Recent emergencies like the Zika virus outbreak, the Flint water crisis, Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy all demonstrate the need for a strong, nationwide governmental environmental health system. As a fundamental component of a comprehensive public health system, environmental health works to advance policies and programs to protect residents and provide communities with healthier environments.eh-playbook

These emergencies will not be the last, and we must be prepared. To support this objective, the National Environmental Health Partnership Council and the American Public Health Association will present a live conversation on “Investing in a Robust Environmental Health System,” broadcast June 8, from 1:30–3 p.m. EDT, on the APHA website.

The webinar will bring to life the NEHPC’s “Environmental Health Playbook: Investing in a Robust Environmental Health System” report, published by APHA. The NEHPC brings together diverse stakeholders to help expand and sustain awareness, education, policies and practices related to environmental health.

Its playbook advocates for federal, state, local and tribal governments to adopt standard approaches to ensuring environmental health equity, protections and access for all — particularly vulnerable and at-risk populations. Webinar moderator Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, professor with the School of Nursing & Health Studies at Georgetown University and director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, will engage experts in the field of environmental health in the discussion.

“Everyone — regardless of age, gender, pre-existing conditions, income, etc. — should have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of health, which encompasses physical, mental and social well-being.” — Surili Sutaria Patel, MS, senior environmental health program manager, Center for Public Health Policy, APHA

The “Environmental Health Playbook” offers opportunities to help build an effective and sustainable environmental health system that monitors and measures diseases, hazards, exposures and health outcomes; can collect data over time and can present real-time data to quickly respond to emergencies and identify problems for program planning and policy advancements.

Through prevention, response and real-life solutions, as illustrated by select case examples, the playbook demonstrates the need for and way toward a strong and equitable system. Join APHA and the NEHPC for discussion of this important and timely subject.

For more information and to register, please visit www.apha.org/nehpc. Also, follow the conversation on social media using the hashtags #APHAwebinar and #EH4All.