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OEHA E-Blast: Save the Date for OEHA AEC, Groundwater Awareness Week, Membership Renewals, and more!



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


Oregon Environmental Health News:

  • 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. Look for Call for Presenters and Registration information soon! Find updates here.


  • Join us to celebrate National Groundwater Awareness Week! It is the three-year anniversary of the Private Water Network and National Groundwater Awareness Week March 5-11, 2023! Join us for a series of events focused on the challenges and opportunities of standardizing private well data. Learn more and register.


  • April 10-16, 2023 is Food Waste Prevention Week, and the Oregon DEQ is one of the Sponsors of this national event to raise awareness of the interconnections between food waste, the environment and hunger. Learn more here.


  • Thanks to an amazing partnership with Multnomah County and OHA, all of the OHA Food Safety fact sheets and the food handler manual are now available online in 18 languages:


  • This year Public Health Week is April 3-9. The theme this year is “Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health”. Feeling like we belong, being a part of our communities and fostering cultural connections supports our health and the quality of our lives. As we celebrate the 28th NPHW, we want everyone to know they can make their communities healthier, safer and stronger when we support and stay engaged with one another. See the daily themes, find the toolkit to promote this in your community, and learn more here.


  • The Coalition of Local Health Officials (CLHO) has a legislative toolkit that is now live on their website! There is a public-facing section that contains a lot of helpful information about how to interact with legislators, and links to CLHO’s Lunch and Learn series.


  • 2022 OEHA Memberships have lapsed and it’s time to renew. Visit www.oregoneha.org/membership 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.


  • 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 group is meeting January-June and will repeat again July-December. Trainees are welcome to join at any time through the session. If you have a REHS Trainee in your department, please send them our way to register! Contact | OEHA (oregoneha.org)






Save the Dates:


  • CERCLA PFAS Enforcement Listening Sessions March 14 & 23 Join EPA's public listening sessions to provide individual input surrounding enforcement under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. Attendees will have opportunities to provide verbal as well as written input. These will be reviewed and considered by EPA in drafting a CERCLA PFAS enforcement discretion policy. Register for the sessions here


  • The Importance of Preventive Services and Lessons Learned from the Pandemic March 21 | 2 PM ET Register here


  • Addressing Nail Salon Hazards: Implementing a Collaborative and Culturally Sensitive Approach In this webinar, the speakers will provide background on the challenges nail salon workers face and provide insights on how environmental health regulators can assist these overlooked and vulnerable workers in a culturally sensitive manner. March 21 at 1 p.m. ET. Register today.


  • National Indian Health Board Tribal Environmental Health Summit April 14 | Durant, Oklahoma Learn more here. NIHB is partnering with the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and ATSDR to host a series of regional summits surrounding environmental health in Indian Country featuring Tribal leaders, environmental health practitioners, environmental health subject matter experts, Tribal, local, state, and federal partners engaging on topics relevant to each region. If you plan to attend, please complete this form.



  • 2023 National Tribal Health Conference May 1-5, 2023 Register here



  • July 31-August 3, 2023 for the 2023 NEHA Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, LA. http://www.neha.org/aec


  • OEHA Annual Education Conference (AEC) Tuesday, October 24-Thursday, October 26, 2023 at the Best Western PLUS Agate Beach Inn in Newport. Find updates here.




Awards and Opportunities:

  • Recognize Your Colleague with an Environmental Health Award Our work can be challenging. That is why NEHA honors fellow environmental health professionals with awards every year for excellence, diversity, and educational endeavors in environmental health. Submit your nomination today!


  • Help Build the Environmental Health Pipeline NEHA's environmental health scholarship application period is open. This year we have increased our scholarship amounts for both undergraduate and graduate students. Applications are due April 15.


  • Request for Nominations: 2023 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for Excellence in Food Protection Named for one of America’s most renowned health officers, Samuel J. Crumbine, MD (1862–1954), the Crumbine Award is given annually to local environmental health jurisdictions that demonstrate unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection services to their communities. Since 2001, the award has highlighted innovative programs and methods that reduce or eliminate the occurrence of foodborne illnesses, recognize the importance of food protection at the local level, and stimulate public interest in foodservice sanitation. To see if your jurisdiction is eligible, please visit crumbineaward.com. The deadline to submit entries for the 2023 award is March 15. Learn more about eligibility to apply here.


  • The American Academy of Sanitarians (AAS) announces the annual Davis Calvin Wagner Sanitarian Award. The award will be presented by AAS at the NEHA 2023 AEC. Open for nominations now until April 15, 2023. For more information, visit www.sanitarians.org/awards


  • Funding Opportunity: Lead Hazard Reduction Grant The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes announced that over $400 million are available for a grant program to help communities fix older housing, preserve affordable housing, and improve communities. Eligible applicants include Special district governments, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), State governments, County governments, City or township governments, among others. For more information, visit www.hud.gov/lead. The deadline for applications has been extended to May 2.


  • National Board of Public Health Examiners Administering CPH Certification For public health professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of work experience, the National Board of Public Health Examiners administers the Certified in Public Health (CPH) certification and is offering several programs to assist state, county, city, territorial, and tribal health departments in workforce development. Certification programs assure your workforce’s competency and encourage life-long learning through recertification. For more information and to apply, click here. If you have questions, please email info@nbphe.org or 202.296.3050.


