Environmental Health Sciences Faculty Assist Field Practitioners with One-of-a-Kind Book

It’s not just students who benefit from the expertise of Eastern Kentucky University’s Environmental Health Sciences faculty.

Four professors in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences – Joe Beck, Darryl Barnett, Worley Johnson and Sheila Pressley – recently completed the second edition of “Fundamentals of Environmental Health Field Practice,” a one-of-a-kind book intended to assist the field practitioner in the completion of his or her job.

The idea for the book started taking shape in 1998 when the EKU faculty members were involved in providing training to the Indian Health Service section of the United States Public Health Service for environmental health skills enhancement for Native Americans tribes, Beck explained.

“At that time a small manual was available through the Government printing office that had been developed by the Senior Corps officers of the Public Health Service,” he said. “The director indicated to us that funds were no longer available for the printing of this manual and that it would have to be discontinued due to its cost. We offered to rewrite the manual and enhance it considerably and make it available for both the use of the United States Public Health Service and civilian environmental health agencies.”

At that time, the manual was approximately 150 pages long and out of date in many content areas. The redeveloped manual, referred to as the “Fundamentals of Environmental Health Field Practice,” included more than 400 pages and offered guidance to environmental health practitioners on procedural steps for inspections, up-to-date information on microbiology and epidemiology, and all the required tables, images and topics that face most field practitioners.

“The first edition was primarily a test to gauge acceptance of the book,” Beck noted. “The second edition will be made available to all field practitioners throughout the United States. The text will likely also be used for several classes in the accredited environmental health programs across the country. EKU's Department of Environmental Health's undergraduate program is nationally ranked at the top with employers from throughout the nation seeking its graduates.”

The latest edition of the book may be purchased through Barnes & Noble Bookstore, the National Environmental Health Association and Amazon.com, and is available in both hard copy and in e-book format.

Royalties from the book, a culmination of approximately six years of work, have been signed over to the American Academy of Sanitarians for the development of environmental health scholarships.

The same team of authors, with the addition of EKU Environmental Health Sciences faculty members Dr. Carolyn Harvey and Dr. Gary Brown, also wrote the “Healthy Housing Reference Manual,” the official publication on housing for the U.S. Agency on Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Center for Disease Control, is available for free online at www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/books/housing/housing.htm. Interested parties can also contact the agencies for any hard copies that might be available.

Published on March 05, 2013