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News and Features Archive

This page provides links to past year’s EHS spotlight and news articles.

Quick links to EHS spotlight and news articles by year:
2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001.

2016 Archived News Items

New Environmental Health (EH) Workforce Assessment - Learn about our initiative (UNCOVER EH) with the National Environmental Health Association and Baylor University to assess the current state and future trends in environmental health.

UPDATED: Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox - Download this recently updated toolbox for a practical and comprehensive guide on communicating about drinking water advisories. Read a column in the Journal of Environmental Health [PDF - 409 KB] explaining the updates.

Environmental Health Summer Internships - Apply now through February 3 for SUPEH and other environmental health internship opportunities.

NCEH Blog on Ill Food Workers - Read this blog about preventing sick restaurant workers from working, which is critical to reducing foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.

Innovative Vector and Pest e-Learning for Environmental Health Professionals [PDF - 548 KB] - In this column, CDC’s Martin Kalis and external partners discuss the new e-Learning series Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals that provides new, accessible learning opportunities in vector control and pest management for environmental health professionals. 

Webinar on Lessons Learned from Mass Chlorine Exposures at Recreational Swimming Pools - View the November webinar from the Model Aquatic Health Code Network.

CMAHC Seeking Committee Volunteers - Apply by Nov. 11 to lend your recreational water expertise to improve the health and safety of pools!

NEHA Recruiting Health Departments To Host Interns - Does your health department need help next summer? Apply by Dec. 1 to host an environmental health intern from an accredited program. Watch a video featuring past interns.

EH2O Recreational Waters Virtual Conference - Join in on Jan. 18-19, 2017! Topics include the Model Aquatic Health Code, research on aquatic facilities, new technologies in recreational water, and more.

New Study on Restaurant-Associated Outbreaks - Food workers are a main cause of foodborne disease outbreaks in restaurants. Read about the sources and causes of these outbreaks based on 15 years of data reported to CDC.

Environmental Health Resources by Essential Services [PDF - 206 KB] - The 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services identify the actions necessary to protect and improve environmental public health. In this article, Elaine Curtiss lists tools and resources organized by these services to help your program fill performance gaps. 

EPA Webinar on Protecting Students from Mosquitoes and the Zika Virus at School - Learn about mosquitoes of concern to schools, interim CDC guidance for schools on Zika virus, and what a school district in Florida is doing to reduce mosquito populations.

A Performance Management Initiative for Local Health Department Vector Control Programs - Read the article about an adaptable process for assessing and improving the performance of your vector control program.

History, Mystery, and Discovery: 40 Years of Legionnaires’ Disease - It’s not too late to view the archived webinar! Scientists discuss experiences from early investigations, how they solved the 2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City, and more insights from the 40-year history of this disease.

Watch the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) Network’s Most Popular Webinar Yet - The September webinar featured representatives from Neptune Benson, Great Wolf Resorts, and YMCA discussing the industry’s perspective on the MAHC. Visit the MAHC Network webpage for more archived webinars and to become a member.

New Blog about CDC’s Updated Pool Code Guidance - Learn about the 2016 MAHC and tools for pool programs in this post by the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

September Is National Food Safety Education Month - Find free food safety resources for environmental health practitioners, including research, training, infographics, and reports.

New Study on What Restaurant Staff Think about Food Allergies - Our Environmental Health Specialist Network (EHS-Net) study found that restaurant staff were familiar with food allergies and had positive attitudes about accommodating customers with food allergies. However, we found important gaps.

New Study on Microwave Cooking Practices in Restaurants - CDC EHS-Net grantee in Minnesota examined microwave cooking practices of restaurants and other food service establishments in their state.

National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) Summary Report [PDF - 445 KB] - Our first NEARS Summary Report provides information on outbreak characteristics, investigations, primary agents, contributing factors, and establishment characteristics. This information is useful for learning about how outbreaks occur and how to prevent them in the future.

Assessing Food Service Regulations and the Correlation with Prevention of Norovirus Outbreaks - A new article in the Journal of Food Protection examines state adoption of key Food Code provisions and their correlation with norovirus outbreaks.

Infographic on Kitchen Manager Certification [PDF - 379 KB] - Learn how certified kitchen managers can improve restaurant food safety and save money.

Improving Food Safety Through Prevention: CDC’s Food Safety Prevention Status Report [PDF - 388 KB] - As part of National Food Safety Education Month, we are highlighting the food safety Prevention Status Reports (PSRs). In this column, CDC’s Lauren Lipcsei and Anita Kambhampati discuss how the food safety PSR measures the status of select practices and policies that can help states prevent or reduce foodborne illness risk.

2016 Model Aquatic Health Code Released - This second edition of the MAHC includes important updates to the first edition released in 2014. The 2016 MAHC includes structural changes, clarifying edits, and new or revised provisions in the areas of disinfection and water quality, lifeguarding and bather supervision, risk management and safety, and ventilation and air quality.

Legionnaires’ Disease Resources for Environmental Health Professionals - Explore Legionella resources for environmental health practitioners, including a Vital Signs report and infographic, environmental sampling videos, toolkit for developing a water management plan, and more.

Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease: Environmental Health Expertise Is Key [PDF - 472 KB] - Legionnaires’ disease is caused by inhaling aerosolized water droplets containing Legionella bacteria, most often found in human-made water systems and cooling towers. In this column, CDC’s Jasen Kunz and Laura Cooley discuss the vital role environmental health plays in preventing this disease and responding to outbreaks.

