NEHA March 2024 Journal of Environmental Health


Region 3

ate school, he joined NEHA and was fortunate to concurrently earn the NEHA and VEHA student scholarships. He worked for 2-years in private consulting before embarking on the challenge of a career in uniform allowing him to serve to utilize his skills as an environmental scientist. CDR Speckhart commissioned as an active duty USPHS Environmental Health O—cer in 2008. In this position, he performed a variety of occu- pational safety environmental health and industrial hygiene duties with increasing responsibility in various assignments at the US Coast Guard, USDA, and currently with the FDA in Silver Spring, MD. He’s privileged to serve as the NEHA RVP 8 since 2012 to pres- ent and enjoys fostering professional member development with a—liates—VA, MD, Wash DC, WV, PA, DE, and all the uniformed services. This role includes his providing expertise to NEHA BOD Committees including A—liate Engagement, Membership, Market- ing, and AEC Planning. Innovation in the field of environmental health is important. He was a guest presenter during the NEHA AEC 2017 for invention and patent seeking. In 2019, he secured permission to create and chair the NEHA BOD first ever Invention and Innovation. CDR Speckhart co-authored with Dr. Welford Roberts the Research & Innovation to Enhance EH Science and Practice NEHA Policy Statement in OCT2020. He drafted three proposed digital learning tools of content derived from the NEHA REHS Study Guide (2021) focused on drought, noise exposure/hearing loss, and invention process JULY 2023. CDR Speckhart’s mission and vision to create positive expecta- tions for a brighter EH future: • Promoting the profession to make it more visible, relevant to the current emerging young professionals of the 21st Century. • Advocate the responsible leveraging of digital technology and social media platforms, such as LinkedIn to encourage a broad range of EH relationships and stakeholder interaction to grow the profession with civilian and uniformed services members. • Mentoring as a valuable “soft leadership” skill to demonstrate emotional intelligence and guide constructive decisions. CDR Speckhart’s USPHS field experiences reinforced the value of collaboration with our fellow uniformed services to build capac- ity and promote workforce development in the active or reserve enlisted ranks and those career transitioning to civilian life.

Chris Manley, REHS I began my career in Environmental Health while studying at Colorado State University after realizing that environmental health was the greatest kept secret in the long list of available majors. I am currently the Envi- ronmental Health Director for the Larimer County Department of Health and Environ- ment in Fort Collins, Colorado, and have

worked in a wide range of local public health agencies. From a one-person department covering rural counties where I was also the back-up building inspector, to larger cities where we have an entire team dedicated to just one program. Experiencing the range of job responsibilities has given me perspective and an apprecia- tion for how well environmental health professionals adapt and tailor their work to the areas they serve. I am focused on finding ways to grow the profession, highlighting the many roles environmental health professionals play, and how those will change in the future. Going forward we will need to bal- ance a suite of emerging issues and find creative solutions to incor- porate these into the “everyday” work that is taken for granted. I am excited about new opportunities for environmental health professionals. There are climate related issues that are developing rapidly in our region related to water quantity and quality, wild- fire and flood response, declining air quality; how we respond and find our role as environmental health professionals is a challenge that we all share. Identifying innovative ways to incorporate health equity into environmental health work is another emerging issue that needs to be prioritized everytime we review regulations or pol- icies. I still feel environmental health is the greatest kept secret and would be honored to serve as the Region 3 Vice-President. Region 8 James Speckhart, REHS, MS

After earning a BA degree from Longwood University, CDR Speckhart then completed an MS in environmental health at Old Dominion University. While a full-time student, he served as the Secretary of the ODU-SNEHA Chapter men- tored by the late Jim English. During gradu-

Did You Know?

After tremendous success as a pilot campaign in Ohio, we have launched our Swipe Right campaign in Iowa to support the environmental health workforce. The Swipe Right campaign aims to raise the visibility and appreciation of the environmental health workforce among policymakers. Check it out and spread the word: #SwipeRight4EH.


March 2024 • Journal of Environmental Health

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