I (Raymond) have been a Public Health Inspector (PHI) for over 15 years and currently fulfill the role of Environmental Health Specialist with Toronto Public Health (TPH) within the Healthy Environments directorate.
Looking back at the last 10 years I have worked in the field of environmental health, the most memorable and rewarding career moments all involved connecting with the public, educating others and effecting change. These are the moments that inspire me and motivate me to continue my career in public health.
In over 20 years of working in public health, I have seen how Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) can be effective advocates for individual clients, but knowing when to intervene in an individual case in the name of public health can be a challenge.
An ongoing challenge for those working to reduce inequities in health has been finding and using evidence, due in part to the traditional divide between research and practice. This challenge underscores the importance of public health organizations contributing to the evidence base. This can be done through mechanisms such as journal publications, reports, and blogs, and also through communities of practice.
Health Impact Assessment is a structured method to assess the potential health impacts of proposed policies and practices. When applied correctly, health impact assessments make it possible for staff to strengthen the health-enhancing elements of a plan, and minimize the aspects that may be harmful to health.