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NEHA 2009 Interview with: Mr. Keith L. Krinn, R.S., M.A., D.A.A.S., C.P.H.A.

By: Kim Elton, Mambo NetCommunications inc. and Rosemary Stephen, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence

Mr. Keith Krinn is an Environmental Health Administrator at the Columbus Public Health office in Ohio, the 1st vice president of the National Environmental Health Association and the in-coming president elect of the association.

In this video interview, he discusses the success of the 2009 NEHA conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and the future of NEHA itself with its new, strong partnership with the Center for Disease Control. Mr. Krinn also discusses the future of the Environmental Health profession and the increasing importance of ‘sustainability’, or making sure we pass the Earth along to the next generation in good shape.

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Climate Change and Climate Change Refugees, Part I

By: Rosemary Stephen, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence

ResearchBlogging.org

Part I:
The Current State

Climate change is a serious global problem resulting in disrupted weather patterns, violent storms, rising global temperatures and rising ocean levels. Climate change is also displacing people; small family groups to whole populations are being forced to leave their homelands due to environmental changes that make the land unproductive and inhospitable. These displaced people are increasingly categorized as ‘Climate Change Refugees’ or ‘Environmental Refugees.’

Who are these refugees? This is actually a difficult question as there is disagreement about the definition of a ‘climate change refugee.’ In fact, these refugees are still not officially recognized even though we are in the midst of a global human displacement crisis. The term ‘climate change refugee’ is not even accepted by all relief agencies. Currently, the United Nations’ definition of a ‘refugee’ applies only to legal refugees. The official definition states: a legal refugee is “a person who has fled his or her country due to persecution by the state for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion” [1]. The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) feels that expanding “the Refugee Convention (1951) to include climate refugees may reduce protection for the conventional political refugees” [2]. Simply stated, the Geneva Convention does not recognizes climate change refugees yet [3]. This may be due to limited resources; the UNHCR is already struggling to work with 14.3 million political refugees in the world and cannot see itself managing more with the resources they currently have.

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Heroes (and others) of Environmental & Public Health: Mini Bio #13 Apollo

By: Susan-Marie Cronkite, PhD.

013 - Apollo

Apollo was the Greek god of healing, music, art, dance, the light of wisdom, archery, prophecy, poetry and the arts, but he also had a darker role as the mechanism of plagues. In the guise of Apollo Aphetoros (the Archer), Apollo Smintheus (of mice) or as Apollo Parnopius (of grasshoppers), the god could punish mankind with plagues of all types ranging from diseases to hoards of vermin, or take pity on mankind, and save them from the very same plagues.

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Heroes (and others) of Environmental & Public Health: Mini Bio #04 Hygeia

Published on August 6, 2009 in History Bites

By: Susan-Marie Cronkite, PhD.

002 - Hygeia, Montreal General Hospital

H

ygeia is a Greek goddess, one of the 5 daughters of Asklepius, and the personification of health. She was central to the cult of Asklepius, worshipped alongside her father, as a figure of personal and community health. Hygeia was considered important in the prevention of disease and plagues. Her cult came to prominence in the 5th century BCE when the abatement of the Great Plague of Athens (430 – 427 BCE) was attributed to her intervention.

The modern word ‘hygiene’ is derived from her name.

 
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In the News: House passes far-reaching food safety bill

Published on July 31, 2009 in Food, In the News

Via: Associated Press, MARY CLARE JALONICK (AP)

Associated Press.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.

Read the article at Associated Press: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ifI1woByWAcO_IIqfsv4o1i-PPPAD99PA5180

WASHINGTON – The House has passed a far-reaching food safety bill requiring more government inspections and imposing new penalties on those who violate the law, reacting strongly to an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts that killed at least nine people.

The legislation would require greater oversight of food manufacturers and give the Food and Drug Administration new authority to order recalls. It also would require the FDA to develop a system for better tracing food-borne illnesses. Food companies would be required to create detailed food safety plans.

President Barack Obama praised the bill soon after it was passed, calling it “a major step forward in modernizing our food safety system……”

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.

