Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Forum on Effect of Budget Cuts on Environmental Health Profession and the Public

Most city, county and state agencies are experiencing significant cuts due to budget shortfalls and reduced fee-based services. Is the loss of staff and funding affecting your ability to provide environmental health services?

NEHA would like to document that the loss of capacity in local programs is detrimental to members of our communities. Please share stories of how cuts in your programs
  • have affected your ability to do your job
  • have affected individuals or the community you serve
Please note: This is a public forum. You are welcome to post responses anonymously if you choose.


  1. A doctor of medicine leads our Public Health Department. She doesn't connect the child's environment to the elevated blood lead level. She does not understand that health is impacted by the people's habitat or environment. Environmental Health seems to be the "overhead" in our Public Health Department and they cut the overhead.

  2. Nutrion is the watch word here.. not real desease provention.

  3. We have long had the problem of a non-environmental health person heading up the health department locally which causes them to not understand how hard we work or how important our work is, thus, dollars do not come our way - it goes to clinics - also to nurses who are allowed to unionize. Everyone else is not allowed to collectively bargain.

  4. I understand what is going on. Here New Jersey to save money they are doing the following. Yes, laugh but its true.
    1. Removed office phones and now use cell phones.
    2. Requested that we now use personnel cell phones. Good idea for us because now you can claim it on your 1040 long form.
    3. No more tissues for your desk.

    I was on active duty for 28 years and we did what is called an A-76 study and found that cutting services was a good thing in some areas because now you don't fix equipment and pay for retirement and health. Yard workers cut first, house maintance workers for government housing. Cooks and kitchen staff on shore units, but now cooks stay underway on ships longers.
    Here in my area they are cutting the garage staff that repair our county trucks. Just a note I had a nail in my tire and their were three man standing around waiting, and the boss stated they could not repair it! So I drove to a local garage and paid $12.00. I guess they are saving money since I paid for it.
    In our field just like public health no one sees what we do until its to late. A dollar for prevention can save hundreds later. I guess the old saying a penny wise dollar foolish. As a RESH/RS with a masters degree its hard to replace us since everyone has a BS degree or higher with a state or national license. But just think a nurse can have an AS degree but not us. If they hire us as outside contractors we would make more money. I do understand that paying retirement and medical for life is a large budget item, even for the government. So locals are just trying, I know we will be in trouble when they want us to bring our own toilet paper to work!
    Good luck everyone times are hard everywhere, but for some reason my taxes have not gone down?