CDC Vital Signs Report: Legionnaires’ Disease on the Rise - Environmental health expertise is key to preventing Legionnaires’ disease and responding to outbreaks. In this Vital Signs, new tools and information are available for environmental health professionals to help local building owners and managers carry out Legionella water management programs based on newly published standards. These tools include a practical guide for developing a Legionella water management program, infographic fact sheet, and more.

Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) - About 1 in 9 American residents get their drinking water from a private well, and about 1 in 5 sampled private wells were found to be contaminated at levels considered unsafe. CDC encourages health departments to strengthen and improve their drinking water programs to keep communities safe. Our new drinking water improvement program has steps to improve your drinking water program and free tools and resources to help.

Vector Control Tools and Resources for Environmental Health Professionals [PDF - 373 KB] - Environmental health professionals are on the frontline of helping individuals, institutions, and communities reduce threats from mosquitoes, ticks, and other vectors. In this column, author Kelli Foster discusses training and other resources designed to advance environmental health professionals’ awareness of public health threats posed by vectors and pests.

Register Today for the Next Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) Network Webinar - This bimonthly webinar will be Tuesday, May 17, at 1:00 pm EDT. The topic for this webinar is “Considering MAHC Adoption: First Steps” featuring guest speaker Jim Rada, Director of Environmental Health Services for Jefferson County Public Health, Colorado. The MAHC Network is a community for MAHC users, subject-matter experts, and those hoping to learn about the code.

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week Toolkit - Swim season is right around the corner, and so is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week (May 23- 29). Get an early peek at CDC’s toolkit for this observance and make this summer the healthiest swim season yet.

Update from the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (and Why You Should Join) [PDF - 215 KB] - The CMAHC comprises members from public health and the aquatics industry who are committed to keeping the MAHC current, sustainable, and easily understood and implemented. In this column, guest author and CMAHC President Doug Sackett discusses the 1st Biennial CMAHC Conference and the future of the MAHC.

New CDC Study: How Often Retail Delis Clean Their Slicers - What percentage of delis clean their slicers as often as FDA recommends to prevent germs from spreading? Check out our new study, published in CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and our plain language summary to find out!

New Emergency Response Training for Environmental Health Professionals [PDF - 236 KB] - Environmental health practitioners perform many critical functions during emergency response and recovery. In this column, CDC’s Martin Kalis and FEMA’s Bernice Zaidel discuss the new Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) Operations-level course, including what students will learn, and what past students thought. Learn more about the new Operations course, including how to register.

EHS Resources Organized by 10 Essential Services - We are excited to announce our latest addition to the EHS website! Find tools here to help your program fill performance gaps and contribute to larger performance improvement efforts such as voluntary public health accreditation.

EEK: Vectors and Public Health Pests Virtual Conference - Registration is OPEN! This free conference (April 13-14) is brought to you by National Environmental Health Association and sponsored by CDC. Conference topics include rodents, ticks, mosquitoes, and bed bugs; integrated pest management; emerging vectors and vectorborne diseases; new technologies in vector and pest control; climate change and vectors; lessons learned; inspection successes; and stories from the field. Register Today!

CDC Report Highlights State Food Safety Practices - These reports highlight the status of state public health policies and practices designed to impact important public health issues, including food safety. Read the reports and check out the new food safety indicator on state adoption of selected foodborne disease-related provisions from the 2013 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code.

CDC’s Drought Guidance: Your Public Health Resource for Understanding and Preparing for Drought in Your Community - Are drought issues affecting your community, or could they affect your community in the future? In this column, [PDF - 208 KB] Martin Kalis and Elaine Curtiss discuss how CDC’s drought guidance, When Every Drop Counts, can help you understand how drought may impact public health in your community and how to prepare for it.

Rodent Control Program Profiles - Read these profiles describing best practices, challenges, and technical assistance needs of local rodent control programs (produced in collaboration with the National Association of County and City Health Officials).

Preventing Foodborne Illness Infographic - Download our new infographic [PDF - 2 MB] to learn how we help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks by understanding the environmental factors contributing to them. Note: This infographic has been revised to clarify and improve one of the graphics.

Acute Gastroenteritis Illness on Cruise Ships - The rate of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) illness on cruise ships has decreased over time, yet people often associate cruise ships with these illnesses. Read more from CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program in a new MMWR article or on VSP’s companion webpage.

Community Environmental Health Activism in South Gate, Los Angeles County, CA - Recently, the community of South Gate, California, used the Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health to identify environmental health issues and take action to address them. This blog post discusses the outcome of this assessment and how the local community is responding.

January/February JEH Column: Parks: An Opportunity to Leverage Environmental Health [PDF - 346 KB] - Public health and parks and recreation departments have many synergistic goals that could be leveraged to make both more effective. In this column, Dee Merriam shares resources and a series of questions environmental health staff can use to explore collaboration opportunities with their local parks and recreation programs.

e-learning on Environmental Assessments of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks - Check out our short video promoting CDC’s fun, free, and interactive e-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks. The skills needed to participate in an outbreak investigation are different from those needed to inspect restaurants, and the role of environmental health staff is critical. View the video to learn why you should register for this training today.

Legionella Website with Videos & Other Outbreak Resources - CDC has developed a number of resources on this website to help health departments investigate legionellosis outbreaks in their area, including 6 short environmental investigation videos, an environmental assessment form, sampling procedures, and other Legionella outbreak investigation resources for health departments. Also, check out December 2015's JEH cover story, Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreak at a Long-Term Care Facility [PDF - 689 KB] , for more information on a recent outbreak and how investigators resolved the situation.

