NEHA welcomes a new affiliate.NEHA is pleased to announce our newest affiliate: the Saudi Arabian Environmental Health Association (SAEHA). Several months ago a Saudi Arabian group of environmental health professionals contacted NEHA wishing to set up an affiliated organization. Many members of this group are environmental scientists who work in the environmental protection department for Saudi Aramco, the largest oil producer in the world. By creating this association and affiliating themselves with other environmental health professionals, they hope to expand their knowledge of environmental health issues and help advance the field of environmental health in Saudi Arabia.
NEHA welcomes this exciting opportunity for information exchange and exposure to environmental health issues in other parts of the world. In addition, through such affiliations, NEHA increases its opportunities for success in fulfilling our mission "to advance the environmental health protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all," no matter their location! A significant number of U.S citizens who work in Saudi Arabia may be interested in joining this affiliate.
To demonstrate its commitment to NEHA, the SAEHA has taken the unusual step of stating in their bylaws that all members must also be NEHA members. NEHA only asks as a requirement of affiliation that at least 15 affiliate members also be NEHA members, which must include the affiliate president and at least one other board officer. The NEHA bylaws allow for the creation of an Affiliate Association in each state or territory of the United States or an identifiable geographical area of a foreign country. NEHA already has a Jamaican affiliate, a Korean affiliate, and an armed services affiliate. In order to create a new affiliate, the interested group must first submit their bylaws and a written petition signed by a minimum of 15 active NEHA members. These must then be accepted and approved by the NEHA board of directors. The NEHA board approved SAEHA at their December meeting.
Affiliate presidents serve as a liaison between NEHA and the affiliate members. We always welcome hearing about the concerns and needs of the members either directly or through participation at the Annual Educational Conference's (AEC's) focus groups. We also encourage the nomination of deserving affiliate members for the prestigious Mangold Award and invite affiliate members to apply for the NEHA Sabbatical Exchange program. At the AEC we award NEHA Certificates of Merit to affiliate members who have been selected for this honor by their affiliates. Affiliate members also have opportunities to serve on NEHA committees or even possibly to seek election as regional vice presidents or national officers. We support ongoing communication between affiliates and NEHA national officers, the executive director, and regional vice presidents, and look forward to invitations to affiliate meetings and events. NEHA is happy to maintain a reciprocal link to affiliate Web sites and to post updates to help promote important affiliate conferences, awards, and activities.
For more information about affiliation with NEHA, please feel free to contact your regional vice president as listed in the Journal of Environmental Health, or contact Genny Homyack, executive associate, at the NEHA office at 303.756.9090.
Once again, NEHA offers big congratulations to our newest affiliate SAEHA! We wish you the best as you move forward advancing the environmental health professional in Saudi Arabia.