Editor's note: NEHA strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we will feature a column from the Environmental Health Services Branch (EHSB) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
EHSB's objective is to strengthen the role of state, local, and national environmental health programs and professionals to anticipate, identify, and respond to adverse environmental exposures and the consequences of these exposures for human health. The services being developed through EHSB include access to topical, relevant, and scientific information; consultation; and assistance to environmental health specialists, sanitarians, and environmental health professionals and practitioners.
EHSB appreciates NEHA's invitation to provide monthly columns for the Journal. EHSB staff will highlight a variety of concerns, opportunities, challenges, and successes that we all share in environmental public health.
Basic environmental health services are often overlooked and taken for granted, thus jeopardizing the health and safety of the nation. Funding available for environmental programs is most often associated with a particular disease or issue, and the scope and activities are predetermined by the funding agency Rarely do funds target the need to build infrastructure and system capacity To address that need, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sought to institute a grant program that would give the recipient flexibility to determine how, what, and where to build environmental health capacity.
Since 2001, CDC has funded the Environmental Health Capacity Building Cooperative Agreement program through the Environmental Health Services Branch (EHSB) at the National Center for Environmental Health. This program supports state and local efforts to better deliver basic environmental health services at the community level. Products and activities developed from this program vary and reflect the individual needs of each grantee. The products and activities are also sustainable and transferable, serving as models for environmental health programs in other communities.
The cooperative agreement funds in three-year cycles, referred to as rounds. The program is currently in the third year of the second round. Response to the funding announcements indicates a substantial demand for such resources. More than 150...