National Environmental Health Association Recognizes American Indian/Alaskan Native Environmental Health Programs With Awards up to $10,000

NEHA News Release

 

Release Date: 
June 21, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEA​SE

National Environmental Health Association Recognizes American Indian/Alaskan Native Environmental Health Programs With Awards up to $10,000

Denver, CO - The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has selected the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board Environmental Health Program, Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center’s Tribal Healthy Homes Project, and Diné College School of STEM Summer Internship Program as the winners of the 2022 American Indian/Alaska Native Environmental Health Recognition Award. The award recognizes tribal health departments, organizations, or educational programs that have developed environmental health programs, strategies, projects, or initiatives to improve the well-being of their communities. 

“We are honored to recognize these three outstanding programs,” said Gina Bare, associate director of Program and Partnership Development at NEHA. “We hope this funding helps to further each program’s work to protect communities from health risks and address health disparities.” 

Gold Award Winner

The winner of the Gold Award is the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board Environmental Public Health (EPH) Program. The EPH program provides comprehensive environmental public health services to tribes in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The services are focused on identifying and assessing environmental conditions and social determinants of health, preventing environmental and occupational hazards, reducing environmentally caused disease and injury, and achieving health equity. EPH staff conduct interviews with traditional knowledge keepers from each tribe to collect tribal traditional ecological knowledge, which is incorporated into all environmental health and emergency coordination services. 

Silver Award Winner

The winner of the Silver Award is the Albuquerque Area Southwest Tribal Epidemiology Center’s (AASTEC) Tribal Healthy Homes Project (THHP). THHP is co-led by Dr. Sheldwin Yazzie, AASTEC deputy director, and Dr. Joseph Hoover, codirector of the University of New Mexico Center for Native Environmental Health Equity Research. AASTEC partnered with tribal communities in the Indian Health Service Albuquerque Area to design community-specific home assessment tools; collect, analyze, and report housing quality and geospatial data; measure and report residential home indoor radon concentration levels; and conduct training activities. THHP tribal community partners have utilized their data to successfully administer remediation or mitigation activities in homes, such as repairing or installing carbon monoxide detectors, providing batteries for fire alarms, and providing fire extinguishers and step stools.

Bronze Award Winner

The winner of the Bronze Award is the Diné College School of STEM Summer Internship Program. This annual program is designed to train students in brownfield remediation within the Navajo Nation. Through the program, students learn to identify contaminated areas; employ toxicology, environmental sampling, and restoration methods; and attend tribal meetings to gather community input on how land can be reclaimed. Direct input from the Navajo Nation helps the Diné team better understand the relationship between the Navajo people and their environment and to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge and cultural guidance into remediation activities.

The American Indian/Alaskan Native Environmental Health Program award was open to all federally recognized tribes or tribal colleges and universities and is funded in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 

More information is available at www.neha.org/about-neha/awards/american-indian-and-alaska-native-environmental-health-recognition-awards


About the National Environmental Health Association

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is a professional society with more than 6,000 governmental, private, academic, and uniformed services sector environmental health professionals in the U.S., its territories, and internationally. NEHA is the profession's strongest advocate for excellence in the practice of environmental health as it delivers on its mission to build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce.  This mission 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 www.neha.org.