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Oregon Environmental Health Association


OEHA presents a number of awards and recognition at the Annual Membership Meeting.

Read about them below.


President's Roster for Outstanding Leadership

This recognition is given to outgoing OEHA Presidents.


Sanitarian of the Year

This award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of Environmental Health.



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The Clarence Sherman OEHA Legislative Award

This award is given in recognition of outstanding legislative achievement in the areas of Environmental and Public Health.


Clarence Sherman was born in Atchison, Kansas in 1916. He enlisted in the Navy in 1934. During his 20 years active service and 10 years Naval Reserve service he was stationed at six different Navy hospitals, on five ships and six Navy stations. He was used to help establish and equip hospitals and medical facilities aboard ships and Naval stations. He enlisted as a hospital apprentice and retired as a Warrant Officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps.

After his Navy retirement he worked for both Marion and Polk County Health Departments in Oregon as Director of Environmental Health Services for over 25 years. He passed away in 2014 
at the age of 97.

The Verne Reierson OEHA Meritorious Service Award

This award is given in recognition of outstanding dedication in the pursuit of Public Health Excellence.


Verne Reierson was born in 1915 in Astoria, Oregon. He graduated from Camas High School and Willamette University and received a master's degree from the University of California at Berkeley. During World War II, he served in the Army in the South Pacific. He was a director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Health for 10 years and then was director of the Public Health Studies Center at Portland State University for about 15 years.

"Verne was the very embodiment of environmental health"

"Verne was a past president of NEHA (1971-1972) and a recipient of NEHA's most prestigious award, the Walter Mangold Award. (In fact, Verne and Walter Mangold were very close friends.) To those of us in Oregon, however, Verne was much more than just an award winner -- he was the very, embodiment of environmental health. The standard he set, the life he breathed into our profession, the leadership he exhibited in every facet of his chosen profession, and the inspiration he instilled in an entire generation of sanitarians, are still felt by those who were privileged to know and to work with him. He was a soft-spoken man who always had a twinkle in his eye and a good story to tell, and--if you'll pardon a well-worn cliche--when he spoke, you listened. With much effort Verne and his wife, Jimmie, last attended NEHA's Annual Educational Conference in 1998 in Los Vegas, where they were my honored guests at the past president's banquet. They loved being there one more time with old friends and told me later that it was a very, special time for them. We will miss our friend Verne, but he will long be remembered."

-Art Bloom, NEHA Past President, 1997-1998


The Ray Ruff
OEHA Editorial Award

This award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the publication of the Oregon Journal of Environmental Health.


Raymond Ruff Jr. was born in Greenville, Indiana in 1924. His family moved and settled into a life of farming in Springfield, Idaho. In 1955, he married Ialeene Atwater, with whom he raised four children in Aloha, Oregon. He earned a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley in 1960 and completed 29 years of employment with the State of Oregon Health Department, in managerial positions in the Public Health Division.

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