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What is OEHA?


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The Oregon Environmental Health Association is an affiliate of the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). NEHA supports the advancement of environmental health professionals for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all. In addition to maintaining high standards of practice and testing for their credentialing programs, NEHA provides training and resources for continuing education through courses and textbooks, hosting an annual conference, fostering networking and career growth, and publishing the peer-reviewed Journal of Environmental Health. Drawing on the original effort that led to NEHA's creation, the association today stands as a strong professional society with more than 6,000 members across the nation. NEHA's mission, "To build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce" is as relevant today as it was when the organization was founded.

The Oregon Environmental Health Association consists of environmental health professionals working in a variety of fields throughout the state of Oregon. We are associated with local health departments, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Association, as well as other government agencies, educational institutions and private industry.   

The Oregon non-profit organization was founded in 1941 as the Oregon Association of Sanitarians (OAS) and affiliated with the National Association of Sanitarians (NAS) in 1946. In 1970, both the OAS and NAS adopted the name Environmental Health Association.

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OEHA has enabled Environmental Health Specialists to pool their resources, expertise, connections, and experience, to promote a unified voice for public health. Our association's primary direction has been in support of continuing education opportunities. Central to OEHA's activities are the annual spring and regional fall conferences. These draw a majority of our members, as well as many individuals from the community, for sessions on a wide variety of public health topics and to take action on association business.

We have close ties with the EHS Registration Board, participate on rule committees, provide public education, testify on legislative measures, and provide financial support to college students and international public health activities. One of the many accomplishments of the Oregon Environmental Health Association is the public recognition that Environmental Health professionals receive through the Oregon Annual Environmental Health Specialist Day Declaration by the Governor of the State of Oregon.

The Oregon Environmental Health Association divides its membership into four regions, the Northwest Region, Mid-Willamette Region, Southwest Region and Eastern Region. Each region is assigned a Regional Director, who serves as a regional contact and coordinator of meet-ups and regional events.

OEHA has dozens of members from across the state of Oregon, including Active Members, Trainees, and Retirees. We also maintain an Interest List of 500+ individuals from various agencies and organizations, including local public health departments, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Health Authority, Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon State University and health care professionals.

OEHA's Board of Directors includes five Executive Board members and four Regional Directors. We hold an Annual Education Conference annually, which features speakers from academia, industry and government agencies, tabletop exercises, and multiple interest tracks that are industry-specific. Multiple times a year, we send out an e-blast that includes topics such as Environmental Health news, Save the Dates for upcoming conferences and opportunities to earn CEUs, Internships, award nominations, legislative updates, positions to serve and contribute to the profession, and employment openings. We also send out Newsletters that feature conferences and regional events, historical Environmental Health topics, articles honoring retirees, highlights of member accomplishments, and trending topics. We offer a REHS Trainee Study Group that meets weekly via Zoom, offering Trainees from across the state a chance to network and study together in preparation for the REHS Exam. Join us as we build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce in the state of Oregon!

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