National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) had its origins in the state of California where it was incorporated in 1937. The original impetus behind the creation of a national professional society for environmental health practitioners was the desire by professionals of that day to establish a standard of excellence for this developing profession. This standard, which has come to be known as the Registered Environmental Health Specialist or Registered Sanitarian credential, signifies that an environmental health professional has mastered a body of knowledge (which is verified through the passing of an examination), and has acquired sufficient experience, to satisfactorily perform work responsibilities in the environmental health field. The pioneers of the association believed that such a credential was necessary if the environmental health field was to grow and take shape as a legitimate and widely respected profession.
Drawing on the original effort that led to the creation of NEHA, the association today stands as a strong professional society with over 4,500 members across the nation. Clearly NEHA's mission, to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all is as relevant today as it was when the organization was founded.
Advancement has been defined by NEHA in terms of both education and motivation. The basis for the association's activities is the belief that the professional who is educated and motivated is the professional who will make the greatest contribution to the healthful environmental goals which we all seek. Accordingly, great emphasis is placed on providing, through each of NEHA's programs, both an educational as well as a motivational opportunity. At NEHA's conferences, for example, tremendous attention is paid to developing a quality educational program that not only imparts knowledge to the attendee but, also, through the very quality of the presentations, inspires the attendee to do more upon returning to his or her job.