211380 CDC's Environmental Health Services Network (EHS-Net) Water & Waterborne Disease

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:10 PM

Sharunda Buchanan, MS, PhD , Director, Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services, CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, Atlanta, GA
Twentieth-century improvements in sanitation and water treatment have greatly reduced the U.S. burden of waterborne illness; however, as we enter the 21 st century, there is increasing concern that emerging factors, such as global climate change, may pose new challenges to water quality. In fact, new questions are being raised about the healthfulness of community water supplies and the adequacy of current public health measures to recognize and prevent waterborne illness. In 2000, CDC launched the Environmental Health Services Network (EHS-Net) to implement a system-based approach to identifying and responding to disease outbreaks. EHS-Net, a collaborative project with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and 9 states, began within CDC's FoodNet program and has since become an independent program. The EHS-Net three-pronged approach brought together disciplines, such as environmental health scientists, epidemiologists, and laboratorians, and allowed for a holistic approach and systematic analyses of food outbreaks. EHS-Net Water builds on the network established for food outbreaks and provides a forum to focus on current environmental public health issues related to small drinking water systems. EHS-Net Water also serves as a platform for various entities to investigate health effects, pilot monitoring programs, test public education programs, and investigate new mitigation methods for private wells and small systems. This presentation will show how the EHS-Net Water activity has improved waterborne disease outbreak surveillance and greatly improved outbreak identification and reporting in several jurisdictions.

Learning Objectives:
This session will provide the larger view regarding water quality, health and communication issues from federal agency perspectives and how state & local community agencies put in place practical steps toward integrating water & health issues. It addresses emerging programs and applications at different levels of government and will: Describe relationships that exist or should exist between water providers and public health agencies, at the federal, state and local levels. Discuss emerging tracking systems that are being cooperatively developed by Federal agencies (CDC & EPA) and how water providers and public health officials will coordinate with these new tracking systems. Explain communication strategies regarding water safety and how these strategies can be established at different levels of government.

Keywords: Water Quality, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Director, Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services at the National Center for Environmental Health/NCEH and PhD in Toxicology
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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