Membership with benefits: Opportunities for professional growth.

AuthorCollins, Alicia Enriquez

As a board member and active member of NEHA, I am often asked about membership benefits. NEHA has an assortment of benefits such as opportunities for continuing education and professional growth, helping us to remain current regarding emerging science, best practices, and trends in the environmental health field. NEHA provides a forum that connects its members, whether it is the Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition, engagement in a technical work group, or online education and training. Most of the online courses and training sessions are offered to members without tuition or fees.

During the past few years, our communities have been hit hard with natural disasters and a number of large multistate foodborne disease outbreaks. NEHA has taken a proactive role by providing the training needed to prepare our workforce for emergency response, which could mean response and recovery to a natural disaster or a coordinated response to a foodborne disease outbreak. In this column, I will provide a few examples of how NEHA has had an integral role in building capacity in the area of emergency response for environmental health professionals, providing opportunities for professional growth. If you have not had the opportunity to attend the courses noted below, I encourage you to contact NEHA or look at the convenient online options.

Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response

After Hurricane Katrina and the devastating hurricane season in 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) course. This multiday awareness-level course was designed to increase the level of emergency preparedness among environmental health professionals and other response personnel by providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to address the environmental health impacts of emergencies and disasters. It includes 10 modules covering challenges encountered during emergency preparedness and response for various environmental health disciplines such as food safety, drinking water, vectors and pest control, worker safety, and disaster management.

Since 2007, NEHA has provided assistance to CDC in the development and delivery of EHTER and has offered a condensed version at our AEC. The course is available year-round through the Federal Emergency Management Agency at their Anniston, Alabama, location. This version of the course is available free of charge to...

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