Printer-friendly version Print this page

Brian Hanft

Environmental Health Service Manager

Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health

Mason City, IA 50401


Brian Hanft has been the Environmental Health Service Manager for the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, located in north central rural Iowa, since 2002. In this position, he supervises and manages a regional staff of seven that serves 15 counties in north central Iowa. They conduct a wide variety of environmental health activities including food service, pools/spas, transient noncommunity water supplies, on-site wastewater, residential water well, lead based paint, tattoo, tanning, and nuisance inspections.


In addition, Brian is also responsible for internal assessment, strategic planning, outcome evaluation, budgetary/financial management, grant management, and overall program direction. Brian is currently president of the Iowa Environmental Health Association (IEHA), has served as vice-president for the Iowa Onsite Waste Water Association (IOWWA), and as a participant in the Iowa Environmental Health Response Team (EHRT). In prior positions, he served as an environmental health specialist for the Polk County Health Department in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Black Hawk County Health Department in Waterloo, Iowa.


Brian received a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University.

What I Learned at EPHLI

The Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute has offered me a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet environmental public health professionals that I would have never met otherwise. The Institute has challenged my abilities to think through a problem(s) and look for solutions using a systematic approaches and various modeling techniques. It has provided guidance through personal and professional assessment tools (Skillscope is outstanding), which I have found to be invaluable.


Classroom instruction, open dialogue, field trips, have all made for an interesting year. It has been challenging, motivating, thought-provoking, fun, and worth every minute. Life isn’t always about a larger paycheck. Life is a journey and this learning opportunity has been a privilege. I’m glad I had the opportunity to take advantage of it.