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Aaron J. Henderson

Environmental Public Health Program Manager

Clark County Public Health

Vancouver, WA 98663

 

Biography

Aaron Henderson has worked in the Environmental Public Health field for nearly six years. During that time, Aaron has worked for Island County Public Health as an On-Site Sanitarian before being promoted to Environmental Health Director. In mid-2011 he took a position as Environmental Health Program Manager at Clark County Public Health (CCPH). At CCPH Aaron manages the on-site sewage, drinking water, and water recreation programs as well as working with staff in the food safety, solid waste, and vector control programs. This work includes program planning, development, and management; staff development; strategic planning; and building emergency preparedness capacity. Aaron holds the On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Inspector certification as well as being a Qualified Sanitary Surveyor.

 

In addition to his responsibilities at CCPH Aaron serves on a number of committees and work groups dedicated to public health. He currently serves as chair of the Washington State Environmental Health Directors group, as well as maintaining a position on the Board of Directors for the Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials. In cooperation with the Washington State Department of Health Aaron has participated in rule making committees for state regulations related to Greywater Reuse and small public water systems. As Aaron’s time with the EPHLI comes to a close, he will begin a two year term on the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee with the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Aaron’s love for environmental public health is based in his passion for combining science, policy development, and public outreach. In addition to his interest in sustainable environmental health policy, Aaron is passionate about the impacts of environmental influences on pregnant women and young children.

 

Leadership Development Opportunities

The Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute has provided me with remarkable opportunities to learn more about myself, my organization, and public health in general. The skills and lessons I have developed and identified will have a lasting impact on my career.

 

The work that was done through the Individual Development Plan, 360 Assessment, and personality trait assessments opened my eyes to who I really am both as a leader and as a person. These observations of how I may be perceived and how I may perceive others at times struck me as new information, and at others reinforced my previous assumptions. Taking that knowledge and then applying it to organizational learning presented a tremendous leap for me. Through the study of systems thinking, I learned how to identify the real issue when problem solving and how to begin to ask the right questions and recognize a real answer from a band-aid. Since that first week in Atlanta, I still have a rubberband pulled between two tacks to remind me of the tension I need to maintain in my daily work. The final piece of the puzzle was almost overwhelming as I sat in a room with amazing peers and talked about how organizations fit into communities. Both our local communities, and the public health community at large. Public Health unlike a lot of professions really benefits tremendously from the “think globally, act locally” mantra. Public Health issues know no borders, and what we do with our neighbor across the street should be the same thing we would do for our neighbor across a state or county line.

 

I am tremendously thankful the opportunity to learn from the many professionals who facilitated the EPHLI program, as well as from the other fellows whom I worked alongside for the last 12 months.