Editor's Note: In an effort to provide environmental health professionals with relevant information and tools to further the profession, their careers, and themselves, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has teamed up with the American Academy of Sanitarians (AAS) to publish two columns a year in the Journal. AAS is an organization that "elevates the standards, improves the practice, advances the professional proficiency, and promotes the highest levels of ethical conduct among professional sanitarians in every field of environmental health." Membership with AAS is based upon meeting certain high standards and criteria.
Through the column, information from different AAS members who are subject-matter expects with knowledge and experience in a multitude of environmental health topics will be presented. This column strengthens the ties between both associations in the shared purpose of furthering and enhancing the environmental health profession.
Due to review and publication timelines, the text for this column was submitted to the Journal in early May. As such, the contents of this column were drafted prior to the national and worldwide movement against racism occurring at time of press. AAS will be conducting a self-assessment of internal and external positions in regard to diversity and inclusion. In addition, AAS will be signing-on to a letter addressing racism and its effect on environmental health. This letter is being led by NEHA and will include sign-ons from other environmental health organizations. When finalized, this letter will be posted on the NEHA website (www.neha.org) and AAS website (www.sanitarian.org). The information and conclusions presented in this column are those of the author(s) and does not necessarily represent the views or official positions of AAS, NEHA, or author affiliations.
Brian Collins is the chair-elect of AAS, a past president of NEHA, former director of environmental health, and a registered environmental health specialist for over 30 years. Wendell A. Moore is the chair of AAS, a retired U.S. Army colonel, and a registered environmental health specialist/ registered sanitarian for over 30 years.
Nondiscrimination, diversity, and inclusion are among the most important elements that influence organizational change, direction, and success. Many organizations neglect or minimize the importance and benefits of these organizational elements and fail to make them part of their administrative...