To identify and prevent environmental public health risks
A healthy environment includes safe water and food supplies and properly designed, constructed and maintained housing and community facilities as well as suitable treatment and disposal of wastewater and solid waste. To maintain a healthy environment, it is also necessary to plan for and respond to emergencies and to work towards the prevention and control of communicable diseases.
The Environmental Health Program at SERDC works to identify and prevent environmental public health risks that could adversely impact the health of community residents in SERDC communities. Programming includes public health inspections, monitoring environmental conditions such as drinking water quality, delivering training and raising awareness about potential environmental public health risks and the steps people can take to protect themselves and their families.
SERDC’s Environmental Health Advisor (EHA) works to identify and prevent environmental public health risks in SERDC community residents. Some EHAs are employed by Health Canada and some by First Nations or Tribal Councils. All EHAs working in First Nations communities must have a Certificate in Public Health Inspection (Canada).
SERDC’s EHA provides routine services, as per community requirements, or other services as requested by Chiefs and Councils including to following:
- Provide advice, guidance, education, public health inspections and recommendations to First Nations and their leadership to help them manage public health risks associated with the environment.
- Gather data required to analyze what steps can be taken to promote public health in First Nations communities.
- Visit First Nations to do inspections, investigations and provide education and training sessions.
- Identify potential public health risks in First Nations communities and provide recommendations to Chiefs and Councils on how to correct them.
Mike Fontaine, Environmental Health Advisor
Keenan Fernandes, Environmental Public Health Inspector