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About NEHA

“ advance the environmental health and protection professional
for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all.”

NEHA’s Origin

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) had its origins in the state of California where it was incorporated in 1937. The original impetus behind the creation of a national professional society for environmental health practitioners was the desire by professionals of that day to establish a standard of excellence for this developing profession. This standard, which has come to be known as the Registered Environmental Health Specialist or Registered Sanitarian credential, signifies that an environmental health professional has mastered a body of knowledge (which is verified through the passing of an examination), and has acquired sufficient experience, to satisfactorily perform work responsibilities in the environmental health field. The pioneers of the association believed that such a credential was necessary if the environmental health field was to grow and take shape as a legitimate and widely respected profession.

NEHA’s Mission

Drawing on the original effort that led to the creation of NEHA, the association today stands as a strong professional society with over 4,500 members across the nation. Clearly NEHA’s mission, “to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all” is as relevant today as it was when the organization was founded.

Advancement has been defined by NEHA in terms of both education and motivation. The basis for the association’s activities is the belief that the professional who is educated and motivated is the professional who will make the greatest contribution to the healthful environmental goals which we all seek. Accordingly, great emphasis is placed on providing, through each of NEHA’s programs, both an educational as well as a motivational opportunity. At NEHA’s conferences, for example, tremendous attention is paid to developing a quality educational program that not only imparts knowledge to the attendee but, also, through the very quality of the presentations, inspires the attendee to do more upon returning to his or her job.

NEHA Strategic Directions

Several years ago, NEHA’s board decided to adopt a rather unique approach to envisioning the association’s future and determining the association’s priorities. It made the bold move of stepping out of the classical process of strategic planning. By focusing on directions and not destinations, we keep our association on the balls of its feet – ready to change course at a moment’s notice should circumstances in our business environment indicate that such a change is appropriate. This mindset and way of operating represents the extra commitment that NEHA makes to insure that the association remains relevant to the profession and to the NEHA membership. Our strategic directions include 1) Training and Education; 2) Credentialing; 3) Advocacy; and 4) Organizational Capacity.

Learn more and read a current progress report.

NEHA’s Programs and Services

In pursuit of its mission, NEHA offers a variety of programs. Expanding beyond its original credential, today the association has ten national credential programs. NEHA also produces the Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition, and a number of technical workshops each year. In addition, NEHA publishes the widely-respected and peer-reviewed Journal of Environmental Health, serves as a “one stop shop” for publications in virtually every area of the environmental health field through its online bookstore, posts job openings on its online Career Center, provides networking and committee participation opportunities, develops positions on timely and serious environmental health concerns, and provides several other services, serving as a constant resource for the environmental health professional.

NEHA’s Staff

NEHA employs around 30 paid professionals dedicated to providing quality programs to the NEHA membership. The staff works in the following areas: Training and Education, Credentialing, Governmental Affairs, Research and Development, the Journal of Environmental Health Customer Service, Conferencing, and Marketing and Sales. NEHA also employs a full-time chief executive who serves as the association’s executive director and a full-time Chief Operating Officer who manages the operations of the association.

NEHA’s Board of Directors, Committees & Technical Advisors

Board of Directors – Board Meeting – Spring 2015

Left to right
Back row:  James Speckhart, Keith Johnson, Ned Therien, Roy Kroeger, Marcy Barnett

2nd row: Tim Hatch, Alicia Collins, Dave Riggs, Lynne Madison, Adam London, Ed Briggs, Bob Custard, Brian Collins

1st row: Dr. David Dyjack, Carolyn Harvey, Sandra Long

The association is governed by a fourteen member board of directors that is chaired by the association’s president. In all, NEHA has five national officers (second vice president, first vice president, president-elect, president and immediate past president) who serve on the association’s executive committee, and nine regional vice presidents (RVP’s) who each represents one region of the nation and members of the armed forces residing outside of the U.S. In addition, the executive director serves as a non voting ex-officio member of the board.

Serving under the association’s board of directors is an array of various administrative and functional committees. In addition, members may participate in the association through other committees or as technical advisors which, for NEHA’s purposes, essentially divide the environmental field by subject matter. These advisors are subject matter experts in the following areas:

Air Quality Institutions / Schools
Aquatic Venues / Recreational Health International
Children’s Environmental Health Land Use Planning / Design
Drinking Water / Environmental
Water Quality
Emergency Preparedness and Response Mentorship
Emerging Pathogens Occupational Health / Safety
Environmental Justice Radiation / Radon
Food (including Safety and Defense) Risk Assessment
General EH Sustainability
Global Climate Change and Health Technology (including Computers, Software,
GIS and Management Applications)
Hazardous Materials / Toxic Substances Vector Control
Healthy Homes and Healthy Communities Wastewater
Injury Prevention Workforce Development, Management Policy, and Leadership

NEHA’s Membership

NEHA’s 4,500+ members practice their profession in the public and private sectors as well as in academia and the uniformed services, with a majority being employed by state and local county health departments. In addition, NEHA’s Journal of Environmental Health has subscribers in over 40 countries around the world. Because it encompasses the entire environmental health profession, this single organization effectively serves as the forum for discussion of, and can address the broad spectrum of, environmental health issues.

By working cooperatively with, and encouraging cooperation between, its diverse membership, other national professional societies, and various government agencies, NEHA continuously serves its mission. As it has from its inception, NEHA is working to advance the EH professional, and thereby improve the environment in cities, towns, and rural areas throughout the world, to create a more healthful environment and quality of life for us all.



*Certified Installer of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (CIOWTS), Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian (REHS/RS), Certified Professional of Food Safety (CP-FS), National Radon Proficiency Program, Certified Environmental Health Technician (CEHT), Registered Hazardous Substances Professional (RHSP), Registered Hazardous Substances Specialist (RHSS), and Registered Environmental Technician (RET).


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