“Chart the Course” — 2016 Summit on Environmental Hazards and Health Effects attendees learn new and innovative strategies to address environmental public health topics

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EHHE Summit

CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects (EHHE) held its first-ever Summit on Environmental Hazards and Health Effects January 26–29, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia.

More than 400 environmental public health partners, grantees, and EHHE staff members attended the Summit. They discussed and presented information on lessons learned through collaborative efforts and how those lessons can be applied to current and future EHHE programs. The Summit also gave attendees a chance to share ideas about new and innovative strategies to address environmental public health topics.

During the Summit, participants shared information about topics such as improving the health of communities, using surveillance data to track environmental concerns, and evaluating the effect of program strategies. Local, state, national, and international partners exchanged ideas about their own challenges and solutions, opportunities to expand partnerships, and ways to inform a broader audience about the importance of EHHE programs and activities. They also learned about potentially useful tools, products, and resources.

The Summit supported EHHE’s mission to investigate the relationship between human health and the environment. EHHE has core programs in the focus areas of air pollution and respiratory health, environmental public health tracking, radiation and health, climate and health, and health studies related to safe water. During the Summit, CDC public health partners shared research findings in those areas, exchanged information about emerging public health topics, and discussed options for future collaboration.

Purpose of the Summit
  • To promote future collaborations on environmental public health priorities and discuss ways to improve environmental public health nationally and internationally
  • To provide a forum for CDC partners and grantees to interact face-to-face with environmental health colleagues from across the country
  • To strengthen collaborative efforts to better support the needs of national, state, tribal, and local public health, the general public, policy makers, and other partners
Focus of Summit sessions
  • Collaborative efforts with local, state, federal, tribal and other partners
  • How EHHE programs and partners are taking action in improving the health of communities
  • Addressing dissemination challenges: solutions and opportunities for disseminating information
  • Using data to improve an understanding of environmental public health
  • Evaluation for improvement: how programs at the local, tribal, state, and federal levels implement evaluation activities
  • EHHE partnerships and programs, which include climate and health, environmental public health tracking, clean water for health, radiation and health, and air quality and asthma.
Overall objectives
  • Raise public awareness of the tools and resources offered by EHHE and partners to improve environmental public health across the country
  • Educate the media about the effect of collaborative efforts of EHHE partnership strategies in asthma, climate change, environmental health tracking, and other areas
  • Promote awareness of educational tools and resources for radiation and climate change adaptation
  • Educate the media about key advances and challenges in environmental health epidemiology, surveillance, and response
  • Promote awareness of EHHE’s work to protect the public from harmful chemicals, radiation, and natural disasters
  • Promote public health messages regarding asthma, carbon monoxide poisoning, climate change, safe water, radiation, air quality, and all EHHE topics
Drs. Patrick Breysse, PhD, Judith Qualters, PhD, MPH (standing), and Anne Schuchat (RADM, USPHS), MD, MPH
Drs. Patrick Breysse, PhD, Judith Qualters, PhD, MPH (standing), and Anne Schuchat (RADM, USPHS), MD, MPH

Judith Qualters, PhD, MPH, EHHE director; Patrick Breysse, PhD, National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry director; Anne Schuchat (RADM, USPHS), MD, MPH, CDC/ATSDR principal deputy director; and Howard Koh, MD, MPH, former Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addressed the Summit.

CDC is a long-term leader in environmental management of asthma, radiation exposure, chemical exposures, climate change, natural disasters, environmental pollutants in water, and other key environmental concerns, and has worked with states, cities, and international partners for decades in these fields.

Additional Resources
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Page last reviewed: February 18, 2016
Page last updated: February 18, 2016