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Environmental Health Department Structure: Literature Review and Recommendations


Local governmental environmental health programs play a critical role in safeguarding public health. Environmental health professionals administer a wide range of professional services, including food safety, septic systems, childhood lead poisoning prevention programs, air quality, water quality, healthy housing, and vector control. Despite the centrality of the environmental health workforce to modern life, a national standard or guidance does not exist for how local environmental health departments should be structured, staffed, and funded. 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. 

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Publication: Journal of Environmental Health  
Volume: 86 
Number: 1 
Pages: 28-32
Published: July/August 2023


  • Gina Bare, RN, National Environmental Health Association
  • Alyssa Wooden, MHS, National Environmental Health Association
  • Jesse Bliss, MPH, PhD, National Environmental Health Association
  • David Dyjack, DrPH, CIH, National Environmental Health Association 

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