WFD1403: Building an Environmental Health Program of Excellence in a Time of Austerity

Speakers: Bob Custard, REHS/RS, CP-FS; Lydia Zweimiller, REHS; Michele Howard; Erin May, MPH, CPO

 

In times of fiscal austerity we are sometimes confronted with making hard choices about our environmental health programs. This presentation will explore how to trim outdated or "sacred cow" programs and strengthen key programs with high public health benefit. The presentation will include case studies on how general fund tax dollars can be replaced with funds from other sources and on how interns, volunteers, and community partnerships can be used to strengthen priority programs.

 

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In times of fiscal austerity we are sometimes confronted with making hard choices about our environmental health programs. This presentation will explore:

         How to use both data and stakeholder input to help inform decisions about program priorities

         How to analyze this data and input in the context of statutory mandates, political realities, and the potential for significant public health system failures

         How to use an emergency management model to set environmental health program priorities

         How to build support for change with elected officials, industry, and community stakeholders

         How to reduce or eliminate EH programs that are outdated or have a low return on investment

         How to strengthen high priority EH programs with increased funding from grants and fees

         How to strengthen high priority EH programs by using volunteers, interns, and community partnerships

These points will be illustrated using seven case studies:

         Using consumer complaint data to support eliminating local permitting of massage therapists, a program with a low return on investment

         Using foodborne illness data to focus attention on strengthening food safety programs and sharpen the program focus on prevention of foodborne illnesses

         Using the Reinforce-Run-Reduce-Remove model, which is frequently used in developing Continuity of Operations plans, to help set environmental health program priorities

         Creating a totally self-supporting, fee-based Aquatic Health Program

         Using advisory councils to build support for adoption of updated regulations

         Using MRC volunteers to augment your paid Vector Control work force both in emergencies and in routine operations

         Using an FDA/NACCHO Food Program Standards Mentorship grant to bring in new funds and focus staff on meeting the Program Standards