Governor Cooper has declared September 20-26, 2020, as Registered Environmental Health Specialist Week in North Carolina. We are fortunate in our field to have food scientists, environmental engineers, soil scientists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, microbiologists, and many other sciences represented under the umbrella of environmental health. The value of our diverse knowledge base is reflected in our ability to respond to any public health crisis, including a pandemic. So, I would like to personally thank all 1,094 of you for all you’re doing for your community—providing consultation for reopening, handling questions about cleaning and disinfecting, advising how to ensure stagnant water systems are returned to safe operation, assessing and assisting restaurants, child care centers, and other facilities—all while maintaining our core services.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that we’re in a marathon and all of us “public healthers” need to ensure we’re taking care of ourselves and our co-workers. So schedule some time to disconnect and de-stress—I promise you’ll be able to contribute more when you return. And whether you’re working or taking some time off, be sure to spread a little kindness.
Please note that this is also National Food Safety Education Month, last week was SepticSmart Week (also recognized by Governor Cooper in a Proclamation), and September 26th is World Environmental Health Day.
I encourage public health leaders and others to reach out to your REHS staff and show them your appreciation.
I hope you have a great week and please be safe.
Larry D. Michael, REHS, MPH
State Environmental Health Director/Section Chief
Division of Public Health, Environmental Health Section
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Office: 919 707 5855
Fax: 919 845 3973
5605 Six Forks Road
1632 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1632