Kansas Environmental Health Association

Affiliate of the National Environmental Health Association


2016 Fall Conference

September 28-30th, 2016

Bluemont Hotel

Manhattan, KS

 2016 Fall Newsletter.pdf



Announcing the 2015 EJ Small Grants Request for Applications

EPA's Office of Environmental Justice announces the opening of its Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2015 Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program. The EJSG Program provides funding for eligible applicants for projects that address local environmental and/or public health issues within an affected community. The EJSG Program is designed to help eligible non-profit organizations and Tribal communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks at the local level.

EPA recognizes the critical role of helping communities with localized strategies to avoid, lessen, or delay the risks and impacts associated with our changing climate. As a result, this year's EJSG program will have a special emphasis on proposals supporting community-based preparedness and resilience efforts (community climate resiliency). In an effort to ensure that support reaches new areas, the Agency also is prioritizing funding to organizations that have not recently received an award under the EJSG Program.

The total estimated amount of funding available for awards under this solicitation for fiscal year 2015 is approximately $1,200,000. EPA anticipates awarding up to four grants per EPA region in amounts of up to $30,000 per award for a two-year project period. For more information regarding the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program and to view the RFA, please visithttp://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html.

To learn about community successes from previous small grants, check out ourEmerging Tools for Local Problem-Solving, as well as these recent stories from our EJ in Action blog:

·         Environmental Coalition of South Seattle: Opening Immigrants' Eyes to Environmental Health in American Homes

·         Groundwork New Orleans: Restoring a Watershed One Community at a Time

·         ReGenesis, Inc.: A Dream Realized: Community Driven Revitalization in Spartanburg

·         Community In-Power and Development Association: Port Arthur, Texas - Climate Justice Hits Home

Spring Conference 2014 RECAP


  Kansas Environmental Health Association

Spring Conference

April 3 & 4, 2014

Rock Springs 4-H Center






Thursday, April 3, 2014 – Afternoon Session





Kansas Greywater Regulations


Kansas Department of Health and Environment


Ann D'Alfonso



1 PM



Air Quality


Radon in Kansas:  Status of the Radon Test Kit Distribution


Kansas Department of Health and Environment


Angela German


2 PM



Break:  3:00 PM to 3:15 PM






Environmental Epidemiology:  Who Does It and How Does It Work?


KDHE Epidemiology



Farah Ahmed


3:15 PM





Personal Insurance


NE Kansas Environmental Services


Dennis Foster, RS


4:15 PM














Friday, April 4, 2014 – Morning Session





The New Public Health


KEHA Business

Open Mike



KEHA Members


Bronson Farmer,  RS


Jerry McNamar, RS


8 AM



Local Leadership:  Working with County Commissioners Effectively

Kansas Association of Counties

Randall Allen

9 AM



Break:  10 AM to 10:15 AM





Fracking:  What is it? How is it Done?  What are the Dangers?  What are the Regulations?



Kansas Corporation Commission


John McCannon



10:15 AM

Solid Waste

Hoarding:  Psychology, Resources, and Outcomes

Area Agency on Aging

Krista Lovette


11:15 AM







July 2013 Report


By Sandra Long, Region 5 Vice-President


Thank you New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri and Kansas, it was great to have such outstanding representation from region five! 



NEHA 2012-13 Highlights


I would like to take this time to provide a summary of the events of this past year and how NEHA continues to find a way to be successful.


Here are some of the activities that NEHA has been engaged in and highlight where the organization is heading.


NEHA has kept expanding its involvement in the policy making arena as it  has both built  and expanded particularly special relationships with key federal partners involved in environmental health, protection and food safety.


NEHA has continued to build relationships with many of the drivers and influencers behind public policies that touch upon the field of environmental health. Various board members, the executive director and several staff are all sitting on a host of bodies and consortiums that in some way address environmental health concerns and issues.


NEHA has also greatly expanded its outreach into the international arena. This past May, our executive director, Nelson Fabien, and immediate past president, Mel Knight, had the opportunity to participate in the International Federation of Environmental Health’s (IFEH) annual governing council meeting. Our involvement with IFEH is opening up ways in which NEHA can more meaningfully engage the international environmental health community.


We are involved into the planning for a joint NEHA – IFEH conference to be held next year in Las Vegas. In transforming our annual conference into this special event, NEHA members will be given the opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the world.


