Internationalism: The Opportunties Abound
Evans, Diane, Journal of Environmental Health
If you are reading this in September, I could be in England, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, or China, being a tourist or giving a presentation or observing environmental health practices in those parts of the world. The month of September will be the most international of my term as president. But even before then, I will have been out of the country on behalf of our association in July in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to be precise. In Canada, I will be representing NEHA at the annual conference of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspections. The annual conference of the Institution of Environmental Health Officers in Bournemouth, England, is one of the venues for September; the other is the third International Congress on Environmental Healt of the International Federation of Environmental Health, hosted by the Malaysia Association of Health Inspectors in Kuala Lumpur.
Who could have guessed seven years ago when NEHA and CIPHI first began talking about a joint conference in 1992 that such an explosion of "internationalism" would have occurred for NEHA and its members. What an opportunity for you and every other interested member to think and act globally!
If I sound enthusiastic, it's because I am. To show why I'm so enthusiastic, I'll give just a glimpse of all the ways NEHA is involved in international activities, and the opportunities that are opened to you to see and be involved beyond our borders.
Our relationship with the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors is the oldest of our international ties. NEHA and CIPHI have jointly hosted one conference (Winnipeg 1992), plan to hold a second (Chicago 1996), and are already exploring the possibility of a third (Vancouver 2000). In between joint conferences, Canadians attend our conferences and NEHA members visit theirs. NEHA and CIPHI offer discounted membership to the members of each other's association. By being a member of NEHA, you are eligible for a discounted membership in CIPHI. What an opportunity to network with our northern neighbors with whom we share not just a common border but also similar environmental health concerns (and NAFTA interests, of course).
What about our neighbors (and NAFTA partners) to the south? Since the environmental health profession is not as well-established in Mexico as it is i the United States and Canada, NEHA has not yet established a linkage to the south as we have to the north. A special International Relations Committee has been appointed and will be working this year and next, one of its tasks being t explore and make recommendations on how NEHA can create and maintain an association with persons and groups working in environmental health-related disciplines in Mexico. …