NEHA Past President Boyd T. Marsh
Boyd T. Marsh, RS
Presidential Term: 1981–1982
The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) was saddened to learn that Boyd T. Marsh passed away September 1, 2021. Marsh served as president of NEHA from 1981–1982. This time period was tumultuous for NEHA due to financial difficulties and a decline in membership. From his “The President’s Message” in the September/October 1981 Journal of Environmental Health, he stated, “We must strike out to establish a role and place for our association—an association where all of us can contribute our talents and where our association and profession can benefit from our collective contributions.” Marsh certainly contributed his talents to moving NEHA into the future. His leadership and that of others during this time period helped to ensure that NEHA exists today.
In addition to his national impact, Marsh was a strong environmental health leader in his home state of Ohio. He began his career in 1966 as a staff sanitarian for the Summit County Health Department. He went on to serve as the director of environmental health for both the Summit County General Health District and the Cleveland Department of Public Health. He retired as health commissioner of the Summit County General Health District in 2000. Marsh also served as president of the Ohio Environmental Health Association (OEHA) in 1972. He was the first chairman of the Ohio Board of Sanitarian Registration and taught environmental health classes as an adjunct faculty member for Cleveland State University, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Akron.
Marsh was honored with the Walter F. Snyder Award in 1989 from NSF International and NEHA. He was described in the Snyder Award announcement as a person of “wisdom and accomplishment” whose contributions to environmental health “can be seen in the programs and publications which have grown from his wisdom.” A copy of the award announcement can be viewed at https://bit.ly/31vLbyL. He was honored as Outstanding Sanitarian in 1979 and Outstanding Environmentalist in 1980 by OEHA. He was also named a diplomate of the American Academy of Sanitarians (AAS) in 1974.
Marsh shared his professional knowledge and personal experience with many Summit County organizations that helped individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Marsh and his wife Paula created the Personal Advocacy Program for Summit and Portage County residents dealing with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 1992, they were instrumental in legally challenging unfair local ordinances that created obstacles for individuals with developmental disabilities to live in residential neighborhoods.
President's Message Columns From the Journal of Environmental Health