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OEHA E-Blast: Governor Kotek proclaims April 15 as EHS Day, SW Regional Event, In-person Spanish ServSafe Course in Bend and more!

Updated: Apr 2

Thank you to Governor Tina Kotek for recognizing the important work of Environmental Health Specialists and Waste Water Specialists in the State of Oregon.

There's a lot going on with Environmental Health in Oregon! Read about the governor's proclamation of EHS Day, upcoming webinars and conferences about climate change, food safety, heat health, air quality, body art, and many other topics, and food safety training resources in Spanish, and much more in this edition of the OEHA E-Blast. Please pass these helpful resources along to others in your agency and community who may benefit from this important public health information!

Oregon Environmental Health News and Resources:

Monday, April 15, 2024 is EHS and Waste Water Specialist Day in Oregon!

In light of the important work that Environmental Health Specialists do to protect the health of the public by reducing or eliminating environmental health risk factors that cause human suffering, disease and injury, Governor Tina Kotek, Governor of the State of Oregon, has proclaimed April 15, 2024 as Environmental Health Specialist and Waste Waster Specialist Day in Oregon! View the official proclamation below and share among your community.

Env Health Spec-Waste Water Spec Day 2024
Download PDF • 1.02MB

Join OEHA for Regional Events in 2024!

Meet Trainees in your region, tour interesting facilities and gather with other EHSs. Caroline Gross-Regan, OEHA SW Regional Representative has organized "A Tour of Medford Water Commission Duff Water Treatment Plant and Big Butte Springs" on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Registration for this event is open only to OEHA Members in the SW Region and space is limited. Contact Caroline to register. For members in other regions, please contact your Regional Representative to learn what events may be coming up in your area. Thank you to Caroline for organizing this event!

Celebrate National Public Health with PBS' 4-part series, The Invisible Shield

If you haven’t yet, check out the PBS 4 part series, The Invisible Shield, that aired last week. As we head into National Public Health week it is a wonderful reminder of the history of public health, the countless lives that have been saved by public health and the challenges and work facing public health now and in the future: The Invisible Shield | PBS

OEHA's Book Club explores extraordinary Oregon history with Rajneeshpuram

OEHA's Book Club started in January 2024 and is off to a great start! The group is open to all OEHA members and meets monthly via Teams to discuss a diverse selection of books related to Environmental Health topics. Our first book was the take-no-prisoners bestseller Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain. This month, we are reading Rajneeshpuram: Inside the Cult of Bhagwan and Its Failed American Utopia by Russell King, a tale of breathtaking ambition, flamboyant personalities, unprecedented election fraud, and the largest bioterrorism attack in US history, all of which occurred right here in Oregon! If you're interested in joining the OEHA book club, please contact us!

Workforce Development

OEHA's Trainee Study Group is going strong! We began our third Trainee Study Group session on Friday, January 5th, 2024 and are meeting nearly every Friday from 9-10am on Teams until early June. If you know of any REHS Trainees in your area, please point them our way! REHS Trainee Resources | OEHA ( The OEHA Trainee Study Group is available at no cost to all Oregon REHS Trainees who are current OEHA Members. Register by contacting us here. 

Updated Study Materials for the REHS/RS Exam

Studying for the REHS/RS exam? NEHA's practice exam has been updated! The new version offers unlimited practice exams with new questions each time.

Now You Can Teach in Spanish

NEHA's Certified Professional Food Handler course and materials have been updated with the 2022 Food Code and translated into Spanish. Their course bundle includes everything you need to get started teaching. (Note: Oregon has not yet adopted the 2022 Food Code.)

Help NEHA Address Workforce Shortages

NEHA is working to develop a training program to provide less experienced staff with the essential foundational skills and knowledge of environmental public health. Complete our 10-minute survey to let us know about your team’s training needs.

Upcoming Webinars and Conferences

Impact of Climate Change on Alaskan Native Communities

View the recording of NEHA's recent webinar highlighting the environmental public health impacts of climate change on Alaskan Native communities.

Grand Rounds: Optimizing Environmental Public Health Practice With GIS

Join NEHA for this Grand Rounds seminar on April 10 at 1 p.m. ET to learn about the role of GIS in environmental public health.

Webinar: Body Art Blueprint

Join NEHA on April 12 at 11 a.m. MT for Body Art Blueprint: A Guide for Health Inspectors in Adopting Model Codes to hear from two body art regulators who have experience adopting and utilizing the Body Art Model Code in their jurisdiction.

Climate and Health Course

Climate and health course—Climate and Health: A Training for Health Department Personnel—available from CDC.

Wastewater Detection

A new podcast, Water, Water Everywhere—But You Have to Stop and Think, features Dr. Amy Kirby from the CDC National Wastewater Surveillance System.

National Heat Health Meeting

Registration is open for the 3rd Annual National Integrated Heat Health Information System Meeting on April 16–18.

Gain Access to Retail Program Standards Resources

More than 200 jurisdictions participate in the FDA Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. Come to the free, virtual Retail Program Standards Symposium on April 16–18 to get resources and hear from experts about their strategies and successes.

