Photo by Amanda Raziano

In the past few years the field of environmental health has celebrated tremendous achievements. But budget cuts, workforce shortages and political rancor have hampered progress.  A group of environmental and public health leaders has come together to address environmental health challenges and bring a unified voice and leadership to the field.

Last week marked the first meeting of the National Environmental Health Partnership Council, coordinated by APHA. It represents a diverse group of 25 organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Lung Association, National Resources Defense Council and Association of Public Health Laboratories. The group’s chief goal is to strengthen the field’s capacity to tackle environmental health threats facing communities across the country.

The formation of the Partnership Council offers an opportunity for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to engage with partners whose members are working at the ground level to address environmental health challenges such as air and water quality, chemical exposures and other environmental health challenges.

“This unique partnership of top national environmental health experts holds great promise to prevent disease, reduce health care costs and keep all Americans safe from environmental hazards that threaten their health, safety and security,” said Christopher J. Portier, PhD, director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

In the next few years, the Partnership Council will engage in a series of national activities and events highlighting environmental health policy and practice.

“This is an exciting and critical time to advance and address environmental health issues and priorities of national importance,” said Tracy Kolian, deputy director of APHA’s Center for Public Health Policy and steering committee member of the National Environmental Health Partnership Council. 

The Partnership Council is supported with funding from CDC.