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Affiliate annual educational conferences. (President's Message).

In the course of my employment at Underwriters Laboratories and the years of my involvement with NEHA as a regional vice president and national officer, I have had the opportunity to attend many affiliate annual educational conferences. I have also had the pleasure of speaking at a number of them. Regardless of the location, each one provides a unique experience--in one way or another!

Taking a short trip down memory lane ...

At a Florida Environmental Health Association conference, at the end of the day, I had the opportunity to relax with several attendees in the lounge on the beach and listen to a band play Calypso-style music as the sun set over the ocean. Paints a nice picture in your mind's eye, doesn't it?

At the end of the day at a Colorado Environmental Health Association conference, a couple of friends and I escaped to the mineral waters of the Strawberry Park Hot Springs, tucked in the hills among the trees to splash around in the refreshing hot springs pools.

During the year Art Bloom was president of NEHA, he and I both attended the Montana Environmental Health Association conference. We had the opportunity to take a few hours prior to the conference and drive through part of Yellowstone National Park. Art drove--it was truly an unforgettable experience.

While at a recent Yankee Conference, four of us drove a few miles into Maine for a quick shopping trip to L.L. Bean, followed by one of the best lobster dinners I have ever eaten. Fresh Maine lobster, boiled red potatoes, corn on the cob, steamed clams, and cherry pie for dessert. Cooked and served in a little family-style restaurant at the waters' edge. It just doesn't get any better!

Don't get me wrong--there is a lot more to these conferences than fun, food, and friends. There is also serious educational opportunity.

During a Colorado Environmental Health Association conference, I had the pleasure of listening to Brian O'Malley's motivating presentation on his adventure climbing Mt. Everest. If his name sounds familiar, it is probably because you remember Brian from his keynote presentation at a NEHA Annual Educational Conference. I was invigorated and inspired by his presentation. In fact, I still have a postcard from him hanging on the wall in my office. I refer to when I need a little lift.

A session at an Illinois Environmental Health Association conference provided very detailed information on possible health effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation from overhead electric power transmission lines.

At a New Mexico Environmental Health Association conference, I listened as a veterinarian spoke on the difficulties she encountered when her group was dealing with the devastation to livestock caused by hoof-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom. Pictures of what used to be green pastures dotted with flocks of sheep showed empty fields with plumes of black smoke rising from large pyres of burning animal carcasses.

At a Michigan Environmental Health Association conference, I heard the nation's first "riverkeeper" speak about his exploits in battling pollution on the Hudson River and learned how one individual really can make a difference.

Every affiliate conference that I have attended has provided an excellent blend of educational opportunities on topics of national importance and topics relevant on the state and local levels, The affiliate volunteers who put together these conferences do an excellent job of providing comprehensive education programs while keeping registration fees affordable. To all of you involved in organizing these conferences: Thank you for jobs well done!

This issue of the Journal will reach you at about the time that many affiliate conferences are being held. I urge each of you to support your affiliate by attending its annual educational conference. As a reminder, some of these conferences are listed in the Calendar in the back of this Journal. Affiliates that wish to have their conference information printed in the Journal: Please contact the Denver office for information and deadlines.

Until next time ...
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Article Details
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Author:Dingman, James D.
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2002
Words:660
Previous Article:7th annual New Mexico Environmental Health Conference.
Next Article:Letters to the Editor.
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