Q. Who can join WEHA?
A. Active membership is open to any person who is employed in the Environmental Health field, or in related educational activities, or by a public health agency, be it Federal, State, County, or Municipal Agency. This active membership is also open to any individual employed in the private sector in an environmental health capacity or any individual who has an interest in the field of environmental health. Active members can vote and hold an office on the Executive Board.
Sustaining membership is open to any company, corporation, association, or firm with a general interest in the Wyoming Environmental Health Association and has a desire to contribute to and support its success. Sustaining membership is not to be used to promote the product and/or services provided by the member. Sustaining members are non-voting members.
Student membership may be granted to any student who is enrolled as a full time undergraduate student at a university, college, or high school and has an interest in the field of environmental health but does not have a career in environmental health or industry and, upon payment of dues hereinafter prescribed, (Voting Member).
Honorary membership is conferred upon any person who on account of his or her substantial contributions to the Association and has been voted on by the Executive Board. Honorary members shall not be required to pay dues and are not entitled to vote or to hold office, but are encouraged to attend meetings of the Association.
Q. What are the annual dues to join WEHA?
A. Active membership is $20.00 per year. Student membership is $5.00 per year and Sustaining Membership is $100.00 per year.
Q. Do I have to be a Registered Environmental Health Specialist or Registered Sanitarian to join WEHA?
A. No. Anyone with an interest in environmental health is welcome to join.
Q. What are the benefits of joining a professional organization such as WEHA?
A. As a member you will receive a free subscription to the bi-annual WEHA Newsletter filled with timely environmental health news, innovative and practical ideas, and information about other WEHA members. Each year WEHA sponsors seminars on food safety, swimming pool operation and maintenance, daycare operation, an annual education conference, and other educational seminars as the need arises. The speakers for these educational conferences are experts in their fields and are recruited not only from Wyoming but from other states, the nation’s capital, and Canada. As a member of WEHA, you will receive discounts on registration fees for upcoming educational conferences including the Annual Conference. A list of upcoming events is available. Membership in WEHA offers a great opportunity to network with other environmental health professionals from around the state and nation!
Q. Does WEHA offer food safety training for the community?
A. WEHA partners with the Wyoming Food Safety Coalition to provide training for the community. The Wyoming Food Safety Coalition has created a food safety program called Wyoming Food Safety Fundamentals which was developed to provide various levels of food safety training to food service employees. The food safety training varies from a basic level training class to a manager certification class. These food safety courses are taught by members of WEHA.
Q. How do I join a committee in WEHA?
A. WEHA members are encouraged to serve on our many committees. Contact the appropriate committee chair for more information.
Q. Can WEHA help me find a job in environmental health?
A. As a WEHA member, you can network with other Environmental Health professionals to find employment in industry and government. Attendance at our conference each year is an excellent way to learn about job opportunities.
Q. Is WEHA a not-for-profit organization?
A. Yes. WEHA qualifies as a not-for-profit entity under USC 501c 3. Contributions to WEHA are Tax Deductable.
Q. Does WEHA get involved in legislative issues?
A. Yes. Active participation in the legislative process is highly encouraged for public health issues.
Q. I want to be a WEHA member. Do I have to join NEHA first?
A. No. You may join WEHA separately. However, all WEHA members are encouraged to join the National Environmental Health Association for even more benefits! WEHA is the official Wyoming affiliate of NEHA.
Q. How do I find out more about NEHA?
A. You can go to the National Environmental Health Association website at www.neha.org
Q. What is Environmental Health and what do Environmental Health Specialists do?
A. Control of environmental conditions is becoming increasingly important to protect and maintain our health and sense of well-being. Environmental Health is the field of public health which is concerned with management of these environmental conditions.
An Environmental Health Specialist or “sanitarian” is a public health professional that protects public health from detrimental conditions in the environment through education, consultation, and regulation. Environmental Health Specialists are college graduates with training in public health, sanitary science, or one of the physical sciences. An Environmental Health Specialist’s focus is on the relationships with human health and the environment. This may be through inspection and regulations, education, research and partnerships with industry in a variety of discipline areas. Environmental health specialists work in food safety, hazardous materials control, air pollution, water quality, and a variety of other disciplines. An Environmental Health Specialist works with other professionals in their community to provide a safe and healthy environment.
In Wyoming an Environmental Health Specialist must take a written examination for professional registration as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) or Certified Professional of Food Safety (CP-FS) through the National Environmental Health Association. Environmental Health Specialists provide expertise in the following programs:
Food Service Sanitation and Food Safety
Through licensing, inspections, and consultations of restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and other food establishments, Environmental Health Specialists promote sanitary conditions for food preparation and service.
Other program services for the prevention of foodborne illness include certification of food managers, education and consultation in safe handling techniques, and investigation of complaints and disease outbreaks.
Recreational and Lodging Facilities
Environmental Health Specialists foster safe and sanitary conditions through a preventive approach which includes inspections, monitoring, and educational programming for the following areas:
- Public swimming pools
- Recreational camping areas
- Youth camps
- Fairs, festivals, and special events
- Hotels and motels
- Bed and breakfast establishments
Sewage Treatment and Disposal
In many communities, Environmental Health Specialists are involved in protection of public health, groundwater quality, and surface water quality through soil evaluations, permits, and inspections of individual on-site septic systems.
Environmental Health Specialists provide information, consultation, investigation and suggestions for mitigating problems associated with lead, asbestos, radon, radioactive, and other hazardous materials.
Schools, Day Care Centers, and other Institutions
Environmental Health Specialists inspect and consult with public and private schools, day care centers, correctional facilities, and other institutions to ensure health and safety conditions are maintained to protect children and vulnerable adults.
Water Supplies and Water Quality
Citizens with private water supplies (wells) are assisted by Environmental Health Specialists who monitor drinking water quality through laboratory, inspection, and consultation services. Specialists also help with groundwater planning and Clean Water Partnerships.
Consultation and Education
Environmental Health Specialists also provide information and referral services to communities through presentations to educational institutions at all levels, by participating in cooperative and collaborative programs and though one-to-one consultation services.
Many Environmental Health Specialists teach national certification courses for food service managers andworkers, swimming pool operators, asbestos and lead removal contractors, and other occupations which can impact public health and safety.
Q. What is rewarding about working in this field?
A. The rewards are that you are helping improve environmental conditions that affect people’s lives and their health and safety!