Congressional Resolution Thanks Public Health Workforce for Tireless Work

NEHA News Release


Release Date: 
November 22, 2021

Public Health Thank You Day

Washington, DC – Last week, in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), Representative Robert Wittman of Virginia submitted a concurrent resolution to Congress recognizing the profound contribution that environmental and public health professionals have made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and make every day to the health, safety, and economic security of the country during Public Health Thank You day.  

“One of the many lessons highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is that our nation’s strength and resilience relies heavily on our dedicated public health and environmental health professionals. With 26 years of experience working in the Virginia Department of Health before coming to Congress, I recognize and appreciate that research and practice are vital to the security, economic development, and wellbeing of citizens throughout our nation. Recognizing these dedicated individuals through this Resolution on Public Health Thank You Day 2021 is the least we can do to honor the service and sacrifice our public health professionals play in keeping our communities safe, healthy, and prosperous,” said Representative Robert Wittman. 

The resolution states that environmental and public health professionals should be “plauded, extolled, and thanked on Public Health Thank You Day for their deeply important contributions to the Nation.” 

The work of environmental and public health professionals has been vital to successfully reducing and abating many of the health threats our communities face, from measles and food-borne illnesses to hazardous waste, lead poisoning, and bioterrorism agents. 

“Environmental health professionals are modestly compensated, unseen and unrecognized by most,” said Dr. David Dyjack, NEHA executive director. “Yet they remain dedicated to protecting our communities and have even taken on expanded duties under stressful conditions during the pandemic.”  

The role of the environmental health professional has been vital in the COVID-19 response. They have: 

  • guided businesses to create safe workplaces for their employees; 
  • continued to ensure the safety of food being served in and purchased from restaurants; 
  • offered expert recommendations on public gatherings and how they can occur in a safe way; 
  • provided technical assistance to hospitals and for early child education and emergency preparations; 
  • supported older adults and vulnerable populations to ensure they remain safe; 
  • conducted contingency planning, contact tracing, passenger surveillance, assessment of quarantine and isolation facilities; 
  • and supervised cleaning and disinfection of health care facilities. 

Individuals and organizations are invited to recognize the efforts of the environmental and public health workforce by sharing Public Health Thank You day messages. Find the full toolkit of messages and graphics on the Research! America website or share from the NEHA’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter platforms.  

Read the Congressional Resolution

About the National Environmental Health Association

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is a professional society with more than 6,000 governmental, private, academic, and uniformed services sector environmental health professionals in the U.S., its territories, and internationally. NEHA is the profession's strongest advocate for excellence in the practice of environmental health as it delivers on its mission to build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce.  This mission is fulfilled in the products and services offered by NEHA to advance the environmental health professional through credentialing, training, education, networking, professional development, and policy involvement opportunities. Learn more about NEHA at