NEHA has also created a new category of membership – the international member. We  have also crafted a new kind of an affiliation through an International Partner Organization or IPO. The structure of an IPO is such that it should make becoming involved with NEHA much easier for environmental health practitioners in third world nations.


Now that we have developed the capability to produce an e-journal, we anticipate that we will be able to draw many more international members into NEHA for the benefit of our members and the international cause of environmental health.


Thanks to efforts by our second vice-president, Bob Custard, we have been able to provide educational and IT resources to our environmental health colleagues in Uganda.


As we move into the production of an e-journal, we will be able to reduce student dues to only $15 a year.  We also offer this rate through the first year of a student’s employment after graduation. With the help of members from the American Academy of Sanitarians, we again set up a student-mentoring program at the AEC.


NEHA has expanded its healthy housing credentialing program and are in  the process of launching two new credentials:   one for food auditors and the other for comprehensive comprehension of food safety extending from manufacturing to retail.


NEHA has reconstructed its section chair program to allow us to take advantage of the expertise that exists within the membership on a wide array of different environmental health topics. We’ve also pushed the further development of our virtual conference.  


Our grant program has NEHA involved in issues ranging from food safe schools to indoor air quality to health tracking and climate change to the training of FDA’s rapid response teams to healthy housing to even the future leadership of the profession.


We’ve expanded our strategic directions this year to take careful aim on drawing younger professionals into NEHA.


We are now moving forward with our first co-branding initiative – which aims to increase the IT sophistication of our profession. Our new co-branding program with Decade Software gets NEHA involved in encouraging the profession to become more adept in data base management and system interoperability with other agencies.


Our position taking activity has touched on issues such as, meth homes, global climate change, federal funding, food safety, healthy housing and a more contemporary definition for environmental health.


To encourage innovation in our profession, we’ve introduced two new awards – one for innovation and the other for education.


As our profession experiences shrinkage in its size, our membership is actually growing. We experienced a three percent gain in membership over this past year and a membership of nearly 5,000.  We also have over 7,000 professionals carrying one or more NEHA credentials.


Our auditors this spring gave us a glowing report on our finances. We are solid financially, our reputation is excellent, and our membership is growing.


New Perspectives on

 Environmental Health


Submitted by: John A. Steward, R.E.H.S., M.P.H., Region Seven Vice President, NEHA


The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) recently approved newly-revised definitions of the terms “Environmental Health” and “Environmental Health Professional” at their July 2013 meeting in Crystal City, Virginia.  The approval was the culmination of a year-long process of reviewing previously published definitions, proposing revisions to the NEHA board of directors, publishing draft definitions for public comment, conducting an opinion survey, incorporation of public comment, and final revision.


Definition of Environmental Health


Environmental health is the science and practice of preventing human injury and illness and promoting well-being by:

·        identifying and evaluating environmental sources and hazardous agents; and

·        limiting exposures to hazardous physical, chemical, and biological agents in air, water, soil, food, and other environmental media or settings that may adversely affect human health.


Definition of Environmental Health Professional or Specialist

An environmental health professional or specialist is a practitioner with appropriate academic education and training and registration or certification to:

·        investigate, sample, measure, and assess hazardous environmental agents in various environmental media and settings;

·        recommend and apply protective interventions that control hazards to health;

·        develop, promote, and enforce guidelines, policies, laws, and regulations;

·        develop and provide health communications and educational materials;

·        manage and lead environmental health units within organizations;

·        perform systems analysis;

·        engage community members to understand, address and resolve problems;

·        review construction and land use plans and make recommendations;

·        interpret research utilizing science and evidence to understand the relationship of health and environment; and,

·        interpret data and prepare technical summaries and reports.



Work Group Members:


John A. Steward, R.E.H.S., M.P.H., Work Group Chairperson


Michael Bisesi, PhD, REHS, CIH, Interim Dean, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director, Center for Public Health Practice, Interim Chair & Assoc. Professor, Division Environmental Health Sciences, Ohio State University

Sandra Long, R.E.H.S., Region Five Vice President

Adam London, R.S., MPA, Region Six Vice President

Carolyn Hester Harvey, PhD, CIH, RS, DAAS, CHMM, President-Elect

Alicia Enriquez Collins, R.E.H.S., President




Focus Group Comments

The focus group participants were to:

1.    Share examples of how their association has changed in order to become more attractive to younger professionals.

2.    Share ideas for change that weren’t implemented and why.

3.    Explain how successful or unsuccessful efforts have been and what lessons have been gained.


Focus Group  #1

Group 1 was composed of  the two concurrent groups which met on Wednesday from 9:00 – 10:00 am.  These were the following designated states: Alabama, California,  Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Uniform Services.