Summer Program in Environmental Health (SUPEH) - SUPEH is a paid 10-week internship for students majoring in environmental health in a program accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC). Interns gain environmental health experience and an understanding of environmental health work at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels.

Enhancing Environmental Health Knowledge (EEK): Vectors & Public Health Pests Virtual Conference - Join other environmental health professionals for this virtual conference sponsored by the National Environmental Health Association with support from CDC’s Environmental Health Services Branch.

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2015 Archived News Items

Improving State and Local Capacity to Assess and Manage Risks Associated with Private Wells and Other Drinking Water Systems Not Covered by the Safe Drinking Water Act [PDF - 402 KB] – Eleven percent of U.S. households (~35 million people) use drinking water systems that are not covered by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). In this column, Raquel Sabogal and Brian Hubbard discuss CDC’s funding initiative supporting 11 state and local grantees to improve their capacity to assess and manage risks associated with drinking water systems not covered by the SDWA.

Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC) Vote on the Code – The conference may be over, but the voting process is just beginning! CMAHC members can submit their votes from November 21 through December 20. To learn how to become a member of the CMAHC, visit their website.

Rodent Control and Public Health: A Description of Local Rodent Control Programs [PDF - 152 KB] – Controlling rodents in rural and urban settings has been a public health challenge for many years. In this article, guest author Lisa Brown and CDC author Joe Laco discuss the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ profile of 9 rodent control programs across the nation to understand their capacity, challenges, best practices, and needs.

Keeping Cool Under Pressure: NYC Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak, Summer 2015 – This blog post discusses the work of a team of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and environmental health experts as they responded to this summer’s outbreak of Legionella, the largest ever recorded in New York City. In response to this outbreak, the city passed new legislation that requires registration of all cooling towers and defines maintenance standards. The collaborative efforts of public health professionals from city, state, and federal agencies made it possible for this outbreak to be identified, solved, and contained as quickly as possible. CDC’s Environmental Health Services Branch was instrumental in the environmental investigation.

EHS Support to Identify & Address Root Causes of Foodborne Illness – CDC works with health departments to investigate environmental factors that contribute to foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants, delis, and other retail food outlets. This page includes information about new health department funding to identify and address the root causes of foodborne illness in restaurants under RFA-EH-15-001.

EHSB’s Free Resources for Environmental Health Practitioners.[PDF - 413 KB] – In this column Elaine Curtiss highlights food safety, water protection, and performance improvement resources on the newly updated Environmental Health Services Branch (EHSB) website.

Join Us for VOTE ON THE CODE Biennial Conference to Update the Model Aquatic Health Code – CDC invites you to join the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC) as a member and participate in person or online in the Vote on the Code Biennial Conference on October 6–7. Your expertise drives updates to the Model Aquatic Health Code.

The Role of Environmental Health Programs in Public Health Accreditation – The National Association of County and City Health Officials, with funding from EHSB, interviewed local health departments about the steps they take and types of environmental public health documentation they used in seeking accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board. This free, 2-page PDF shares the results, lessons learned, and best practice recommendations.

EHS Working with Water Programs to Promote Safe Drinking Water – CDC works with drinking water programs at health departments to address problems with wells and other private drinking water sources in their communities. This page includes information about new health department funding to reduce exposures from private drinking water sources under CDC-RFA-EH15-1507.

Groundwater Protection – This page includes resources for environmental health practitioners on groundwater protection.

Food Safety Resources for Environmental Health – Address environmental causes of foodborne illnesses with our new webpage bringing together all of CDC's food safety resources for environmental health practitioners.

Letter Grading and Transparency Promote Restaurant Food Safety in New York City (NYC) [PDF - 633 KB] – In this article, Wendy McKelvey, Melissa Wong, and Bailey Matis share proactive steps the NYC Health Department (a CDC Environmental Health Specialist Network [EHS-Net] grantee) has taken to improve food safety in NYC's 24,000 restaurants, including creating an app with restaurant inspection grades. Watch a video presentation about this program.

E-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks – Practice skills in an interactive virtual environment and learn to conduct environmental assessments as part of outbreak investigations. Also, watch our video about this innovative training!

Campylobacter Training Kit – Access this training kit for resources to train restaurant workers on how to properly handle raw chicken to prevent the foodborne illness associated with the bacteria Campylobacter. Resources are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese and were developed by San Mateo County, California, an EHS-Net grantee. Read more [PDF - 485 KB] about the training kit.

Food Safety Centers of Excellence – Six state health departments and their academic partners are providing in-person and online resources, training, and assistance in tracking foodborne illness and investigating outbreaks. This assistance is designed to strengthen foodborne illness surveillance and improve food safety in your community.

Equipping Environmental Health Workers with Environmental Assessment Tools. [PDF - 431 KB] – In this article, Erik Coleman discusses two innovative tools for environmental health workers to assist in fighting this “winnable battle”–an e-learning training and a reporting system on environmental assessments of outbreaks.

Model Aquatic Health Code Provides Guidance on Aquatic Facility Safety – This blog post by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) discusses how the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code maintains and updates the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC).

Environmental Health Professionals Work the Bugs Out – School Integrated Pest Management. [PDF - 631 KB] – Every day, millions of children going to school may unwittingly be exposed to harmful pesticides. Guest authors Dawn Gouge and Marc Lame discuss how integrated pest management can reduce pesticide reliance while maintaining a safe, pest-free learning environment for children.

