Message from the 2014-15 TEHA President Joanna Meyer
Greetings Texas Environmental Health Association Members…
Dear friends and colleagues:
I hope everyone is having a great Fall so far. I wanted to share an update of recent events having to do with TEHA.
In July, I was honored to represent TEHA and attend NEHA’s Annual Education Conference in Orlando, Florida. It was a great experience being able to attend educational sessions, network, and to speak with other affiliate presidents. During the conference, we had special affiliate president’s sessions to share ideas on how to make our associations even better and stronger. Some of the ideas discussed ranged from increasing membership to navigating the legislative system.
As you may know, we had a very active legislative session this year and monitored several bills that would have affected our profession. Thanks to all of you for all of your support during this important legislative session. One bill in particular, HB 91, Raw Milk, gained a lot of ground, and was actually passed by the House of Representatives. Luckily, it was stopped in the Senate.
Our members, our Legislative and Guidance Committee, and our lobbyist Duane Galligher helped to defeat this bill and several other bills. A big thank you goes out to each one of them.
We have had the most success during this session than many others because TEHA is taking a very proactive approach, and remaining steadfast in protecting the public health. TEHA now is known at the capitol and is viewed as a stakeholder, where before many people did not know what TEHA was and for what we stood. To help strengthen our voice, please spread the word about TEHA. The more members we have, the stronger voice TEHA will become at the State Capitol.
With that being said, I encourage each one of you to contact your local representatives, share your views regarding environmental health, and get to know them. Invite them to speak at one of your local chapter meetings. It is crucial to build these relationships. Now is the perfect time to start getting to know them before they get busy with the next session. It is predicted during the next legislative session, several of the bills, especially the Raw Milk Bill, will come back. We need as much support as possible to protect the public health.
Also of note: The proposed Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) is still going through the state process, and hopefully will be passed by the end of September. Thank you for all of the letters and comments that were sent in support of the updated TFER. We will be having a session on the new TFER open to the first 30 members that sign up for it during our Annual Education Conference. (AEC)
So, please save the dates, October 12th -16th 2015 and make plans to attend our 60th Annual Education Conference. We will have several educational tracts that range from Animal Control to Food Safety. The AEC Program Committee has been working very hard to make this our best AEC ever. Please make plans to attend.
Watch your email and always remember you can see the latest news on our website at www.myteha.org
Joanna Meyer, R.S.