Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 83, Number 10)
Editor's Note: The National Environmental Health Association strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column on environmental health services from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
In these columns, authors from CDC's Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, as well as guest authors, will share insights and information about environmental health programs, trends, issues, and resources. The conclusions of these columns are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC.
Rebuilding for Resiliency: How Puerto Rico’s Environmental Health Department Managed Several Public Health Emergencies and Emerged Stronger
Raymond J. Lopez, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Aura Ortiz Sánchez, MHSA, Puerto Rico Department of Health
The island of Puerto Rico endured several emergencies/disasters between 2017 and 2021 that threatened both its physical infrastructure and human resource capital. From a devastating hurricane to a worldwide pandemic, the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDOH) Environmental Health Program faced each challenge with the mission-minded resolve that is key for rising above seemingly insurmountable setbacks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported three projects from 2018–2021 to assist PRDOH’s hurricane recovery efforts, specifically to help strengthen its ability to respond to these hazards and to revitalize environmental health services, workforce, and IT infrastructure. This month’s column highlights those projects and the work carried out by PRDOH to overcome these emergencies and ensure the health and safety of the public.