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In memoriam: Vince Sikora, August 1948-December 2003.

NEHA is deeply saddened to report that Vince Sikora, an associate professor of environmental health at East Tennessee State University and the Journal's Legal Briefs columnist, died on December 21, 2003. Mr. Sikora contributed to the advancement of the public and environmental health profession in many ways, and he was committed to providing practical and relevant legal information for readers of the Journal.

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From 1979 to 1985, Sikora was the author of the Journal column Law for Environmentalists. He returned to the Journal in April 2001 with Legal Briefs, and for three years, he presented short case studies about legal issues important to environmental health professionals. Sikora provided his e-mail address at the end of each column for questions or comments--and always willingly replied with guidance or assistance to JEH readers.

In 2002, NEHA awarded the Harry Bliss Editor's Award to Sikora, not only for his outstanding and popular column, but also for his contributions to the advancement of the cause and the interests of the association and its members.

Because of the interest and respect his column elicited, many in the field invited Sikora to speak at conferences. He accepted many of these invitations. In addition, he co-taught a three-day course for the Food and Drug Administration titled "Effective Enforcement." He also had proposed working together with NEHA to publish an environmental health law manual.

Sikora has made inspiring contributions to environmental health, going above and beyond professional requirements and committing his time and expertise to the improvement of the field. NEHA feels the utmost gratitude and appreciation for his dedication, and we express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

In the words of NEHA President Douglas Ebelherr,
 Vince was dedicated to improving the environmental health profession
 through guidance in his Legal Briefs column. This most popular column
 provided grassroots lessons for all of us working in the field every
 day. Vince hoped that through his efforts we would learn to become
 better environmental health professionals. As a tribute to Vince, I
 ask each of you to take some time each day to learn something new and
 become a better environmental health professional. Vince, God loves
 you; we will miss you.


And NEHA Executive Director Nelson Fabian expresses the feelings of all the Journal staff with the following words of appreciation:
 This one is tough. Vince was the best. Some of you may remember when
 he had a stroke a couple of years ago; one of his main worries (as he
 recovered in the hospital) was the possibility that he wouldn't be
 able to get his column in on time. That was Vince. Always cheerful,
 helpful, and the consummate supporter.


Three excerpts from e-mail correspondence Vince received in response to the Legal Briefs column indicate the extent of the service he provided members of the profession:
 Nearly 20 years ago, you participated in a seminar for local health
 departments in Southeast Michigan on the legal aspects of
 environmental health. Your lecture notes and the handouts from that
 seminar remain on my bookcase shelf to this day.

 James Schnackenberg, Health Officer
 Barry-Eaton District Health Dept.

 I've downloaded all of your Legal Briefs columns from the NEHA Web
 site. Your column provides the best clarification regarding legal
 questions that I have found so far.

 Davonna W. Koebrick, L.M.S.W., R.S.
 Environmental Coordinator
 Victoria City-County Health Dept.
 Victoria, Texas

 I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the insight into
 environmental health legal issues that you provide every month in JEH.
 While our laws and regulations here in Canada differ somewhat from
 yours in America, they are still quite close, and it's easy to draw
 analogies to the system we work in. I find your case studies most
 enlightening and informative.

 Mike LeBlanc, B.Sc., C.P.H.I.(C)
 Regional Supervisor
 Environmental Health Services
 Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Sikora's family has established a scholarship in his name, and people wishing to honor him can make donations to the Vincent Sikora Memorial Scholarship Fund, ETSU Foundation, East Tennessee State University, Box 70721, Johnson City, Tennessee 37614.

Vincent A. Sikora, J.D., L.L.M., R.P.S.

Associate Professor, East Tennessee State University
COPYRIGHT 2004 National Environmental Health Association
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Legal Briefs
Author:Sikora, Vincent A.
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:700
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