  • Addressing the Impact of Structural Racism and Discrimination on Minority Health and Health Disparities National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is seeking applications that focuses on intervention research that mitigates or prevents the impacts of environmental exposures on communities due to structural racism and discrimination. Examples include but are not limited to industrial chemicals or manufacturing byproducts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, air pollutants and other inhaled toxicants, particulates, or fibers, fungal, and bacterial or biologically derived toxins. Learn more and apply by March 24, 2023. Please direct inquires to Lindsey Martin (lindsey.martin@nih.gov).


  • 2023 EJ Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program (EJCPS) Request for Applications The EPA is soliciting applications for projects that support community-based nonprofit organizations to develop solutions that address environmental or public health issues in communities disproportionately affected by these harms. The EJCPS Program anticipates awarding approximately $30,000,000 of Inflation Reduction Act funding. The deadline to apply is April 10. Click here to learn more.


  • EPA Funding Opportunity: Research Training Program The RFA's objective is to support the training of undergraduate and graduate students on site at EPA’s research facility located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Outputs from the Research Training Program funded under this RFA are expected to include, but not limited to:

  1. The training of up to 10+ trainees per year;

  2. Reports that summarize the trainees’ projects, objectives, approaches, outputs/outcomes, learning experiences and budget allocations;

  3. Scientific and technical publications in the peer-reviewed literature;

  4. Attendance and presentations of project results at national and international scientific meetings;

  5. Data and information essential to conducting engineering studies. Local and state government departments are part of the eligibility criteria for this solicitation. View the RFA and apply by March 9.


Legislative Updates:


Below are a few of the public health highlights from the past month:


  • FEDERAL POLICY: Two New Food Waste Bills Introduced In February, the US Congress introduced the Zero Food Waste Act to reduce the amount of food waste in the U.S., along with the Cultivating Organic Matter through the Promotion Of Sustainable Techniques (COMPOST) Act to redirect food waste to composting projects.



In Oregon:

  • On February 1, HB 2773, CLHO’s Workforce Incentives Bill generated some good press during its first hearing.

  • On February 2, the OHA budget bill was introduced as SB 5525. CLHO continues to advocate for the full $286 million for Public Health Modernization. The OHA Public Health Division is scheduled to testify on SB 5525 on March 14 from 8:00-9:30, with public testimony on March 15 and 16 from 8:00-9:30.

  • Throughout the month, Sarah Lochner and Ryann Gleason met with legislators to discuss Public Health Modernization and Workforce Incentives, and share the updated PHM and Workforce Incentives one-pagers.

  • On February 14, Sarah Lochner testified in support of HB 2128, which would release $40 million in tobacco manufacturer dollars for use in Oregon.

  • Also on February 14, Deschutes County Health Officer Dr. Richard Fawcett testified in support of HB 2574, the PEP rural hospital access bill.

  • On February 15, Dr. Jocelyn Warren visited the Capitol and spoke with Representatives Conrad, Nelson, Nathanson, and Nosse, as well as Sen. Prozanski.

  • In mid-February, Ryann Gleason and Sarah Lochner met with Rep. Reschke to discuss including Public Health Nurses in his rural provider tax credit bill, HB 2602.

  • On February 20, Ryann and Sarah met with the Senate President’s Chief-of-Staff to discuss CLHO’s budget requests.

  • On February 21 the Economic and Revenue Forecast was released, which indicated legislators may have $700 million to allocate above continuing service levels if nothing changes.

  • Also on the 21st, the opioids package CLHO supports, HB 2395, moved out of committee and is scheduled for a House vote on March 2. Due to their cost, two pieces were pulled out of the bill and will receive separate consideration: the public education campaign and the naloxone bulk purchasing program.

  • Snow mostly shut down the Capitol during the last week of February, but we anticipate a busy start to March.

  • Ryann Gleason has been working to get legislators to sign onto a letter supporting moving the workforce bill, HB 2773, out of the policy committee and into Ways and Means for funding consideration.


Contribute:


  • OEHA has open committee positions for those seeking to serve, for as little as one hour once, to positions that offer several hours of service/month. Opportunities include:

Standing Committee Opportunities


  • Annual Education Conference Committee (Lots of opportunities, from ongoing to one-time)

  • Awards Nominations (meets prior to Annual Education Conference)

  • Finance Committee

  • Legislative Updates (provides regular reports to OEHA Board)

  • Scholarships

  • Membership

  • OEHA Constitution and By-Laws Communication


Technical Advisory Committees


  • State Drinking Water Advisory Committee

  • Food Safety

  • Housing/Lead

  • Onsite/Septic

  • Body Arts/Personal Services

  • Cosmetology

  • Congregate Settings (Long-Term Care Facilities, Adult Foster Homes, etc.)

  • Pools and Spas

Reach out on our webpage to join: Contact | OEHA (oregoneha.org)


Employment Opportunities



Who said it?


“While much attention is on the COVID-19 pandemic response, the local public health response to food-borne illness and outbreaks remains a critical and core function within communities."






Who said it from the previous E-Blast?

"It can be said that there are four basic and primary things that the mass of people in a society wish for: to live in a safe environment, to be able to work and provide for themselves, to have access to good public health and to have sound educational opportunities for their children."

~Nelson Mandela



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