NEHA 2021 AEC Three-Part Virtual Series LogoNEHA 2021 AEC Three-Part Virtual Series

April 20–21, June 1–2, and July 14–15, 2021

Together a Safer and Healthier Tomorrow

The 84th Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition pivoted to a new format in 2021 as a Three-Part Virtual Series, showcasing the National Environmental Health Association’s (NEHA) commitment to innovation in delivering valuable, interactive, and engaging educational content. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NEHA made the decision in April 2020 to cancel the 2020 AEC, the first time in our history that we did not put on an AEC. For the 2021 AEC, NEHA continued to closely monitor developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and after careful deliberation, the NEHA Board of Directors has made the decision in November 2020 to transition the face-to-face 2021 AEC scheduled for July 12–15, 2021, in Spokane, Washington, to a three-part virtual series.

After making the decision, NEHA President Sandra Long stated, “As the health and safety of our members, presenters, exhibitors, attendees, partners, and staff is our highest priority, the NEHA Board of Directors made the difficult decision to transition the 2021 AEC & Exhibition to a three-part virtual series. While I am disappointed we won’t have the opportunity to see our friends and colleagues in person, I feel certain NEHA has made the right decision. I have full confidence that the NEHA leadership and staff will develop this three-part virtual series to be as valuable, educational, and interactive as past AECs. I look forward to participating in this new learning and conference format.”

Along with a new virtual platform, NEHA made the decision to break up the 2021 AEC into three separate parts that were held on April 20–21, June 1–2, and July 14–15, 2021. In total, 1,100 environmental health practitioners gathered and attended the virtual conference to exchange information and discover new and practical solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the profession. Environmental health professionals have been on the front line of an unprecedented global pandemic. COVID-19 brought with it changes to roles and an increase in responsibilities. The 2021 AEC brought attendees together virtually to share experiences, research, expertise, and best practices to work together for a safer and healthier tomorrow.

During Part 1, John Wilson, founder of CBL Training and Consulting, delivered an energized and timely keynote address. Wilson provided attendees with strategies to maintain their own behavior and the tools to successfully gain compliance and create cooperation amid a world of growing stress and anxiety for the profession and the public they serve. For Part 2, a panel discussion on how policy makers view environmental health was featured. The presenters included Kim Norton, the mayor of Rochester, Minnesota, and Doug Benevento, former deputy administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The presenters provided an insightful discussion on key environmental health issues impacting their constituencies. We wrapped up the 2021 AEC in Part 3 with our Closing Session and Awards Recognition.

The 2021 AEC included over 100 educational sessions, workshops, and networking sessions in a wide variety of environmental health topics. Food safety, emergency preparedness, and climate and health were among the most popular topics.

Exhibitors showcased their products and services in a live virtual format throughout the 2021 AEC Three-Part Virtual Series. Attendees and exhibitors connected in real time during the live Exhibit Hall hours. We thank all exhibitors and sponsors for their involvement in the 2021 AEC with a special thank you to the series presenting sponsor, HealthSpace USA Inc.

While the 2021 AEC may have looked drastically different compared with previous AECs, the 2021 AEC Three-Part Virtual series nonetheless offered a valuable experience for all those who participated. NEHA thank its attendees, members, board, staff, technical advisors, presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors who participated and contributed to the success of the 2021 AEC. The conference could not be possible without you!

NEHA 2021 AEC Wrap-Up (PDF)

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