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Keep calm and carry on: the 2009 NEHA sabbatical exchange ambassador report.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of environmental health
Publication Date
Volume
73
Issue
10
Pages
20–23
Identifiers
PMID: 21667720
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sabbatical goal as an environmental health specialist working with the California Department of Public Health as an emergency planner, I was interested in the NEHA sabbatical exchange program for the opportunity it affords its awardees to see how Canada and the United Kingdom utilize their environmental health workforce. Specifically, I wanted to examine the role environmental health has in the preparations being made for the 2012 Olympic Games to be held in London. I had a special interest in the emergency preparedness efforts related to the games as my work involves promoting the integration of environmental health into the emergency response structure. In California, environmental health services are delivered by several state agencies as well as 62 local jurisdictions. This multifaceted system tends to diminish the important role environmental health plays in disaster response and recovery operations due to the lack of a central focus, and as a result, environmental health is often an overlooked resource. This situation is not unique to California, as the emergency management system in the U.S. has traditionally focused primarily on "blue light" first responders: police, fire, and emergency medical services. After an article caught my eye on involving environmental health in emergency planning, posted on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) (NEHA's counterpart in the UK) Web site, I became intrigued and used it to form the basis of my sabbatical mission.

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