·        Challenges with website & maintaining websites.  Want parent organization (NEHA) to develop materials to explain profession targeted to high school students and younger groups.

·        MEHA to track plan review & environmental health – what do they do – trying to do more with technology.  Ready reference manual want help to put on electronic media.

·        Move to more electronic media.  Message of mission of environmental health on electronic media.

·        Uniform Services University – developed course to assist with passing REHS exam.

·        New Mexico – what NEHA does needs to be tangible to members.

·        New to profession need more immediate “reward” for their work (accreditation).

·        Balanced approach is needed in the profession to cover all progress in Environmental Health.

·        Provide training in area employee has interest and encourage developing in this area of the profession.

·        Offering scholarships for students to attend affiliate events, meetings, etc.

·        Science fair winner scholarship money – Scholarship money is award to science fair winners by the affiliate.   The affiliate is involved in selecting the winner of the science fair.

·        Put it in context, what are the benefits of the job.

·        Talk to student associations about the profession and requirements.

·        Do one class for the students (University) to inform about profession and multiple areas/disciplines of the profession.

·        Standardized message:  What we are, what we do  (can adapt to area)

·        Get faculty (University or High School)  to join Association (Affiliate or NEHA), to assist getting students to understand profession

·        Get students involved in conference, have them present, assist, etc.  Get them to assist with affiliate meetings, conferences, events to get them involved.

·        Match high school seniors to professionals as interns.

·        Discounts for affiliate members to NEHA

·        If membership fee were lower it would entice more people to join.

·        Reasons to join or stay in NEHA – What are these beyond CEU’s, conference, journal.

·        Oregon - Let members know they are a political voice.  Working as the association.

·        Message to members – what is NEHA doing with legislation, how is NEHA protecting their jobs, how is NEHA influencing state legislation.



Focus Group #2

Group 2 was composed of the two concurrent groups which met on Wednesday from 4:00 – 5:00 pm .  These were the following designated states: Hawaii, Minnesota, National Capital , Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Past Presidents, Rhode Island, Saudi Arabia, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.



·        Missouri – provide a scholarship to (affiliate) conference to students.

·        Ohio – hold regional conference at University to get student to meetings.  Meet with professors.

·        California – younger subset for executive board.  Solicit for younger people. Look at incentives for members (like NEHA hotel money)

·        New Jersey - Define & clarify what there is for them.  Give a $1,500 bonus if you become a member & pass REHS. 

·        What are membership fees? Are CEU’s required?

·        The younger people are always connected electronically.  Suggested more electronic media to reach these younger people.

·        YouTube video to get interest of new people /members.

·        Virtual meetings are good but face to face have their value and provide valuable networking opportunities.

·        Get industry & regulators in room in relaxed environment.

·        Younger generation values separation of work and personal life, this should be accounted for in promotion of profession and professional meetings.

·        Younger generation wants quicker career advancement & opportunities.

·        Curriculum at AEC’s for students or those who would like career advancement.

·        Quarterly contact with colleges and universities to promote profession.

·        NEHA should develop talking points for career day programs for all to use.

·        Internships – affiliates act as liaisons for internships.

·        Outreach to students with educational programs.

·        Outreach to students via career day programs.

·        Self-promotion of profession – Does NEHA provide any assistance or materials for use?

·        Provide CD/DVD on what environmental health professionals do . (such as NJACCHO.org video)





Is this the year you're going to go? Are you interested in a KEHA caravan to Las Vegas? Press the Contact Us button to the left to let us know if you are.

Las Vegas, NevadaJuly 7-10, 2014



Attending the AEC is a Wise Investment for You and Your Organization


NEHA’s AEC is the most comprehensive training and education investment your organization can make to achieve immediate and long-term benefits. By attending the NEHA AEC, your will gain the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to help solve your organization's daily and strategic challenges and improve your bottom-line results. You also can earn Continuing Education (CE) credit to maintain your professional credential(s).

The abstract submission process is now closed. However, you can still participate in the Call for Abstracts by reviewing abstracts that have been submitted and providing feedback in order to help NEHA create the training and educational sessions for the AEC.

Be a Voice today!




The Objective of the Kansas Environmental Health Association is to promote competency and effectiveness in sanitarians and other environmentalists engaged in the regulation of the Kansas environment including, but not limited to, .....

Come in to see what we do.