It’s All about the Return on Investment: The Model Aquatic Health Code. [PDF - 224 KB] – In this column, CDC authors Michele Hlavsa, Jasen Kunz, and Michael Beach discuss tracking the MAHC’s impact in key areas with the top five public pool states and how the MAHC will be updated in the future.

Register Today - Free Webinar on States’ Role in Updating Pool Safety Codes on Friday, May 22 – Join CDC, industry, and state health officials for this free webinar on the Model Aquatic Health Code as a tool for state programs. Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/519155671522169601.

2015 Sapphire Award Honoree – Congratulations to Florida’s Department of Health in Indian River for their use of the Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health to make a “significant, positive impact on health-related outcomes for Florida’s at-risk people and communities.”

Sharing Environmental Health Services Across Jurisdictional Boundaries. [PDF - 536 KB] – CDC authors Liza Corso and Robert Blake and guest authors Gianfranco Pezzino and Patrick Libbey discuss the benefits from cross-jurisdictional sharing of essential public health services and offer examples of successful collaboration from around the nation.

Best Food Cooling Practices for Restaurants – EHS-Net study examines the food cooling practices of 420 randomly selected restaurants to assess current practices and to provide recommendations for cooling foods more effectively to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.

2015 Healthy and Safe Swimming Week: “Make a Healthy Splash: Share the Fun, Not the Germs” – Start planning now for Healthy and Safe Swimming Week (May 18–24, 2015): Educate your community about a few easy and effective steps to maximize the health benefits we all get from swimming.

March 8-14 is National Groundwater Awareness Week – Explore groundwater resources for environmental health practitioners.

Searching for E. coli – In 2006, a restaurant chain received spinach contaminated with E. coli, which made many people ill. Read the NCEH blog entry about how our scientists found out what caused a multistate outbreak of E. coli on spinach in 2006.

Acute Gastrointestinal Illness Following a Prolonged Community-Wide Water Emergency – New publication examines the association between water service disruptions and acute gastrointestinal illness.

EnvPHPS Logic Model for Drinking Water Programs – New tool with recommended strategies for public health department drinking water programs and activities to improve programmatic performance using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.

National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Calls for an Increased Focus on Improved Recreational Water Safety [PDF - 325 KB] – NACCHO has released Statement of Policy 15-01 emphasizing the importance of pool inspection and other recreational water safety activities at local health departments. The statement mentions the Model Aquatic Health Code as a tool health departments can use to decrease waterborne injury and illness and promote healthy swimming.

Modeling Health Impacts of the Transportation Built Environment: Challenges and Opportunities. [PDF - 360 KB] – Guest authors Geoffrey Whitfield and Arthur Wendel discuss the benefits and challenges associated with using models to predict community behaviors while planning the built environment, particularly regarding walking, biking, and using public transit.

Controlling Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) – Study reports results of a successful campaign to eradicate the brown dog tick and reduce RMSF in an Arizona community with high RMSF-related fatalities.

E. coli Outbreak Investigation – Article reports findings of an in-depth systems analysis of irrigation water quality after a strain of E. coli caused an outbreak in Iowa and Minnesota in 2006. Contaminated shredded lettuce was found to be the source of the outbreak.

Managerial Practices Regarding Workers Working while Ill – EHS-Net publication describes restaurant policies for sick workers, what happens when managers work when sick, and what happens when workers work when sick.

The Road Towards Environmental Justice From a Multifaceted Lens [PDF - 264 KB] – Guest columnist LaToria Whitehead discusses concerns and challenges shared in environmental health and describes ways to strengthen the role of state, local, tribal, and national environmental health professionals to respond to adverse environmental exposures.

Request Changes for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) – The Conference for the Model Aquatic Health Code is accepting change requests for the 2nd edition of the MAHC until February 19, 2015. Find out how to submit changes.

Improving Environmental Public Health Services Performance to Meet Community Needs [PDF - 1.35 MB] – New guidance document describes performance improvement resources and tools and explains how those tools are used to produce results that can be integrated into broader public health department performance improvement initiatives.

Restaurant Manager and Worker Food Safety Certification and Knowledge – Article examines the relationships among kitchen manager and worker food safety certification, food safety knowledge, restaurant and manager characteristics, and foodborne illness risk factors observed in restaurants.

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2014 Archived News Items

The First Edition of the Model Aquatic Health Code Is Now Available: What’s Next? [PDF - 707 KB] – Authors Jason Kunz and Michael Beach describe the expected implementation impact of the Model Aquatic Health Code and the plan for keeping the code current and relevant.

Restaurant Manager and Worker Food Safety Certification and Knowledge – Article examines the relationships among kitchen manager and worker food safety certification, food safety knowledge, restaurant and manager characteristics, and foodborne illness risk factors observed in restaurants.

Irrigation Water Issues Potentially Related to 2006 Multistate E. coli Outbreak on Spinach – In 2006, a restaurant chain received spinach contaminated with E. coli, which made many people ill. Environmental health investigators traced the spinach back to one farm’s irrigation system.

Vector Control Program Performance Improvement – Information about CDC funding to support performance assessment and improvement at vector control programs provided by state, tribal, local, and territorial public health departments.

Hear from EHS’ Martin Kalis and Rob Blake and others about how the food industry can best prepare for the next natural disaster before it strikes in Lessons Learned: Food Safety Preparedness before the Next Natural Disaster.

September Is National Food Safety Education Month – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners related to foodborne illness and food safety.

SepticSmart Week Is September 22-26, 2014 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SepticSmart initiative is a nationwide public education effort to tell homeowners about the importance of properly maintaining their septic systems. Visit the EPA SepticSmart webpage for tools to help promote homeowner education and awareness.

