The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) was saddened to learn that Bailus Walker, Jr., MPH, PhD, passed away on April 11, 2020. Dr. Walker was a distinguished researcher, teacher, and environmental and public health professional. He was a retired professor of environmental and occupational medicine and toxicology in the College of Medicine at Howard University. He received his undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry from Kentucky University. He went on to earn a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in occupational and environmental health from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Walker's career spanned several decades across academia and state and federal health agencies. From 1979-1981, he was director of the Occupational Health Standards Division within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He was the first nonphysician to be appointed commissioner of public health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and chairman of the Massachusetts Public Health Council. Prior to that he was appointed state director of public health for Michigan. From 1988-1990, Dr. Walter was a professor of public health policy at the State University of New York at Albany. He then went on to be appointed dean of the College of Public Health at the Health Sciences Center of the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, from 1990-1994.
Dr. Walker was actively involved in the environmental and public health profession. He was a National Institutes of Health advisor on environmental and community health aspects of biodefense research. He was a senior science advisor for environmental health to the National Library of Medicine. Dr. Walker was also elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences in 1989 and served on numerous commissions and committees.
Professional development and the value of professional associations were important to Dr. Walker. He was a past president of the American
Public Health Association, a distinguished fellow of the Royal Society of Health, and a distinguished fellow of the American College of Epidemiology. Dr. Walker was also an active NEHA member for over 50 years. He provided further impact to the profession through publication of over 100 articles in peer- reviewed journals on environmental and occupational health.
Throughout Dr. Walker's career, he was the recipient of many awards and accolades including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the...