Kick off 2013 with Exciting Workforce Development Opportunities

Article excerpt

Editor's Note: NEHA strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column from the Environmental Health Services Branch (EHSB) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.

In this column, EHSB and guest authors from across CDC will highlight a variety of concerns, opportunities, challenges, and successes that we all share in environmental public health. EHSB's objective is to strengthen the role of state, local, and national environmental health programs and professionals to anticipate, identify, and respond to adverse environmental exposures and the consequences of these exposures for human health. The services being developed through EHSB include access to topical, relevant, and scientific information; consultation; and assistance to environmental health specialists, sanitarians, and environmental health professionals and practitioners.

The conclusions in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC.

Elaine Curtiss is a former middle school teacher currently serving as a technical writer on the Model Aquatic Health Code and other projects within EHSB.

On behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Environmental Health Services Branch (EHSB), Happy New Year! January marks a new beginning--prompting people all over the world to make resolutions to improve their health, get organized, or learn a skill they've always wanted to master. Many professionals also start their progression by earning advanced educational degrees, working toward promotions, or improving or updating workplace systems. As an environmental public health professional, you already know that learning and developing do not end once you accept your diploma. Therefore, EHSB has developed several excellent learning opportunities--both online and in traditional classroom settings--to help you enhance your effect on environmental health and make 2013 the best year yet!

Environmental Public Health Online Courses

Whether you are a student preparing for certification/registration or a public health veteran needing continuing education credit, our environmental public health online courses are an excellent way to strengthen your practical environmental public health knowledge. This online, on-demand package of e-learning modules is a comprehensive and affordable workforce development resource for all environmental public health professionals. Better yet, NEHA will award Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian continuing education credit for each successfully completed module. Module topics run the gamut from general environmental health and food protection to vector control, drinking water, wastewater, and radiation exposures--certainly something for every environmental public health professional.

Environmental Assessments for Foodborne-Illness Outbreaks

Foodborne-illness outbreaks happen way too often, which means environmental public health professionals must be prepared. Therefore, knowledge and skills needed for outbreak investigations must be acquired. EHSB, through its Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net), is collaborating with its grantees, the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture, to improve this knowledge and skill set. These partners are developing another free e-learning course to allow users to conduct virtual foodborne-illness outbreak environmental assessments (FIOEAs). This self-paced, interactive course--presented in the context of a simulated virtual classroom--will teach foundational skills required to conduct a FIOEA. This course will include an overview of FIOEAs, introduce techniques to ensure effective interviewing, critical thinking skills, and demonstrate the importance of consulting with colleagues in epidemiology and in laboratory sciences. …