"The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future." – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
In 2020, NEHA President Dr. Priscilla Oliver (2019–2020) appointed a committee to study and review the rich history of NEHA, as well as that of the environmental health field. In light of the many advances and new innovations that have occurred in environmental health over the past decades, it is important to examine where we have been and what we have accomplished, which will position our profession to look to the future. And so, the NEHA History Project Task Force was created.
The NEHA History Project Task Force is charged with making the important history of NEHA and environmental health available to all NEHA members, as well as other practitioners, students, and the general public. The task force, made up of luminaries from across the environmental health field, convened in March 2020 to assess the history we have recorded, gather data and historical documents, collect historical artifacts, and review records.
Through this website, the NEHA History Project Task Force endeavors to preserve our rich history and share our story with all.
NEHA Logo History
The logo (or emblem as it was called) was a shield with a beacon in the center. The logo was adopted on December 11, 1937, at the first annual meeting of the National Association of Sanitarians in San Luis Obispo. The slogan, “Sanitarians—the Beacon Light of Public Health,” was adopted in 1932 before the national association was created. One can infer that the logo was created as a reflection of this slogan.
The logo below first appeared in the November/December 1965 Journal of Environmental Health. The shield/beacon logo was placed in front of a globe with the words “Environmental Health Around the World” running on the outside of the globe. It was printed in the Journal until the March/April 1969 issue. One can assume that this design is what the current logo was based upon after the association changed its name in 1970.
On January 1, 1970, the name of the organization was officially changed from the National Association of Sanitarians to the National Environmental Health Association. During this time period, no type of NEHA logo is used in the Journal.
The current NEHA logo appeared on the March/April 1975 Journal of Environmental Health and has been used ever since. It is interesting to note that the map of the U.S. is distorted in the original logo and it was used that way until the mid‐2000s when the distortion was fixed. It is uncertain when the logo became blue but it is likely that didn’t happen until the 1990s or 2000s when color printing became more common and less costly.
Distorted logo first seen on the March/April 1975 Journal of Environmental Health
Current logo (circa mid‐2000s)
Is there a new logo in NEHA's future? The short answer is yes. The long answer is that the process of creating a new logo is not an easy task and NEHA is proceeding forward with careful thought and deliberation. Stay tuned for future developments on this front.
Do you have information to add to this history? If so, please contact us.
NEHA History Project Task Force Members
The task force is comprised of luminaries from the field of environmental health, including NEHA past presidents, distiguished professors, current NEHA leadership, and visionaries from the public, private, and uniformed services sectors.
Dr. Leon F. Vinci
Dr. Amer El-Ahraf
Dr. Jack Hatlen
Dr. Hank Korem
Dr. Priscilla Oliver
Dr. Bob Powitz
Dr. Welford Roberts
RADM Webb Young
Ex Officio Members
Dr. D. Gary Brown
Dr. David Dyjack
All forms of input, ideas, and history are welcomed and we invite you to share that with the task force. The task force also encourages individuals to reach out if interested in joining our work in preserving and presenting the history of NEHA and our profession.
NEHA History Project Resources
Published in 1987, NEHA's Green Book provides a summary of the organization's first 50 years.
Walk into the past and explore artifact images and descriptions from NEHA and the environmental health profession.
View information from recent NEHA Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibitions, as well as a list of all past AECs.
Take a look at environmental health professionals from NEHA's past and present who have provided leadership and strived for excellence.
Learn more about the trailblazing individuals who shaped the environmental health profession.