Environmental Health

The environment we live in is constantly affecting our health. Environmental Health is committed to safeguarding the health of populations that are particularly vulnerable to certain environmental hazards. Environmental Health is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health supportive environments. Healthy People 2020 focuses on six themes of environmental health that include outdoor air quality, surface and ground water quality, toxic substances and hazardous wastes, home and communities, infrastructure and surveillance, and global environmental health. Maintaining a healthy environment is important in increasing the quality and years of a healthy life.

Environmental Health is the focus area designated to the Region V GLPHTC.  One recent initiative of our region was the Environmental Public Health Inquiry Towards Community of Practice.  The overall vision of the project is to increase the value and impact of environmental public health through policy and systems changes within each state in the GLPHTC region, resulting from state-based learning communities.

The Region V GLPHTC has gathered a list of existing resources available on the content area of Environmental Public Health. This list will be revised on a continual basis to provide the most recent national resources.
Environmental Health Resources

Expand the sections below to learn more about what each of the states in Region V are working on in regards to Environmental Health.

Illinois

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health is a United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) project designed to assist in the development of a climate change adaptation plan. UIC also funded by NIOSH has a Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Education and Research Center (Illinois ERC) which provides MS and PhD training in industrial hygiene, occupational safety, hazardous substances, occupational epidemiology, residency training in occupational medicine, and undergraduate and graduate education in agricultural health and safety and provides continuing education and outreach programs to professionals and the community.

Indiana

The Indiana Public Health Training Center at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health hosted a three-part discussion as part of the regional environmental public health inquiry. Local practitioners from a diverse group of local health departments and partners from the Indiana State Department of Health joined together review available services, and to identify areas in need of support for ongoing environmental public health trainings.

Environmental Public Health Inquiry

The Indiana Public Health Training Center will use the findings from the state and regional environmental health inquiries projects and the feedback from needs assessments to address gaps in training needs concerning environmental public health topics. These trainings will be made available in 2018.

Additionally, the faculty at the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health work with statewide partners to address the built environment, air and water quality, and occupational health and safety, climate change, and product stewardship.

Michigan

The University of Michigan School of Public Health PHTC participated in the award-winning, interdisciplinary student-faculty collaborative project entitled “Michigan Engaging Community through the Classroom” (MECC) in 2013. Beyond the Michigan PHTC, the University of Michigan School of Public Health has several other centers focused on environmental health issues and faculty with expertise in three main areas including environmental epidemiology/medicine, exposure, and toxicology. The Michigan PHTC is also partnered with environmental health experts at state-wide organizations such as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Environmental Health Association.

Environmental Public Health Inquiry

Following the initial series of Local Communities of Practice discussions, the Michigan PHTC continued to work with Adam London, Health Officer at the Kent County Health Department, to follow up on a key action item – identifying leadership training geared towards environmental health and community needs assessment skills. We conducted a scan of existing training offerings and received feedback from our LCoP once again in August 2017. A summary report will document additional next steps.

Minnesota

The University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in collaboration with experts at the Minnesota Department of Health, developed nine online modules related to environmental health, with topics ranging from a basic introduction to environmental justice.

Ohio

The leadership in the Ohio State University College of Public Health and its Division of Environmental Health Sciences is actively involved as Chair of the Ohio Public Health Association Environmental Health section with goal to expand and improve service delivery, as well as, Chair of the Environmental and Occupational Health Council of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.Ohio State University is engaged in developing modules covering various topics under environmental health, including the role as a component in the One Health approach. Ohio has participated in a statewide assessment of technical and personnel capacity for responding to exposures involving chemical, biological and radiological agents, as well as, expanding administrative and distance-based programming on the environmental public health aspects of sources and pathways of human (and animal) exposure to air, water and soil under an integrated “One Health” approach. In relation, contemporary issues, such as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and exposure concerns, as well as, efforts to expand the scope of environmental public health services in Ohio and beyond are being addressed.

Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is home to the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies which houses the Center for Climatic Change, the Center for Culture History and Environment and the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, expertise which the Collaborative could use to support efforts in the area of environmental health and climate change.

Environmental Public Health Inquiry

The collaborative working group participants have continued to work in partnership with Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards (WALHDAB) to build communication with Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

Wisconsin Center for Public Health Education and Training (WiCPHET) will help develop enduring educational content to begin to address some of the gaps in training identified for staff working in environmental public health.