NEHA 2017 AEC
Grand Rapids, Michigan
July 10–13, 2017
Local Solutions. National Influence.
Over 800 environmental health professionals convened at NEHA’s 81st Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition to deliberate, learn, and exchange ideas and experiences regarding the urgent issues facing environmental health both locally and nationally. The picturesque Grand River served as the backdrop to five days of workshops, networking, and over 200 educational sessions covering noteworthy, and sometimes controversial, topics such as marijuana edibles, restaurant grading, body art, and environmental justice.
During the Opening Session, Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-Michigan) commenced the AEC by urging everyone to “stay woke” on environmental health legislatives issues and delivered an inspiring keynote address that had attendees talking throughout the conference. Representative Lawrence’s address was a rare opportunity to hear a government official speak boldly and knowledgeably on the topics that matter most to environmental health professionals and demonstrates NEHA’s ongoing commitment to being the national voice for environmental health advocacy.
National and local issues were not the only topics covered during the 2017 AEC. NEHA pushed the boundaries of this year’s theme by welcoming attendees and presenters from across the globe. A global leadership panel discussion was held among environmental health association directors from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Jamaica to further international connections and facilitate discussions on challenges and insights from around the world.
As always, some of the most important connections at the AEC were made over food and drinks with old friends and new colleagues. There was no shortage of socializing and community in Grand Rapids! Almost 600 environmental health professionals showed up at the Brews, Blues, & BBQ event to share stories and laughs, and sample a bit of the local flavor in “Beer City.”