Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

NEHA's 2001 Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition Atlanta Georgia

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

NEHA's 2001 Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition Atlanta Georgia

Article excerpt

Introduction

The 65th Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition (AEC) was held from June 28 to July 3, 2001, in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 1,500 people attended the educational sessions, exhibits, special tours, and networking events. While most of the attendees live and work in the United States, the AEC attracts international professionals as well. Of particular note this year were large contingents from Great Britain and Jamaica.

The conference received great reviews from attendees. The energy level was high at the 2001 AEC, with more activities and educational opportunities to choose from than ever before. Attendees lauded Atlanta, the entertainment, and the networking opportunities. As is usually the case, however, the educational offerings were the subject of the most praise. One attendee said of the educational sessions, "No conference can offer a higher quality or wider range of education experience." Another called the AEC an, "opportunity to learn from the best people working on the cutting edge." NEHA would like to thank all of the speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees for making the 65th NEHA AEC one of its best.

Opening Ceremony and Keynote Address

At the opening ceremony NEHA's outgoing president, Colonel (rtd.) Anthony C. Aiken, welcomed attendees to the conference. He expressed NEHAs interest in tapping into some of the Southern tradition and history that make Atlanta so unique and colorful. President-Elect Laura Studevant, R.S., offered an invocation and a call for environmental health professionals to serve as models for our children.

Several guests were introduced, including conference participants traveling from Canada, Mexico, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Jamaica (home of NEHA's newest affiliate). In addition, new NEHA members and first-time AEC attendees were acknowledged, as were participants from the American Association of Sanitarians, The generous contributions of our sponsors also were recognized.

Richard J. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., director of the National Center for Environmental Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offered a Conference Welcome and introduced his vision for the future of environmental health. His presentation focused on the "Three lnfs," the term he used to sum up the importance of infection, infrastructure, and in-filling. Dr. Jackson challenged the audience to bring environmental health concerns into the future of urban design and development; he stressed the need for environmental health professionals to be involved in planning water and transportation systems as well as community recreational spaces. To stress this point, he referred to the Pew Commission's recommendation that community infrastructure be improved to address environmental health concerns. On the subject of infectious disease management, he stressed the need for real-time data and technological integration. Jackson also mentioned distance-based learning and online epidemiological surveilla nce as indicators of the future in the environmental health field.

A brief awards presentation followed Jackson's presentation, after which NEHA President Aiken introduced the NEHA Endowment Foundation and encouraged all who were present to look into their hearts and pocketbooks to guarantee a successful launch of this new program. In a playful reference to a $3 million movie advance recently received by the upcoming keynote speaker, Richard Preston, Ph.D., Aiken suggested that Dr. Preston would surely like to be the first to make a donation to NEHAs Endowment Foundation. President Aiken then officially introduced Preston to the audience.

Preston is the author of two best-selling books that delve into the heart of environmental and public health. The Hot Zone, the book that introduced the world to the threat of the Ebola virus, was on the New York Times bestseller list for 42 weeks. His latest work, The Cobra Event, centers on the subject of biological terrorism, which has come to be recognized as the most significant security threat to our nation. …

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