The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, is pleased to announce the winners of the Environmental Health Innovation Award. This award recognizes environmental health professionals who have used innovative environmental health services or strategies to improve the health and well-being of their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
State, tribal, local, and territorial agencies with an environmental health program were eligible to apply and submissions were evaluated based on how well they achieved the following objectives:
- Addressed health equity gaps during the response to COVID-19.
- Enhanced workforce capacity.
- Reached new populations through virtual or distanced encounters.
- Developed new strategies that accelerate public health goals.
- Changed the procedures for inspections, data collection, or other job functions or processes.
- Created or utilized new systems.
- Worked with different cross-sector partners within the agency, department, city, or state to accomplish environmental health functions and services.
We thank all who submitted innovations and congratulate the following winners:
Gold Innovation Award Winner
Organization: Louisiana Department of Health
Project: Virtual Asthma Home Visit Program
Submitter: Dr. Runa Bakshi, Section of Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Program Monitor
Silver Innovation Award Winners
Organization: South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
Project: Food Service Facility Inspections and Lead Risk Assessment
Submitter: Mary Ramirez, Training Coordinator
Organization: Seattle & King County Public Health Department
Project: Homeless Shelter Indoor Air Quality
Submitter: Dr. Shirlee Tan, Toxicologist
Bronze Innovation Award Winners
Organization: Alexandria Health Department
Project: ALX Promise Program
Submitter: Rachel Stradling, Environmental Health Manager
Organization: Boulder County Public Health
Project: Oral Culture Train-the-Trainer Program
Submitter: Shawna Johnson, Food Safety Team Lead
Organization: Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
Project: Safe Business Certification
Submitter: Vanessa Miller, Sanitarian
Organization: Colorado Department of Public Health
Project: Virtual Childcare Inspection Program
Submitter: Amy Gammel, Childcare and Schools Program Coordinator
Organization: Bucks County Department of Corrections
Project: Environmental Health Controls During COVID-19
Submitter: Dr. Robert Powitz, Forensic Sanitarian
Organization: Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Project: Remote Lead Risk Assessment Staff Training
Submitter: Christine Lilek, Training Coordinator
Organization: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Project: Wastewater Sampling Program
Submitter: Dr. Crispin Pierce, Professor
Organization: Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health
Project: Virtual Plan Review Program
Submitter: Jonathan Rubingh, Environmental Health Program Manager