 
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Recommended reads – News From Malawi

By: Rosemary Stephen, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence

Male Circumcision to Fight Spread of HIV / AIDS

Malawi is a land-locked country located in southern Africa. It is situated east of Zambia and shares borders with Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. It is a small country; the total area of Malawi is slightly less than that of the state of Pennsylvania. The country has a population of circa 15 million people, 19% of whom live in urban areas. Malawi faces many public and environmental health challenges including foodborne, waterborne, vectorborne and zoonotic diseases such as rabies, however, in addition, Malawi has a prevalence of HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is a major problem with as many as 11.9% of the adult population affected by the virus [1]. An estimated 68,000 people died from this disease in 2007 alone. (more…)

 
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Mr. Christopher Gordon: NEHA Interview

By: Kim Elton, Mambo NetCommunications inc. and Rosemary Stephen, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence

Mr. Christopher Gordon was one of the many great contributors at the 2009 NEHA conference.

He is an Environmental Health Manager in the Office of Environmental Health Services in the Commonwealth of Virginia State Health Department in Richmond. He is an eight-year member of the National Capital Area Environmental Health Association (NCAEHA) and, since 2002, a member of NEHA.

Mr. Gordon is involved in the daunting task of opening lines of communication among three main branches of the food industry — operators, retailers and regulators — and helping these bodies work together more smoothly. At NEHA, he was the facilitator on a panel discussion that explored some of the issues facing these main branches of the food industry as well he touched upon the social and legal implications that disagreements are causing.

Was he able to reconcile all sides?

We would like to thank Mr. Gordon for his valuable time.
The Elements Team

*Click here for a transcript of the above video.

 
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Mr. Del Brooks: NEHA interview

Published on July 23, 2009 in Water

By: Kim Elton, Mambo NetCommunications inc.

Mr. Del Brooks, a former Senior Executive in the health care industry, is currently the CEO of Joule Microsystems Canada, Inc. Joule Microsystems, in collaboration with several Canadian universities and the National Research Council of Canada, has developed a new, affordable, electronic system capable of providing 24/7 water monitoring as well as remote reporting and, importantly, water quality alerts over the Internet and other electronic devices, such as a cell phone. This innovative system will be on the market soon, with a target date of January 2010. Imagine being at home and being able to see, in real time, accurate water quality results.

During the interview, Mr. Brooks also makes an important announcement.

We would like to thank Mr. Brooks for his valuable time.
The Elements Team

*Click here for a transcript of the above video

 
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A personal farewell to Walter Cronkite

Published on July 20, 2009 in History Bites

By: Susan-Marie Cronkite, PhD.

I grew up listening to Walter Cronkite. He was the voice of many horrible events that I was too young to understand – wars, riots and assassinations – and many wonderful events, especially the moon landings which my brother and I were allowed to skip school to watch — but even as young as I was, I listened, because he explained and commented, he didn’t instill fear and doubt.

My family not only listened to Walter Cronkite because of his amazing broadcasts, but also because we share a lineage. The family myth was that two Dutch brothers came to North America; one brother decided to live in the United States and one brother decided to live in Canada, thereby starting the two North American branches of the family. Walter Cronkite was obviously from the American branch; I am from the Canadian branch. So the family link is not close and we never met, but at home we did gather to watch ‘Uncle Walter’ on the TV. Interestingly, though, the link was close enough for Walter Cronkite and my Grandfather to look a lot like each other.

The ‘Cronkite’ name was also always an opening in conversations. When introduced, the comment was always “oh, like Walter ?”. And especially important to me, at university in England, the name helped break the ice with a young British astrophysicist who knew the name from the moon landings; now my husband of many years…..

Farewell ‘Uncle Walter’

 
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Dr Brown and his class from Eastern Kentucky University

By: Kim Elton, Mambo NetCommunications inc. and Rosemary Stephen, Elements: Environmental Health Intelligence

Have you ever wondered what the next generation of environmental health inspectors would look like? Will they be dedicated? Will they decide to specialize or generalize?

Here’s your chance to find out.

We interviewed a class of students from Eastern Kentucky University who were attending the NEHA conference with their enthusiastic and energetic instructor Dr. Gary Brown (CHI). Dr. Brown is an Associate Professor at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) and a past President of the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs (AEHAP).

Come on in and listen to what these students had to say; they are already enthusiastic about what they are learning and how it will apply to their area of interest. Enjoy the teasing!

We would like to thank Dr. Brown and his class for their valuable time.
The Elements Team

*Click here for a transcript of the above video.

 
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