Enlightening State Policy Makers as to Environmental Health

 

Speaker:           Doug Farquhar, JD, Program Director for Environmental Health, National Conference of State Legislatures, CO

 

Public health, and especially environmental public health (EPH), has no direct contact with state policy makers, unless (or until) a crisis occurs, requiring state resources and reaction, or when a program is created, requiring legislative authorization. EPH programs are designed to avoid crises, and give the public a level of protection from environmental harms. By its structure and mission, EPH is designed to avoid any contact or relationships with state policy makers.

 

This poses an inherent problem for EPH, creating a disjoint and the potential for miscommunication between the state agencies responsible for operating EPH programs and the policy makers elected to authorize and fund such programs.