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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Georgia Southern: Reports on Impact on Communities’ Environmental Health Governance

Does having an environmental health inspector as a required member of a local board of health improve board members’ information about environmental health? A recent study published in the Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association by Dr. Jeff Jones at Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH), Dr. Asli Aslan (JPHCOPH), and Dr. Ginger Fenton (Pennsylvania State University) examines this question. Local boards of health are the primary governing body over most public health departments and their charge to address environmental health. Using the last data directly collected from local boards of health nationally in 2011, the surprising answer is no. Most local boards of health report having little information on 10 environmental health topics and almost half reported wanting no or little additional information. Requiring that at least one board member be an environmental health inspector also did not significantly increase knowledge about environmental health topics nor increase boards’ desire for more information on these topics.

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