"Everyone — regardless of age, gender, pre-existing conditions, income or other factors  — should have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of health, which encompasses physical, mental and social well-being,” says Surili Sutaria Patel, MS.

Patel is senior environmental health program manager in the Center for Public Health Policy at the American Public Health Association (APHA), which makes the case for healthy communities for all in its recently released Environmental Health Playbook: Investing in a Robust Environmental Health System.

A fundamental component

According to the APHA, environmental health is a fundamental component of a comprehensive public health system. As such, it works to advance policies and programs to reduce chemical and other environmental exposures in air, water, soil and food to protect people and provide communities with healthier environments. 

Through the Environmental Health Playbook, the NEHPC identifies opportunities for federal, state, local and tribal governments to adopt standard approaches that ensure environmental health equity, protections and access for all — particularly vulnerable and at-risk populations.

Real-life examples

Through prevention, response and real-life solutions and case examples — such as the Zika virus outbreak, Flint water crisis, Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina — the playbook demonstrates the need for and way toward an effective, equitable and sustainable environmental health system.

APHA champions the health of all people and all communities, strengthens the public health profession and speaks out for public health issues and policies backed by science. Visit the APHA at www.apha.org.

NEHPC brings together diverse stakeholders to help expand and sustain awareness, education, policies and practices related to environmental health. Learn more about them