"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across the environmental health field, convened in March 2020 to assess the history we have recorded, gather data and historical documents, collect historical artifacts, and review records.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.
The NEHA Annual Conference History
The NEHA Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition is the premier environmental health conference that brings together professionals from around the globe to learn and discuss current and emerging environmental health topics and issues.
The first NEHA annual conference was held on June 25, 1937, in Long Beach, California. Since that time, NEHA has held 83 AECs in 30 different states; Washington, DC; and Canada. The most AECs have been held in California (14), followed by Colorado (5), Florida (5), Nevada (5), Ohio (4), and Texas (4).
You can now view the history of these conferences, including when and where they were held. Also, links to past AEC summaries published in The Sanitarian or Journal of Environmental Health have been included. These summaries provide a rich history of the evolution of the AEC, relevant topics within the profession and association, award winners and notables, and images from our past.
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
Dr. Chris Wiant
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.