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Environmental Health Systems and Delivery of Services in the United States and Its Territories

Abstract

There is no single, uniform nationwide method for organizing and delivering governmental environmental health (EH) services to residents of the U.S. and its territories. A comprehensive effort to describe existing EH service delivery models has not been conducted. To address this gap in knowledge, the authors investigated EH organization and delivery methods among states and territories in fall 2017. The aim was to provide a synthesized understanding of EH system delivery to assist in efforts to target and deliver workforce capacity building and professional development support. We contacted EH directors of every state and territory through an informational survey to 1) describe how services are delivered, 2) quantify service delivery jurisdictions, and 3) determine the administrative home of core EH programs. We achieved a 98% survey rate response. Service delivery administrative models were heterogeneous and fell into three categories: centralized, decentralized, and mixed/shared organization. The number of jurisdictions within states and territories ranged from 1–351 jurisdictions. The administrative agency home of EH varied widely. With this research, we hope to better understand the structure of each regional agency and the efficacy of each agency's performance as it relates to its structure and distribution.

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Speaker / Author:
Reem Tariq, MSEH, National Environmental Health Association
Diana Jaramillo, MPH, Center for Health, Work, & Environment, Colorado School of Public Health
David T. Dyjack, DrPH, CIH, National Environmental Health Association
Month Year:
December 2019
Volume#:
82.5
Page #:
22-27
Publication Month:
December 2019
Subtopic:
Workforce Development