First edition of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) – The first edition of the MAHC launched August 29, 2014. States and localities can use the MAHC to make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer. Check out the MAHC code; the annex with scientific explanations; and materials including the MAHC fact sheet, infographic, and web button.

Private Wells and Other Unregulated Drinking Water Systems—Improving State and Local Capacity to Manage Risks – Information about CDC funding to 11 recipients to count and gather data on private wells and other drinking water systems not regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Tools to Improve Raw Chicken Handling at Restaurants: Report From San Mateo County, California. [PDF - 486 KB] – Guest author Emmy S. Myszka describes a training kit detailing how to handle raw chicken in restaurants to prevent cross-contamination.

New Blog on Integrated Pest Management – Vince Radke talks about EHS’ integrated pest management program. EHS works with state and county health officials to control pests in restaurants. Information these officials learn through EHS’ programs is typically passed on to others in the restaurant industry.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Rodeo Project – In 2012, CDC began working in Arizona to control Rocky Mountain spotted fever after an outbreak of the vectorborne disease. CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases led the overall agency response, and EHS helped develop and implement an integrated pest management system to control the disease-transmitting ticks that were spread by the community dogs.

Contributions to Enhancing the Public Health Perspective on Onsite Wastewater Management. [PDF – 302 KB] – Max Zarate-Bermudez describes a study to determine the rate of contaminants from conventional onsite wastewater systems in a coastal setting.

Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week 2014 - The week before the start of the summer swim season is Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week (May 19–25, 2014). Each year, RWII Prevention Week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone.

Update on the Model Aquatic Health Code. [PDF - 452 KB] – Author Rob Blake discusses the proposed operational guidelines for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and progress to date.

CDC’s New Environmental Health Tools to Improve Food Safety – Information on new training and new surveillance system to advance the use of environmental assessments during foodborne illness outbreak investigations.

Flood Safety Awareness Week 2014 – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners related to flood safety and response.

Groundwater: Resources for EH Practitioners – Links to EHS, CDC, and other resources for environmental health practitioners related to groundwater.

Food Safety Tools and Products for Environmental Health Practitioners. [PDF – 3.2 MB] – Sarah Merkle discusses CDC’s new surveillance system that can help prevent outbreaks, an overview of four EHS-Net articles recently published in the Journal of Food Protection, and a new e-Learning course on environmental assessment of foodborne illness outbreaks.

Training Course: Biology and Control of Vectors and Public Health Pests – EHSB offers its popular course, Biology and Control of Vectors and Public Health Pests: The Importance of Integrated Pest Management at NCEH on February 11–13, 2014.

EHS-Net Food Safety Articles – Links to four new publications on restaurant food handling practices that have been linked with foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurant settings.

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2013 Archived News Items

The Use of Public Health Informatics to Improve Environmental Health Practice [PDF - 252 KB] – Authors Erik Coleman and Kristin Delea discuss the Environmental Health Specialists Network Information System, a web-based application platform that coordinates and supports data collection activities in the area of foodborne and waterborne illness outbreak prevention.

Summer Internship with Environmental Health Services – Applications are now being accepted for a 10-week summer environmental internship.

Children’s Environmental Health – Links to EHS, CDC, and other resources for environmental health practitioners related to children’s environmental health.

Culture Shift: Strengthening the Role of Environmental Health in Public Health Performance Improvement Efforts. [PDF - 551 KB] – Authors Julianne Price, C. Meade Grigg, and Maggie Byrne discuss key tools including the Environmental Public Health Performance Standards (EnvPHPS) and the Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH).

New Model Pool Code Video – Check out a new short video on the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) as a tool to prevent outbreaks, drowning, and chemical poisoning.

Floods: Resources for EH Practitioners – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners on flood response.

	Photo of 2013 NEHA EH Award Winners pictured left to right: Miller, Radke, Bankston, and Herring. Not pictured: Martin Kalis

Pictured left to right: Miller, Radke, Bankston, and Herring. Not pictured: Martin Kalis. Photo by Maggie Byrne.

Environmental Health Award Winners [PDF - 96 KB] – The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) honored staff from CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health at the 77th annual NEHA educational conference on July 9-11, 2013, in Washington, DC.

InFORM: An Innovative, Integrated Food Safety Meeting. [PDF - 623 KB] – September is Food Safety Education Month, and authors Rob Blake, Christopher Braden, and Laura Brown discuss this important food-safety meeting. InFORM emphasizes the importance of collaboration among laboratorians, epidemiologists, and EH professionals: all three disciplines are integral to the successful surveillance of and response to foodborne disease outbreaks.

Protect Your Groundwater Day – Links to EHS, CDC, and other resources for environmental health practitioners related to foodborne illness and food safety.

September Is National Food Safety Education Month – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners related to foodborne illness and food safety.

Public Health Department Accreditation and Environmental Public Health: Sustaining the Collaboration [PDF - 219 KB] – Authors LCDR Justin Gerding, Valeria Carlson, and Robin Wilcox describe the process of accreditation for public health departments. EPH is expected to be a major contributor to the accreditation process, and many Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) standards and measures specifically involve EPH.

Final Model Pool Code Module for Comment: Recirculation Systems and Filtration – This module is a first step toward improving water quality at aquatic facilities and reducing associated health effects.

Natural Disasters: Resources for EH Practitioners – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners on disaster preparedness and response.

Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Manmade Chlorinated Lake--Tarrant County, Texas, 2008 [PDF - 317 KB] – Article highlighting the importance of close cooperation among epidemiology, laboratory, and environmental health colleagues in response to recreational water illness outbreaks.

Sign Up Today: EH Training in Emergency Response Course – Sign up today for the condensed version of the EHTER Awareness Level course for environmental health professionals. The July 7-8 course provides an overview of the environmental health roles and responsibilities, issues, and challenges faced during emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.

Also at NEHA: Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) – Join CDC and partners on July 8 at the National Environmental Health Aquatic Symposium, a special preconference at this year’s NEHA conference.

Restaurant Safety: What You Should Know – Going out to eat? Keep these things in mind when choosing the right restaurant for you and your family.

Environmental Public Health Online Course (EPHOC) Series: Are We Making a Difference? [PDF - 272 KB] – Guest columnists Lisa McCormick and Jesse Pevear III discuss successes as well as improvements needed for CDC's EPHOC series. EPHOC is the first of its kind for public health discipline-specific workforce development training.

Natural Disasters: Resources for EH Practitioners – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners on disaster preparedness and response.

Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Manmade Chlorinated Lake--Tarrant County, Texas, 2008 [PDF - 317 KB] – In 2008, clusters of laboratory-confirmed cryptosporidiosis cases and reports of gastrointestinal illness in persons who visited a lake were reported to Tarrant County Public Health. The resulting investigation highlights the importance of close cooperation among epidemiology, laboratory, and environmental health colleagues in response to recreational water illness outbreaks.

EHS Feature News page on Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week — May 20–26, 2013 – Twitter chat (May 22, 2013) and new healthy swimming data and environmental health materials related to healthy swimming.

Healthy and Safe Swimming: Pool Chemical–Associated Health Events [PDF - 220 KB] – This month's guest authors, Michele Hlavsa and Michael Beach of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, discuss prevention of health events associated with pool chemicals.

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Be the first to know CDC’s latest recommendations for aquatic venues! Join CDC and partners for the release of the first edition of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) for final public comment.

EHS-Net Plain Language Summary on Restaurant Food Cooling Practices – No time to read journal articles detailing EHS-Net findings? The new summary of the 2013 food cooling study highlights the study findings and recommendations.

Monitoring and Controlling West Nile Virus: Are Your Prevention Practices in Place? [PDF - 732 KB] – Guest columnist Roger Nasci describes the 2012 WNV outbreaks in the United States and highlights community-based, integrated mosquito management programs as the best WNV prevention tool available.

	Gelting (center) is shown with US Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin (left) and Sven E. Rodenbeck (RADM, USPHS) (right). Photo by Sue Gelting.

Gelting (center) is shown with US Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin (left) and Sven E. Rodenbeck (RADM, USPHS) (right). Photo by Sue Gelting.

Richard Gelting PhD, PE (CAPT, USPHS) won the CDC 2013 Engineer of the Year Award and the US Public Health Service 2013 Engineer of the Year Award earlier this year. On February 22, 2013, he was named the 2013 Federal Engineer of the Year by the National Society of Professional Engineers.

EHS-Net-Improving Restaurant Food Safety One Study at a Time [PDF - 168 KB] – Did you know that half of all foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States are associated with restaurants? CDC’s Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) did, and since 2002, EHS-Net has conducted 15 studies on restaurant food safety.

CDC’s Summer Program in Environmental Health Enters Fifth Year (AEHAP News page 2) [PDF - 1.4 MB] – The Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP) published an article on the SUPEH internship program in its winter newsletter.

Summer Internship with Environmental Health Services – Applications due February 13, 2013, for a 10-week summer environmental internship for students majoring in Environmental Health. Interns gain environmental health experience and an understanding of environmental health work at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels.

Monitoring and Testing Module for Public Comment – This draft Model Aquatic Health Code module is open for public comment through February 10, 2013.

EHS-Net Water Safety Projects – EHS-Net’s multisite project looks at the seasonality of noncommunity water systems to understand how they provide safe drinking water and about vulnerabilities of those systems.

Restaurant Food Cooling Practices – New EHS-Net article includes quantitative data on temperature monitoring practices; refrigeration cooling practices, and cooling food temperatures.

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2012 Archived News Items

EHS Feature News page on Floods: Resources for EH Practitioners – Links to EHS and CDC resources for environmental health practitioners on flood response.

Emergency Water Supply Planning Guide for Hospitals and Health Care Facilities Available Online [PDF - 490 KB] – The guide helps health care facilities develop Emergency Water Supply Plans as part of their overall emergency operations plans. 

EHS Feature News page on Natural Disasters: Resources for EH Practitioners – Resources for environmental health practitioners on disaster preparedness and response.

Enumerating the Environmental Public Health Workforce—Challenges and Opportunities. [PDF - 176 KB] – CAPT Mehran Massoudi, Rob Blake, and Larry Marcum discuss efforts to determine the number and composition of the U.S. workforce at the federal, state, and local levels.

The Food-Water Nexus: Irrigation Water Quality, Risks to Food Safety, and the Need for a Systems-Based Preventive Approach [PDF - 253 KB] – CAPT Rick Gelting and Mansoor Baloch show how a systems-based environmental assessment helped identify contributing factors in two nationwide outbreaks linked to fresh produce.

Plain Language Summaries: A New EHS-Net Tool to Share Our Published Findings [PDF - 249 KB] – Laura Green Brown and Pamela S. Wigington discuss new summaries that contain brief descriptions of each study’s purpose, method, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Establishing the Practice of Health Impact Assessment in the United States [PDF - 613 KB] – Guest columnist CDR Arthur M. Wendel describes health impact assessments (HIAs) and how they are instrumental in building healthy and safe community environments.

