Environmental Health Programs through the Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) Research in New York State ABSTRACT The NYSDOH has been a leader in protecting and advancing the health of New Yorkers through a comprehensive network of public health activities and services. The complexity and the diversity of the state warrants a public health system that is both comprehensive and flexible to manage the state's public health domain successfully. The NYSDOH has been a participant in the EIP (including FoodNet) since 1997 and EHS-Net since its inception in 2000. It is responsible for public health safety including foodborne and waterborne disease surveillance and food and water inspections at regulated facilities. The NYS EHS-Net program is a collaborative effort that includes the Bureau of Community Environmental Health and Food Protection;the Bureau of Water Supply Protection;the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control;State Regional Offices;and the Wadsworth Center Laboratories. The NYSDOH has the statutory authority and responsibility to conduct disease surveillance, oversee outbreak investigations, and perform food and water inspections at regulated facilities. More than 60 statutorily reportable communicable diseases and all outbreaks are reported to the NYSDOH. The NYSDOH works closely with various external partners including local health departments and The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. These three agencies work together on a variety of issues including an Interdepartmental Rabies Committee, and disease issues such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Giardiasis, West Nile virus, anthrax, and E. coli. The agencies also coordinate with the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, and CDC. NYSDOH is committed to improving environmental health service programs through collaboration among Environmental Health Specialists, epidemiologists and laboratorians to identify and prevent environmental factors contributing to foodborne and/or waterborne illness and disease outbreaks. Its goals are to increase surveillance activities for food and waterborne disease, increase on-site field visits by EHSs during potential food and water outbreak investigations to identify contributing factors, and improve completeness and timeliness of the data reported.
Environmental Health Programs through the Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) Research in New York State Narrative The New York State Department of Health has been a leader in protecting and advancing the health of New Yorkers through a comprehensive network of public health activities and services. The complexity of the state, from densely populated urban to rural and suburban areas, the diversity of the state with respect to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, warrants a public health system that is comprehensive and flexible to govern the state's public health successfully. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is seeking continued support for the Environmental Health Specialist Network cooperative agreement. Funding is requested for the food and water safety components.