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OEHA E-Blast: AEC in Newport Oct 24-26, Food Safety Education Month, and more!

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

There's a lot going on with Environmental Health in Oregon! Read about news, upcoming conferences, scholarship opportunities and more in this edition of the OEHA E-Blast. Feel free to pass this along to others in your agency and community who may benefit from this important public health information!

Oregon Environmental Health News and Resources:

  • OEHA's annual education conference is coming up Tuesday-Thursday, October 24-26, 2023 at the Agate Beach Inn in Newport, Oregon. Our tentative agenda is packed with two tracks of presentations, both general Environmental Health and Onsite. An exciting lineup of presenters includes Keynote Speaker Dr. David Dyjack, President of NEHA, June Bancroft, senior epidemiologist from OHA’s Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Program, Katey Kennedy from the FDA, Scott Hammerschmidt from Orenco, Dan Bush, EN Tech, Verbal Judo training from Detective Jason Spano from Lincoln County, and many more. Spots are limited and are filling up fast, so register today! We still have openings for additional Conference Sponsors and are seeking donations for our Silent Auction. Learn more here: 2023 AEC | OEHA (

  • OEHA's Trainee Study Group is going strong! We started our second Trainee Study Group session on July 7th and are meeting virtually every Friday from 9-10am on Zoom until mid-December. Our weekly meetings are attended by a consistent group of about 12 trainees, with additional trainees using our study resources at other times during the week to prepare for the REHS exam. This session, we are utilizing the Environmental Public Health Online Courses- EPHOC from Tulane. If you know of any REHS Trainees in your area, please point them our way to connect! REHS Trainee Resources | OEHA ( The OEHA Trainee Study Group is available at no cost to all Oregon REHS Trainees who are current OEHA Members.

  • September is National Food Safety Education Month! Help us to spread the word about the importance of food safety. Use these social media messages from FDA to show your support for National Food Safety Education Month (NFSEM) and to encourage your community to keep food safe: Food Safety Education Month | FDA

Upcoming Webinars:

  • Recognizing and Preparing for Alpha-gal Syndrome AKA "Red Meat Allergy" This CDC report highlights areas within states with suspected cases of alpha-gal syndrome (AGS), commonly known as red meat allergy. AGS is an emerging condition that develops after a tick bite. The agency reports that between 2010 and 2022, there were more than 110,000 suspected cases of AGS identified. Even as suspected AGS cases increase yearly, a survey found that nearly half (42%) of U.S. healthcare professionals (HCPs) had never heard of AGS. Among those HCPs who had, less than one third (29%) knew how to diagnose the condition. The CDC has developed a free CME/CE training so learners are better able to self-assess gaps in their knowledge regarding the diagnosis and management of patients with AGS. Access the training here.

  • Septic System Basics for Homeowners, Community Leaders, Planners & Realtors (Oregon) 8/29/2023 9AM - 12:30 PM Do you want to learn more about protecting your groundwater and the issues that can impact drinking water? Are you having septic system problems? This workshop will educate owners on proper operation and maintenance of septic systems, common troubleshooting, preventive maintenance and solutions. We will also discuss the benefits of establishing long term solutions such as on-Site wastewater management programs. This training can be beneficial for realtors to better understand septic systems and their importance to rural homes. This training also touches on rules and regulations specific to Oregon. Register here: Rural Community Assistance Corporation | Rural Community Assistance Corporation (

  • Get to Know the Retail Food Safety Regulatory Association Collaborative Do you know when and where the Retail Program Standards Self-Assessment and Verification Audit Workshops are happening this year? Find retail food safety news and events on the Collaborative's website, and subscribe to their mailing list to get notifications of upcoming events straight to your inbox. Visit today.

Legislation and Advocacy:

  • Share Stories to Highlight Healthy Homes For All (led by the Children's Environmental Health Network and the National Center for Healthy Housing) Has your community been affected by unhealthy housing conditions? Then, their stories are important. Encourage them to share stories of how their children, family, or people they know or work with have been affected by unhealthy housing conditions such as lead, asthma triggers, pests, mold, carbon monoxide, radon, and other causes of injury and illness.

Reports and Resources:

  • An Action Guide to Disrupt Inequitable Health Outcomes This is a new community-developed tool providing informative cases, actionable steps, and practical resources for those seeking to drive greater health equity, developed by NACCHO, the National Minority Quality Forum, Morehouse School of Medicine, the Century Foundation, and Pfizer’s Multicultural Health Equity Collective. The guide focuses on four key areas: Healthcare facilities and delivery, Workforce pathways, Research and data, and Policy. The insights reflect contributions from experts across the healthcare ecosystem. While the recommendations represent only some of what will be needed to help dismantle racism in our healthcare system, they offer practical directions to start or advance efforts to meaningful change.

  • Environmental Health Department Structure: Literature Review and Recommendations This article aims to provide foundational information to support an effort to describe the characteristics of a minimum viable governmental environmental health department and provide recommendations on optimal structure, staffing, and funding.

  • Report: Soft Tick Relapsing Fever — United States, 2012–2021 In the United States, acquisition of Soft Tick Relapsing Fever, a rare infection caused by certain Borrelia spirochetes and transmitted to humans by soft-bodied Ornithodoros ticks, is associated with rustic cabins, camping, and caves and continues to occur in the western U.S. Ensure clinicians in your jurisdiction are aware of the clinical symptoms associated with STRF, risk factors, options for diagnostic testing, and public health reporting requirements.

  • U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan The Plan is a national roadmap for collective action to reduce drowning, providing a framework and tools to support the development and implementation of data- and evidence-informed context-specific water safety action plans in communities, counties, and states across the country. It also lays out national actions that support implementation and increase the likelihood of success of those local plans.

Scholarships and Opportunities:

  • Community-Based Research for Effective Programs, Policies, and Decisions to Mitigate Cumulative Health Impacts and Environmental Health Disparities in Underserved Communities RFA from the EPA Cumulative Impacts are defined as “the totality of exposures to combinations of chemical and non-chemical stressors and their effects on health, well-being, and quality of life outcomes.” According to EPA’s RFA, this opportunity aims “to further advance the scientific knowledge essential for obtaining an accurate and realistic assessment of the cumulative impacts from multiple chemical and non-chemical stressors, exacerbated by environmental factors, including racial and social injustices in underserved communities.” State and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; and U.S. territories or possessions are eligible to apply. Deadline is August 31.

  • Call for Abstracts: 2024 Preparedness Summit The Preparedness Summit, the country’s first and longest running national conference on public health preparedness, is now accepting abstracts. The theme for our next Preparedness Summit, Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Management: Aligning to Address Cascading Challenges, provides an opportunity for sectors to come together, align missions, and discover better ways to work as true partners to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Submit an abstract by September 15.

Employment Opportunities

Who said it?

“Sometimes the manufacturers of food don’t think of it as food. It becomes a commodity.”

Who said it from the previous E-Blast?

"Access to a secure, safe and sufficient source of fresh water is a fundamental requirement for the survival, well-being and socio-economic development of all humanity. Yet, we continue to act as if fresh water were a perpetually abundant resource. It is not."

- Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

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