EHS Feature News page on Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week — May 21–27, 2012 – Environmental health materials related to Healthy Swimming.

Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) [PDF - 385 KB] – Rob Blake and Jay Peters discuss how MAHC and ISPSC can complement each other.

Public Health Performance Management: Opportunities for Environmental Public Health [PDF - 357 KB] – LCDR Justin Gerding and Julianne Price discuss how a local environmental health department used the Environmental Public Health Performance Standards to initiate quality improvement efforts.

Evaluating Local and State Food and Water Safety Programs [PDF - 757 KB]

Disinfection and Water Quality Module for Public Review and Comment – Draft Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) module is open for public comment through April 27, 2012.

New Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox [PDF - 581 KB] – CAPT Mark Miller and CAPT John Watson describe a new Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox that focuses on water systems and addresses multiple situations that generate drinking water advisories.

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2011 Archived News Items

Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) - Read about how EHTER prepares environmental health workers for emergency response.

Guidance on Microbial Contamination in Previously Flooded Outdoor Areas – This guidance was developed for public health authorities, emergency response managers, and government decision makers. It defines how to assess the public health risks for using outdoor areas after a flood event where potential exposure to microbial contamination exists.

When Every Drop Counts: Protecting Public Health During Drought Conditions—A Guide for Public Health Professionals – Publication to assist public health officials, practitioners, and other stakeholders in their efforts to understand and prepare for drought in their communities.

Free Environmental Public Health Online Courses (EPHOC) – Courses are taught by environmental public health subject-matter experts from across the country. Fourteen courses are now available for REHS/RS credit!

Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI) Projects Available

National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) – Food-safety programs can now access NEARS and pilot its use for foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessment reporting.

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2010 Archived News Items

When Every Drop Counts: Protecting Public Health During Drought Conditions—A Guide for Public Health Professionals

Free Environmental Public Health Online Courses (EPHOC) – Courses now available for continuing education credit!

National Environmental Assessment Info System (NVEAIS) – Programs can now pilot its use for foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessment reporting.

Products for Environmental Health (EH) Programs – Toolkits and other resources developed by CDC EH grantees.

Training Environmental Public Health Leaders [PDF - 95 KB] – Read more about how Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute fellows applied systems thinking to solve environmental public health problems in their jurisdictions.

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2009 Archived News Items

Certified Kitchen Managers: Do They Improve Restaurant Inspection Outcomes? [PDF - 65 KB] – Article examines relationships between the results of routine restaurant inspections and the presence of a certified kitchen manager.

Environmental Health History Remembered [PDF - 140 KB] – Read about three CDC environmental health pioneers: RADM Jerrold Michael, CAPT Richard Clapp, and CAPT Frank Bryan.

Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) – CDC partnership provides free training to State and local EH practitioners.

Global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (GWASH) – Find out about EHS’ work to improve access to safe drinking water.

SUPEH: Summer Internship with EHS – A new 10-week summer environmental internship for juniors and seniors majoring in Environmental Health.

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2008 Archived News Items

CAPT Charles Otto was named to the Aquatics International 2008 Power 25 list [PDF - 53 KB] for his work on RWI Prevention Week and on CDC's Model Aquatic Health Code.

Environmental Health Specialists’ Self-Reported Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigation Practices [PDF - 299 KB]

Internship Experiences – Interns who have worked in the Environmental Health Services Branch share information about their internships.

Job Profile: Environmental Health Specialists [PDF - 42 KB] – EHSB's CAPT Mark Miller was profiled in this article about the role of environmental health specialists in preventing outbreaks and responding to emergencies.

Research of Public Health Pioneer Leads to Reduced Foodborne Outbreaks [PDF - 86 KB] – NCEH celebrates Dr. Frank Bryan for his commitment to public health.

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2007 Archived News Items

USNS Comfort [PDF - 259 KB] – Describes the US Naval hospital ship's deployment in 2007 to 12 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Military to Civilian Environmental Health Practice [PDF - 3 MB] – Provides information to environmental health professionals who are retiring or leaving active duty service so they consider careers with state and local environmental public health programs.

A Workforce “Crisis” in Environmental Health [PDF – 96 KB]

Value and Benefits of Environmental Health Services [DOC - 77 KB] – These talking points can be used by state and local environmental health practitioners to develop information and education strategies for public policymakers.

Factors Related to Food Worker Hand Hygiene Practices [PDF - 77 KB]Journal of Food Protection article includes quantitative data on establishment characteristics associated with food worker hand washing and glove use practices.

Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI) Presentations and Graduation – On February 28, 2007, the second cohort of fellows graduated from EPHLI. The 36 fellows in the class of 2006–2007 and 42 members of the class of 2007–2008 attended the presentations and graduation.

NEHA Educational Series Now Available

Outbreaks of Short-Incubation Ocular and Respiratory Illness Following Exposure to Indoor Swimming Pools – CDC investigation of two Illinois indoor hotel swimming pool chloramine-associated outbreaks (published in Environmental Health Perspectives).

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2006 Archived News Items

NALBOH Onsite Wastewater and Land Use Planning Guides [PDF - 933 KB] – Guide and companion DVD may be ordered from NALBOH.

CDC Support for EMAC – EMAC was used to provide public health and environmental health assistance during the 2005 hurricane season with much success.

