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OEHA E-Blast: National Water Safety Month, Call for Speakers for the OEHA AEC, Registration Now Open

There's a lot going on with Environmental Health in Oregon! Read about news, conferences, scholarship opportunities and more in this edition of the OEHA E-Blast.

Oregon Environmental Health News and Resources:

  • May is National Water Safety Month! National Water Safety Month is an annual awareness campaign coordinated by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance with support from the American Red Cross, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, National Recreation and Park Association, and World Waterpark Association. Use the resources on this site to promote water safety and raise awareness in your community!

  • The OEHA Annual Education Conference will be held Tuesday, October 24-Thursday, October 26, 2023, at the Best Western PLUS Agate Beach Inn in Newport. The theme this year will be "Digging Deeper". Our "Call for Speakers and Abstracts" and Registration are now open! Updates posted here.

  • In collaboration with Deschutes County, OEHA is running a REHS Trainee Study Group to support REHS Trainees as they study to pass their REHS exam. The Study Group meets weekly on Zoom for one hour, is based on a study guide with five recommended texts, and features exam review questions and guest speakers who are subject matter experts in specific topics. The current group is meeting January-June and will repeat again July-December using a different curriculum. Trainees are welcome to join at any time during the sessions. If you have a REHS Trainee in your department, please send them our way to register! Learn more here

  • Renew your OEHA Membership or join for the first time! Visit now to apply for your 2023 Oregon Environmental Health Assocation (OEHA) Membership, and gain all of the benefits of supporting the professional organization for Environmental Health professionals in the state of Oregon.

It aims to raise awareness about the importance of food safety and food safety professionals by telling stories from local experts across the country. Sign the open letter that calls for support of food safety professionals and share the videos and messages to spread the word.

  • Try NEHA's New Private Well Contaminant Treatment Toolkit: Share the link to the toolkit or print and share the fact sheets with your community. Their new toolkit includes fact sheets for each of the five leading private well contaminants to share with your community. Each fact sheet describes the health risks and recommended treatments.

  • Fentanyl Decontamination: This webinar recording is part of the U.S. EPA’s emergency response research webinar series and provides an overview of research to assist local and state entities requesting technical support for fentanyl remediation responses across the country.

  • Vector-Borne Diseases Surveillance is an online course that is available from the Cornell Entomology Department. It focuses on best practices for implementing vector surveillance, data, and reporting methods.

Upcoming Webinars:

  • Learn How to Partner with Academia for EH: Attend NEHA's webinar on May 9 at 3 p.m. ET on how building environmental health and academic partnerships for research and evaluation can be effectively leveraged to support the environmental health field.

  • This training on June 13–15 will explore what it takes to create a food safety culture within your workplace. Speakers include Frank Yiannas, food safety expert and adjunct faculty in the Online MSFS Program at MSU, and William “Bill” Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark LLP PS.

  • Workshop on Addressing the Environmental Health Impacts of Climate Change on Private Drinking Water Systems and Private Wells This 4-hour virtual workshop will provide information and resources for local health departments and communities to address the impact of climate change on private drinking water system safety, security, and maintenance. Date TBD | Learn more at:

Legislation and Advocacy:

  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, which sets forth their plans for reducing the federal budget by slashing nondefense programs, including ones that support environmental public health. The Senate has yet to set spending limits for the federal budget, which means there remains much negotiation regarding the final fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget. NEHA encourages you to reach out to your congressional members to urge them to protect the federal environmental health programs that are vital to every state, local, tribal, and territorial environmental public health program.

  • NEHA met with the FDA Commissioner: On their trip to Washington, DC in early April, they met with FDA and several congressional offices. Their meetings focused on food safety and workforce support. Check out their latest blog for the specifics of each meeting.

Scholarships and Opportunities:

  • The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is working to understand how environmental health data is currently used within jurisdictions and the infrastructure in place to support data systems and informatics across the country with the ultimate goal of supporting improved and sustainable systems.

This fall, they will be sharing a survey to gather this information and report on the:

  1. Environmental health information systems in use across the country.

  2. Training needs related to data use and informatics in environmental health.

  3. Fields of environmental health in which data is commonly used.

  4. Vital elements that contribute to making an environmental health information system successful.

  5. Agencies that are prioritizing data and informatics related to environmental health information systems.

NEHA's Request: Collecting and using data often requires a cross-disciplinary team from EH to IT, to leadership, and beyond. Please share this email with the people on your team who can help provide this information. Those who are willing to participate can provide their contact information here: Link.

  • NEHA is hosting their first-ever Environmental Public Health Photography Contest at the 2023 AEC. Submit your best environmental health photos to be judged by Lloyd DeGrane, a Chicago-based freelance photographer, and NEHA's own Gina Bare, associate director and photographer.

  • The Accela Scholarship will cover the cost of four innovative thinkers' NEHA AEC registration and membership with NEHA for one year (travel costs are not included). The application requires a brief essay response to a prompt about environmental health and data. Applications are due by Friday, April 14, 2023. Selection will be made by Accela and announced in early May 2023. Learn more and apply at:

  • Wildfire Smoke Preparedness Grant Program: Applications are open for a new federal grant program by U.S. EPA to support wildfire smoke preparedness in community buildings. Applications are due May 9.

  • Applications are open for entities to serve as grant-makers to community-based organizations addressing environmental harms in underserved communities. NEHA Applications are due May 31.

  • NACCHO's Emerging Infections Program (EIP) is pleased to announce that the January 1, 2024 – December 31, 2028 funding opportunity has become available. The purpose of this opportunity is to sustain and enhance the multi-site EIP network which provides scientific information to monitor emerging infectious diseases in the United States, evaluate public health interventions, and inform public health policy. Applications due by June 20, 2023. To learn more, click here.

Employment Opportunities

  • The inaugural National Environmental Public Health Internship Program (NEPHIP) Virtual Career Fair on May 23 will connect state, territorial, local, and tribal environmental public health agencies with job seekers from accredited university environmental health programs. Sign up for a free virtual booth to meet attendees.

Who said it?

"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."

Who said it from the previous E-Blast?

"A healthy environment is essential to a livable Oregon and a strong economy."

- Ted Kulongoski, politician, judge, and lawyer

who served as the 36th Governor of Oregon from 2003 to 2011

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