a stronger FSIS team. “When you understand your individual role and how it links together with that of your colleagues, the team flourishes. When the team flourishes, the overall purpose of the organization—protecting public health—is upheld. When an organization flourishes, the world feels its impact,” Fisher said.

In her time off, Fisher enjoys spending time with family and indulging in fine Creole cuisine from her home state of Louisiana. Fisher is also an accomplished musician whose most memorable instrumental and vocal performances have been with her family, who are also musicians, and with the church choir on a European gospel tour of France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

 

 

Last Modified Dec 05, 2016