National Environmental Health Association Adds New Staff in Washington, D.C.

NEHA News Release


Release Date: 
January 11, 2016

DENVER—The National Environmental Association (NEHA) announces the addition of two new senior staff members in the Washington, D.C. area, Sandra Whitehead, PhD and Joanne Zurcher, MPP. Whitehead will lead the research and development department of NEHA overseeing a staff of six, while Zurcher will serve a key role as NEHA’s director of government affairs.

“We are extremely pleased to establish our presence in Washington, D.C., not only because of the talent and leadership of these two individuals, but also to recognize the critical role of environmental health in keeping our nation’s citizens and its economy healthy. Our presence on Capitol Hill will help ensure that when it comes to the safety of the food our children eat, the quality of our nation’s water and air, or preparedness during times of emergency, the critical counsel and expertise of environmental health professionals will be readily available to policy makers,” said David Dyjack, Dr.PH, CIH, NEHA executive director.

Whitehead comes to NEHA from the National Association of County and City Health Officials where she served as the senior director of community health promotion, overseeing the Healthy Community Design and Chronic Disease Prevention portfolios. She has nearly 10 years of public health experience at the national and state level, including work with the Florida Department of Health as the statewide resource on Health Impact Assessment (HIA), Health in All Policies (HiAP) and Healthy Homes. She has led 11 HIA and has trained over 300 professionals to conduct them.

Zurcher has more than 20 years of government affairs and legislative experience in both private and government settings. She has worked for the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as acting director of the Office of Legislation during the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) debate, served as the director of legislative affairs for Americans for the United Nations Population Fund  (UNFPA) and has held senior positions with several members of Congress. Zurcher’s background in healthcare involved implementing the ACA by working as a program coordinator at HRSA collaborating with the Office of Management and Budget, the White House and across agencies.

Contact information and additional details on NEHA staff are available at

About the National Environmental Health Association

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is professional society with more than 5,000 members in the public and private sectors as well as in universities and uniformed services. NEHA's mission, "To advance the environmental health professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all" is fulfilled in the products and services offered by NEHA to advance the environmental health professional through credentialing, training, education, networking, professional development, and policy involvement opportunities. Learn more about NEHA at