Virtual Public Meeting on Data and Technology in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety (FDA)

FDA Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards Self-Assessment and Verification Audit Workshops

Multiple dates from April to July 2024 Click to learn more and register

Interested in Public Health and Law? Register for the 2024 Public Health Law Practitioners Convening

Registration for the 2024 Public Health Law Practitioners Convening — being held April 30-May 2, 2024, in New Orleans, Louisiana — is now open! Join your fellow public health leaders, attorneys, policy professionals, and practitioners from state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions and gain valuable insights, strategies, and tools to utilize in your work. Showcase and share your research findings, best practices, tools, or other resources that speak to how law and policy can be leveraged to support public health practice in your jurisdictions. Register now and be a force for positive change! For more information and updates, subscribe to the Public Health Practitioners Law Convening e-newsletter.

AFDO Annual Educational Conference

June 9-12 Register here

NACCHO360 Annual Conference

NEHA Annual Education Conference in Pittsburgh, PA

Attendee registration for NEHA's 2024 Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition in Pittsburgh, PA on July 15-18, 2024.

Scholarships and Opportunities

Spanish ServSafe Certified Food Manager Course in Bend this May!

Do you have food operators in your district who would benefit from advanced food safety training taught in Spanish?

What: ServSafe Certified Food Manager course and exam, administered in Spanish

Who: Taught by a Certified ServSafe Instructor fluent in Spanish from Premier Food Safety. Intended for Food Service Managers and Operators fluent in Spanish throughout the PNW

When: Monday, May 13, 2024, 9am-3pm

Where: Deschutes County Services Building, 1300 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR 97703

Why: Many food service managers and operators primarily speak Spanish or work with staff who primarily speak Spanish. Receiving food safety instruction in the primary language improves comprehension, the ability to communicate critical information to staff, test scores and passing rates, and allows students to seamlessly integrate food safety information into the kitchen work environment, drastically improving food safety outcomes and improving public health!

Learn more and register here:

Wastewater Assistance Available for Rural Communities

The Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap Program is available to assist 150 communities with failing septic systems or without existing wastewater infrastructure. 

Food Handler Knowledge Retention Study

Do you work with food facilities? Please consider sharing the Food Handler Knowledge Retention Survey with your facilities to help make food safety training more inclusive. Participants can earn Amazon gift cards!

CIFOR Learning Modules

Summaries of the latest CIFOR guidance on foodborne disease investigation and control.

Try NEHA's Body Art Program in a Box

NEHA has just published their updated Body Art Model Code. It addresses current body art issues and public health risks and is ready to be adopted by your jurisdiction.

Please Review if You'd Like to Sign Up: Information Sharing Agreement Between the FDA and LHDs

National Environmental Health Association has requested that local health officials working in food safety review the Partnership for Food Protection’s 20.88 Snack Document that will give LHDs access to the information they need during foodborne outbreaks and other food emergencies.

Advancing Health Equity in Asthma Control

Funding opportunity from the CDC National Asthma Control Program to improve the health and quality of life for people living with asthma. Deadline to submit is April 19.

Be Recognized on NEHA's Retail Food Safety Standardization Map

If you lead retail food safety standardization in your jurisdiction, take 20 minutes to tell NEHA about your local program’s standardization practices. Your input will directly inform the specific, tailored assistance available to you, whether to maintain your existing program or support training and standardization.

Time is Running Out to Tell NEHA How Your Food Safety Program Standardizes

Whether your jurisdiction is rural or urban, large or small, NEHA wants to understand your practices in retail food safety standardization. Complete the census to share your practices so NEHA has a complete picture of standardization in the U.S. Complete the census.

Verification Auditor Resource Listing

AFDO connects jurisdictions with qualified auditors to support their efforts toward conforming with the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards. If you're an auditor, provide your qualifications to be listed as a resource.

Environmental Health Advocacy

World Congress on Environmental Health

NEHA's board member, CDR Anna Khan, will be speaking at the 17th Annual International Federation of Environmental Health’s World Congress on Environmental Health in Perth, Australia, in May 2024!

We're Led Discussions With USDA and FDA Leadership 

NEHA led discussions with USDA and FDA leadership to reemphasize that retail food safety is profoundly local and tell stories of impact in support of the local environmental health workforce.

New Blog on the President’s FY25 budget

Read our new blog on the recently released President’s FY25 budget, including funding related to environmental health.

NEHA went to DC!

We are pleased to announce that NEHA was joined on March 27–28 by more than 40 members for the 2024 Hill Day in Washington, DC. Each member had the opportunity to talk with multiple congressional offices from their state about how environmental health impacts their constituents and asked that they fund environmental health programming.

Employment Opportunities

Looking for a job? Have a vacancy in your business or department? Check out the OEHA Job Opportunities page at Job Opportunities | OEHA ( or send us a message for a free job posting!

Did you know NEHA has a Job Board? Members get one free post per year. Use code 23CAREERS. They also list NEHA job openings.

Visit the NACCHO Career Center, where job seekers can browse hundreds of vacant positions and employers can recruit new talent.

NACCHO also offers Fellowship Programs for students to gain experience in public health and Mentorship Programs which provide the chance to learn and share resources across local health departments.

Thanks for reading!

Please contact us with any information you would like to have included in the next OEHA E-Blast.

Sincerely, your Oregon Environmental Health Association Board

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