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This is a full transcript of the online presentation. For the
presentation itself, go here.
The Bureau of Community Environmental Health administers surveillance, investigation and preventative programs designed to reduce illness and prevent disease caused by exposure to environmental factors. The bureau consists of over 20 preventive public health programs and approximately 60 Environmental Health Professionals.
A number of these programs are administered out of our bureau, but performed by Environmental Health Professionals in the department’s 67 county health departments. I’ve highlighted those programs in this slide. Our program staff interpret statutory language, and promulgate rules that set minimum sanitary and safety standards. County health department staff then regularly visit the various facilities, and check to see that they are meeting these minimum standards. These visits are an opportunity to not only help facilities comply with basic public health protections, but they are also our opportunity to educate facility operators and staff on the importance of ensuring these protections are continued after we leave. Our bureau evaluates the county health departments’ performance in these programs on a three-year rotating basis. We also review county-by-county data quarterly, to identify potential challenges.
Our bureau houses the State Environmental Epidemiologist, as well as a number of other epidemiological resources. Additionally, our Food and Waterborne Disease program has nine regional epidemiologists placed around Florida to assist county health departments with their epidemiological needs. In many of the programs highlighted above, we collect information related to various environmentally-caused illnesses, conditions, and exposures. Our goal is to identify potentially causes, and look for ways to prevent future occurrences.
The programs on this slide are operated differently than those on the previous slides. We collect air quality sample data and maintain a database of results in the Compressed Air Providers Programs. In the Radon and Indoor Air Toxics Programs, there are a limited number of staff in the county health departments who provide programmatic information to their county’s residents. The bulk of the counties do not have this expertise, so bureau staff answers their calls and questions. In the Environmental Health Professional Certification Program, we ensure all DOH and private sector staff that offer services in the department’s Food Hygiene and Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal System Programs meet minimum educational and technical requirements.
Two dozen programs, 60 employees, one mission. We all strive to promote and protect the health of all Florida residents and visitors.
For more information on our bureau and its programs, please visit us on the web at http://www.myfloridaeh.com/community, or call us at 850-245-4277.