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Board and Leadership Advocate for Environmental Health in Washington

This week, our Board President, Dr. Gary Brown, Region 7 Vice President Tim Hatch and our Director of Government Affairs Doug Farquhar visited the U.S. Senate during our Board of Director’s meeting in Washington D.C. on Thursday October 13 to advocate for the environmental health workforce.

We first met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office to discuss environmental health and the importance of federal support of state and local food safety, vector control, epidemiology, among other environmental health needs. Dr. Brown emphasized that the environmental health workforce relies on federal support from FDA and CDC’s National Center of Environmental Health.

Then we met with Minority Chair of Appropriations Senator Richard Shelby’s staff. Hatch spoke about Alabama’s environmental health activities and the value of federal funds to support environmental health. Shelby’s office knew of environmental health, referencing the $5 million in federal support being provided for septic systems in Lowndes County. Hatch also spoke on emergency management and other concerns facing the state. He noted the value of the training provided through the Public Health Infrastructure Act, but added that environmental health is too often overlooked. The team also met with Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville’s office.

We were also fortunate to see Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health director Dr. Pat Breysse and Associate Director for Policy Pam Berman in the Senate hallways. They were in the Senate testifying on climate change.

If you have questions about this visit or would like to support future government affairs activities, please email communications@neha.org.