CDC and HUD to Release an Updated Housing Inspection Manual [PDF - 191 KB] – Discusses revision of CDC’s 30-year-old Basic Housing Inspection manual and the updated Healthy Housing Reference Manual.

Environmental Health in Disaster Response – Level 1 Pilot [PDF - 333 KB] – Seeking comments on the pilot course outline.

Pictorial Keys to Arthropods, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals of Public Health Significance – Pictorial keys used to teach animal identification

CAPT Craig Shepherd: John G. Todd Award Winner [PDF - 511 KB]

The Career Resource Guide for Uniformed Services Environmental Health Practitioners [PDF - 3.4 MB] - Guide developed to provide information and encouragement to environmental health professionals who are retiring or leaving active duty service to consider careers with state and local environmental public health programs. CAPT Mike Herring of the Environmental Health Services Branch made a presentation on a new CDC workforce initiative at the Navy Environmental Health Conference.

Emergency and Terrorism Preparedness Web Site for Practitioners – The Environmental Health Services Branch is pleased to announce its new Emergency and Terrorism Preparedness Web site.

Environmental Health Specialists Network Information System [PDF - 77 KB] – The Environmental Health Specialists Network Information System (EHSNIS) is an Internet application available for free use by government agencies and nonprofit organizations to support their data collection needs relating to environmental health.

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2005 Archived News Items

Mosquitoes and You: West Nile Virus Training for Elementary School Students (Volusia County Health Department, Florida) – multimedia training program with age-appropriate games, videos, and workbooks [K-2 [PDF - 1.3 MB]]; [3-5 [PDF - 1.7 MB]] and includes a teacher's manual [PDF - 907 MB]. This program was developed in collaboration with the Volusia County [Florida] Health Department.

South Bass Island Assessment [PDF - 1 MB] – Environmental health assessment in 2004 identified potential sources of water contamination on Lake Erie's South Bass Island.

Environmental Health Services Branch Collaborates on Lead Exposure Reduction Plan in La Oroya, Peru

New Capacity Building Partnerships

Essential Services of Environmental Health [PDF - 823 KB] – This training program is designed to help environmental health programs to fully integrate the essential services concepts into their own operations through a flexible workshop format. NEHA will be awarding continuing education credit for successful completion of the course.

First National Initiative to Promote Healthy Swimming [PDF - 28 KB] – The workshop was in response to the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists' position paper [PDF - 85 KB] asking CDC to develop a national strategic plan to address the prevention and control of recreational water illnesses.

Environmental Public Health Services in Spotlight [PDF - 109 KB] – The March 2005 edition of the The Nation's Health announced a new Web site, www.ephs-apha.org, which highlights the work of environmental public health workers and spotlights critical issues faced by those workers and their communities. The August 2004 [PDF - 401 KB] edition featured an article about the revitalization of environmental public health services.

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2004 Archived News Items

A Systems-based Food Safety Evaluation: An Experimental Approach [PDF - 531 KB] – The development of the environmental health system approach.

Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute – In October, the Environmental Health Services Branch held an orientation session for CDC’s new Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute in Louisville, Kentucky.

MMWR Publication: An Outbreak of Norovirus Gastroenteritis at a Swimming Club -- Vermont, 2004 - Summary of a successful environmental health systems approach investigation conducted by the Vermont Department of Health and CDC.

Swimming Pool Inspectors Interactive Training CD-ROM – This CD-ROM is a tool for training new environmental health personnel and a good review for experienced staff.

NALBOH Environmental Health Primer – 200+ page document prepared by the National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH) on environmental health issues.

Community-Based Environmental Health Assessment (CEHA) Program – Learn more about the Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH)

After a Hurricane or Flood: Cleanup of Flood Water – EHSB staff members have been active in response to the recent series of hurricanes. They have responded to assist Florida state and local environmental health agencies and developed guidance documents.

Zoonotic Disease Surveillance [PDF - 352 KB] – CDR Hugh Mainzer coauthored an article published by the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization in the Final Report: Expert Consultation on Community Based Veterinary Public Health Systems.

EHS-Net Egg Study Published in Journal of Food Protection – The study in the seven EHS-Net states included an interview and brief site evaluation of 153 restaurants that prepare eggs during all hours of operation.

American Public Health Association Features Revitalization [PDF - 400 KB]

The National Environmental Health Diversity Recruitment Task Force – Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is leading an effort to develop “National Models of Excellence” in diversity for this rapidly expanding career field.

MMWR Surveillance Data From Public Spa Inspections United States, May–September 2002 – Extensive spa use combined with inadequate maintenance contribute to recreational water illnesses (RWIs) caused by pathogens.

Stormwater Management and Vector Breeding Habitats [PDF - 68 KB] – A new systems-based approach can help to ensure that mosquito-management programs integrated into storm water management programs.

2003 Archived News Items

MMWR Pool Inspection Data

Environmental Health Competency Project – A national panel defined core competencies for local level environmental health practitioners.

Preparing For The Environmental Public Health Challenges Of The 21st Century – Preparing and developing emerging environmental public health leaders is the theme of this CDC conference, December 3-5, 2003.

2002 Archived News Items

Special Grand Rounds: Revitalizing the Environmental Health Services System – The Special Grand Round highlighted the issues, challenges and efforts to revitalize the environmental health services in the United Kingdom and the United States.

2001 Archived News Items

A Waterborne Outbreak of Norwalk-Like Virus among Snowmobilers - Wyoming, 2001 – A cohort study found a significant association between water consumption and illness, and testing identified Norwalk-like virus (NLV) in 8 of the 13 stool samples and 1 well.

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