Coronavirus / COVID-19
Across the U.S. and around the globe, environmental public health professionals continue to serve on the frontlines of the ongoing pandemic response and recovery while simultaneously striving to engage in the day-to-day preventive environmental public health services delivery. NEHA's commitment is unwavering as we seek to understand the challenges and needs of the EH workforce and to support them to effectively and safely do their jobs.
“Environmental health professionals, like Atlas of Greek mythology, are asked daily to hoist many burdens upon their shoulders.”
We continue to mediate society’s evolution to a new normal. This period in the recent history of the nation’s public health system has pushed us—environmental public health professionals—to bridge many critical gaps across the vast intersection of diverse stakeholders coordinating and managing the multi-sectoral COVID-19 disaster response and recovery. The stress of this burden has been intense and relentless. The myriad of issues and changes has been emotional, exhausting, and unprecedented—as environmental public health practitioners were compelled to take on greatly expanded roles and functions amidst an onslaught of endless public health services delivery needs. As a result, the EH workforce has been stretched thin and tight like saranwrap.
Previously in early 2020, NEHA’s CEO, Dr. David T. Dyjack, penned, “I can visualize the bend in the road with the warning sign blinking,” as he contemplated what the pandemic would mean for environmental health practitioners. Today as the EH workforce continues to face a myriad of challenges related to the pandemic while simultaneously facing new emerging and reemerging threats and crises, many of which are related to the existential crises of emanating hazards associated with climate change, NEHA’s commitment to advocate for and deliver ongoing workforce support remains.