Topics A to Z

As part of NEHA's continuos effort to provide convenient access to information and resources, we have gathered together for you the links in this section. Our mission is "to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all,” as well as to educate and inform those outside the profession.

Abstract

Various methodologies have been utilized in hand-hygiene (HH) research to measure the quality and compliance rates of hand washing. Some notable examples are direct observation, self-report, image quantification of fluorescence, microbial sampling, automated systems, and electronically assisted devices. While direct observation is considered the gold standard of HH monitoring systems, its methodological limitations (e.g., high staffing demands, participant reactivity, and undersampling) have yet to be overcome. As a result, there is renewed interest in developing technologies or methods of assessment that are cost-effective, accurate, and not intrusive. This article provides a brief review of HH monitoring systems while presenting a less resource-intensive methodology utilizing image analysis of fluorescence to assess hand washing. Results indicate that the proposed HH protocol could be used to replace human visual analysis of fluorescence, as well as provide a less resource-intensive option to assess HH under controlled conditions. Future implications and the need for additional research, such as cross-validating the results in a real-world clinical setting, are discussed.

June 2016
June 2016
78.10 | 14-20
Neil Deochand, MS, MA, Michelle E. Deochand, MS

This presentation will highlight the benefits of leveraging cross-disciplinary knowledge, resources, and communication channels on water quality and public health. Several examples of media coverage of water quality issues and the response from public health officials and water quality practitioners will be presented to give attendees an understanding of the perspectives of water quality and public health groups, common understandings, and technical challenges. 

Come away with techniques and recommendations to more effectively and consistently communicate with the public about water quality issues.

July 2015
Rula A. Deeb, PhD, BCEEM
Potential CE Credits: 0.50

In times of fiscal austerity we are sometimes confronted with making hard choices about our environmental health programs. This presentation will explore how to trim outdated or "sacred cow" programs and strengthen key programs with high public health benefit. The presentation will include case studies on how general fund tax dollars can be replaced with funds from other sources and on how interns, volunteers, and community partnerships can be used to strengthen priority programs. 

July 2015
Bob Custard, REHS/RS, CP-FS, Lydia Zweimiller, REHS , Michele Howard , Erin May, MPH, CPO
Additional Topics A to Z: Workforce Development

Abstract

We surveyed public health and vector control agencies in the U.S. to identify barriers restricting the implementation of geospatial modeling for West Nile virus (WNV) control. We conducted 18 standardized interviews with public health and vector control agencies in states with the highest cumulative human WNV cases. Agencies were organized by their implementation of geospatial modeling (Initial: Implementation and Support; Internal: Surveillance and Mitigation, and External: Outreach and Communication) and thematic analysis was used to identify barriers and best practices. Initial: Implementation and Support agencies reported funding and educational barriers, while Internal: Surveillance and Mitigation agencies reported surveillance data challenges and mistrust of geospatial modeling as limiting geospatial modeling usage. Agencies involved in External: Outreach and Communication reported policy guidelines and lack of public interest as barriers to using geospatial modeling for WNV control. To overcome these challenges, we identified the use of unified resource programs, local data repositories, and multi-stakeholder taskforces for addressing these challenges to WNV control. The findings from this study can be used to help improve WNV control within the U.S. and might be equally valuable for preemptively mitigating the impacts of emerging and reemerging mosquito-borne diseases.

 

June 2018
June 2018
80.10 | 24-31
Bryan Moy, MPH, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Ryan Harrigan, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Hilary Godwin, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Additional Topics A to Z: Technology

The use of letter grades, colored placards, or a numbered score is seen across the country to convey to restaurant patrons information on how safe and clean a restaurant is (i.e., the findings of the local health department's inspection of the facility). This column goes beyond exploring this practice or its efficacy—it explores how local health departments go about developing such programs and if unnecessary staff and resources are being consumed by such projects. The column poses an interesting question on the creation of a unified brand to support capacity and calls upon the environmental health leadership to develop and present a standard by which a local health department can quickly and efficiently launch a grading or placarding program.

Read the full column.

September 2015
78.2 | 34-35
Darryl Booth, MBA

Abstract

Since 2002, the national Environmental Health Tracking Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided vital support to state environmental public health efforts while simultaneously building a nationwide network of state, local, and academic partners to improve our nation’s capacity to understand and respond to environmental threats to public health. As part of program review and strategic planning, national thought leaders in environmental public health were convened to assess progress, identify gaps and challenges, and provide recommendations for enhancing the utility and impact of the Tracking Program. Several opportunities were identified. Chief among these was the need for continued and expanded CDC leadership to develop a coordinated Tracking Program agenda identifying specific scientific goals, data needs, and initiatives. Recommendations for future growth included expanded data availability and program coverage: i.e., making data available at the community scale and establishing tracking programs in all 50 states. Finally, a set of recommendations emphasizing communication to decision makers and the public was made that will be integral to the future utility and success of the Tracking Program.

June 2017
June 2017
79.10 | 14-19
Mary A. Fox, MPH, PhD, Sheriza Baksh, MPH, Juleen Lam, MHS, PhD, Beth Resnick, MPH, DrPH

Article Abstract

Lead is known for its devastating effects on people, particularly children under the age of six. Disturbed lead paint in homes is the most common source of lead poisoning of children. Preventive approaches including consumer education on the demand side of the housing market (purchasers and renters of housing units) and disclosure regulations on supply side of the housing market (landlords, homeowners, developers, and licensed realtors) have had mixed outcomes. The study described in this article considered whether a novel supply-side intervention that educates licensed real estate agents about the specific dangers of lead poisoning would result in better knowledge of lead hazards and improved behavior with respect to the information they convey to potential home buyers. Ninety-one licensed realtors were trained for four hours on lead hazards and their health impacts. Pre- and postsurveys and a six-month follow-up interview were conducted to assess the impact of the intervention on their knowledge and self-reported behaviors with clients. The findings suggest that supply-side education could have a salutary impact on realtor knowledge and behavior.

July/August 2013
76.1 | 28-36
Rodney D. Green, PhD, Janet A. Phoenix, MPH, MD, Aisha M. Thompson, MBA
Additional Topics A to Z: Hazardous Materials

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