Environmental Public Health Services in First Nations communities
Working together with First Nations communities, Environmental Public Health Services help to identify and prevent public health risks.
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About Environmental Public Health Services
The Environmental Public Health Services team works with First Nations communities to identify and prevent environmental public health risks. These risks could negatively impact the health of people in both the natural and built environment. Most of these services are provided by Environmental Public Health Officers (EPHOs). EPHOs are certified public health inspectors.
North of the 60° parallel, Environmental Public Health Services are delivered by the territorial governments.
For those South of the 60° parallel, EPHOs are employed by Indigenous Services Canada or by First Nations, tribal councils and other organizations, such as the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in BC.
What EPHOs do
EPHOs working in First Nations communities South of 60° parallel are responsible for assessing:
- drinking water
- healthy housing
- public buildings and community facilities inspections
- food safety
- solid waste
- environmental communicable disease control
- emergency preparedness and response
EPHOs collaborate with:
- local leadership
- First Nations organizations and agencies
- public health workers
- health authorities
- government departments
EPHOs manage public health risks by:
- conducting public health assessments, including:
- inspections and monitoring
- reviewing plans and investigations
- providing advice and guidance to First Nations
- delivering public education and awareness sessions, including training.
Community work plans identify both routine and priority activities requested by local leadership. These plans help determine the services delivered by the community's EPHO. Inspections, investigations and other activities can also be conducted if a concern is identified after a work plan has been developed.
Working as an EPHO
Learn about a career as an EPHO.
Margaret Coady, Environmental Public Health Officer
Shannon Imhoff, Environmental Public Health Officer
To learn more about becoming an EPHO, please visit Becoming a Certified Environmental Public Health Officer.
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