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News and Features

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

Quick links to past EHS spotlight and news articles by year:
2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001.

2017 News Items

Food Safety Program Successes in Providing the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services [PDF – 247 KB] – Most state and local health departments in the United States have food safety programs that deliver important services. In this column, CDC’s Francoise Tete, Laura Brown, and CDR Justin Gerding discuss a recent survey of local and state food safety programs to learn about how they apply the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.

Success Stories From CDC’s Safe Water for Community Health Grantees [PDF – 318 KB] – CDC’s Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) program helps state and county health agencies improve their safe drinking water programs for household wells. In this column, CDC’s Brian Hubbard discusses grantee success stories from the first year of the Safe WATCH.

New Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) Course – CDC’s popular awareness-level course has been revamped in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC)Vote on the Code at the 2017 Biennial Conference in Colorado on October 17-18, 2017. Proposed changes to the Model Aquatic Health Code will be discussed and debated. If you can’t attend, you can still participate! Join CMAHC and hear all sides of the discussion via FREE virtual streaming to help inform your voting after the conference ends.

Factors that Contribute to Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness – Explore our new fact sheet of findings and recommendations based on data from nearly 300 outbreaks reported to CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS).

Infographic on Contributing Factors – Learn about the top 4 contributing factors to foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants.

September Is National Food Safety Education Month – Improve your outbreak investigations with our new resources on contributing factors and NEARS, our National Environmental Assessment Reporting System.

Food Safety Innovations in Federal Guidelines [PDF – 402 KB] – The Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities apply to concession and vending operations at federal facilities. In this column, CDC fellows Lauren Lipcsei and Taylor Radke discuss how innovative criteria could further reduce the risk of foodborne illness in federal foodservice operations.

Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision, and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health [PDF – 208 KB] – Recent public health crises are examples of diseases and events requiring a response from a prepared, sufficient, and equipped environmental health (EH) workforce. In this column, CDC’s CDR Justin Gerding and partners from NEHA and Baylor University describe an initiative to understand EH professional demographics, education and training, experience, areas of practice, and current and future needs.

Mosquito Season Is Upon Us: CDC’s New Vector Control Training Can Help – Read this blog from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists to learn about a new training from CDC and partners, Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals.

CDC Vital Signs: Legionnaires’ Disease and Health Care Facilities – Explore CDC’s Vital Signs on Legionnaires’ disease (LD) and health care facilities, which includes a practical guide for developing a LD water management program, infographic fact sheet, and more.

Tools To Drive Quality Improvement of Vector Control Services. [PDF – 624 KB] – Quality improvement efforts are important for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental health programs and activities. In this column, LCDR Justin Gerding from CDC and Vanessa Lamers from the Public Health Foundation discuss how a population health driver diagram can capture and detail specific activities to address community health objectives.

May 22-28 is Healthy and Safe Swimming Week – Learn how to stay healthy and safe in the water this summer and all year. Read the “Steps of Healthy Swimming” and download the toolkit for public health professionals.

Join the Next MAHC Network Webinar – Register today for the MAHC Network webinar May 24th at 12 pm EST; Topic: Reducing Cryptosporidium Risk in Swimming Pools.

Minimizing Risk of Illness and Injury at Public Aquatic Facilities by Maximizing the Power of Aquatic Facility Inspection Data. [PDF – 336 KB] – When environmental health practitioners enforce state or local codes during pool inspections, they prevent illness and injuries at public aquatic facilities. In this column, CDC’s Michele Hlavsa, CDR Jasen Kunz, and Michael Beach explain how health departments can use pool inspection data to improve aquatic health and safety.

New CDC Study on Food Allergies and Restaurants – Read the plain language summary of this study, including CDC recommendations to help restaurants reduce the risk of food allergic reactions. Check out the full article about this study in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Using the National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) To Enhance Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigations in New York City (NYC) Restaurants. [PDF – 224 KB] – Foodborne illness outbreak investigations identify and correct the environmental cause(s) of the outbreak so more people do not become ill. In this column, guest authors from the NYC Health Department explain how CDC’s NEARS provides tools for data collection and reporting to assist health departments with identifying causes of outbreaks in their communities.

Food Safety Study Plain Language Summaries – Read plain language summaries of food safety studies and recommendations from our Environmental Health Specialists Network.

Replay of NEARS Webinar for Food Safety Programs – This webinar replay provides a brief overview and background of NEARS and success stories from two of the 23 agencies currently participating.

March 5-11 Is National Groundwater Awareness Week – Explore videos, posters, and other tools developed by grantees of CDC’s Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) program to reduce exposures from private wells.

CDC Takes Action to Improve the Reporting of Environmental Assessment Data During Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigations. [PDF – 371 KB] – Environmental assessments are an essential component of foodborne illness outbreak investigations. In this article, CDC’s Erik Coleman discusses NEARS, a surveillance system that collects environmental assessment data from outbreak investigations.

Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals (VCEHP) – Register today for our new online training on using integrated pest management (IPM) to control vectors that spread pathogens, including Zika virus.

Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision, and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health (UNCOVER EH) – Sign up to be the first to know when this landmark survey is available for environmental health professionals of all levels.

Register for the Next Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) Network Webinar on Mar. 21 – “Understanding and Applying Lifeguard/Bather Supervision and Operational Entries in the MAHC” on Tuesday, Mar. 21, 1-2 pm EST. Also, check out previous webinars in the archive. Sign up for the MAHC Network, so you don’t miss out!

Legionnaires’ Disease Health Report – Read this new report about a 2015 outbreak associated with cooling towers in New York City.

EH Fact Sheets – Check out our latest fact sheets on our Food Safety Studies [PDF – 151 KB] and new Vector Control Training [PDF – 193 KB].

Sign Up Today for the MAHC Network Webinar on Jan 17 at 1 PM EST – This bimonthly webinar will feature an overview of Washington State’s approach to regulating floatation tanks.

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

Using PACE EH To Identify Needs in South Gate, CA – Read how one community is addressing EH needs with CDC’s Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH).

Earlier news items are available on the News and Features Archive page.

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