2013 Mangold Award Recipient: Capt Michael E. Herring, MPH, REHS, United States Public Health Service
NEHA is proud to present the 2013 Walter S. Mangold Award, its highest honor, to Captain Michael E. Herring, MPH, REHS. CAPT Herring has exhibited the highest levels of dedication, leadership, professionalism, and expertise that mark all aspects of his environmental health career spanning over three decades. He earned his BS degree in environmental health in 1980 from East Carolina University (ECU) under the mentoring guidance of Dr. Trenton G. Davis (1985 Mangold winner) and Dr. F. Oris Blackwell (1989 Mangold winner).
After graduating from ECU, CAPT Herring began his professional career in 1980 as a sanitarian with the Durham County Health Department in North Carolina. As a result of his hard work and leadership potential, CAPT Herring was promoted to environmental health supervisor in 1983. At the age of 24, he was the youngest environmental health supervisor in North Carolina and was running one of the most advanced environmental health programs in the state. In 1986, he was selected as Sanitarian of the Year for the North Central Environmental Health District of North Carolina. While at Durham County, he served in numerous leadership roles in district and state public health and environmental health associations and was regularly called upon to lead important environmental health initiatives impacting the health of North Carolina citizens.
In the fall of 1988, CAPT Herring accepted a commission as an environmental health officer with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and departed for his first assignment in Fairbanks, Alaska. He served as chief of the Office of Environmental Health for the Tanana Chief Conference, Inc., and district environmental health specialist for the Interior Alaska Service Unit and North Slope Service Unit, which provided health care and other services to 50 Alaska Native villages. At the end of his four-year tenure in Alaska, his program had nearly tripled in size and was providing higher quality and quantity of services than ever before. CAPT Herring was selected as the Environmental Health Specialist of the Year for the Alaska Area Native Health Service in 1989. He took on a leadership role in reestablishing the Alaska Environmental Health Association (AEHA) and was elected AEHA president in 1991.
CAPT Herring earned an MPH degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (San Antonio campus) in 1993. After graduation, he was assigned to a dual position with the Environmental Management Branch of Indian Health Service (IHS) Headquarters West and the Albuquerque Area Office of IHS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He led the efforts for a major revision of the IHS Handbook of Environmental Health, a detailed technical guide for IHS environmental health professionals that is used by other federal agencies and organizations. He served as coordinator of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/IHS Longitudinal Study of Hantavirus in the Desert Southwest for the Albuquerque Area of IHS. CAPT Herring led a team that conducted monthly field studies of rodents in a tribal region of New Mexico that had been impacted by a deadly hantavirus outbreak. The study provided critical information that enhanced our current understanding of hantavirus and the role of rodents as vectors of hantavirus.
In 1995, CAPT Herring reported to the U.S. Coast Guard Support Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to serve as chief of the Environmental Compliance Division. He was responsible for management of the largest environmental compliance program in the U.S. Coast Guard. His efforts elevated the status of the Support Center to one of the nation's pioneer sites for the development of new hazardous waste site remediation technologies. His program received numerous prestigious national and state environmental awards during his tenure including two White House Closing the Circle Awards, two North Carolina Governor's Awards for Excellence in Waste Reduction, four Coast Guard National Pollution Prevention Awards, and the Department of Transportation Environmental Excellence Award. …