Environmental health is one of many important contributions to the IHS mission of raising the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level. The Office of Environmental Health and Engineering assists American Indian and Alaska Native communities to achieve their unique goals for obtaining health care facilities and establishing and maintaining a healthy environment through the cooperative development and continuing operation of safe water, wastewater, and solid waste systems and related support facilities.
Four employees were recently recognized for going above and beyond to serve American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
Environmental Health Specialist of 2018
Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Taylor, an institutional environmental health officer in the IHS Bemidji Area, is the Environmental Health Specialist of 2018. The Division of Environmental Health Services has recognized this award since 1993, which is given to the environmental health specialist representing the division with distinction and positively impacting the health outcomes of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Lt. Cmdr. Taylor consistently demonstrates dedication, mentoring and professionalism that substantially elevated environmental health services, and he exemplifies the highest qualities of leadership and commitment to the IHS mission.
Gary J. Gefroh Safety and Health Award
Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Conner, an institutional environmental health officer in the IHS Navajo Area, received the 2018 Gary J. Gefroh Safety and Health Award for his roles in supporting health care accreditation at the Gallup Indian Medical Center. This award recognizes significant contributions by an individual or group resulting in improved healthcare safety and/or infection control conditions at an IHS or tribal health care program. Lt. Cmdr. Conner has continuously demonstrated his technical, administrative, and management skills in a range of ways.
Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction Project Engineers of the Year
The Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction Project Engineer of the Year, established in 1990, annually recognizes a DSFC engineer that has demonstrated exemplary work as evidenced by specific engineering accomplishments. Beginning in 2018, the division expanded this award to nominate a Junior Project Engineer of the Year and a Senior Project Engineer of the Year.
Cmdr. Helena Shannon, P.E., a district engineer with Gallup OEHE in the IHS Navajo Area, is the 2018 Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction Senior Project Engineer of the Year. Cmdr. Shannon oversees a portfolio of 263 active projects worth over $100 million, benefiting nearly 20,000 American Indians. She has implemented policies and procedures in the Gallup District that provide continuity and consistency in delivery of sanitation facilities. Cmdr. Shannon is a leader and mentor, and encourages and supports her staff in professional development.
Lt. Matthew Chadwick, P.E., a field engineer with Ft. Duchesne OEHE in the IHS Phoenix Area, is the 2018 Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction Junior Project Engineer of the Year. Lt. Chadwick was the only engineer in the remote field office for the majority of the year and has taken on a large project and supervisory workload. Lt. Chadwick’s technical capabilities, in addition to his communication skills, has had a great impact in delivering services to various sites.