The Illinois Department of Public Health is seeking a highly motivated individual to serve as an Environmental Health Specialist. Performs highly technical work within the Indoor Air Quality Program. Functions in a professional capacity working on a variety of environmental public health issues, technical problems and of a complexity requiring an in?depth analysis and knowledge of environmental health.
1. Under direction of the Program Manager, performs difficult and complex professional environmental health investigations and inspections at regulated facilities, including site assessment, sample collection, hazard identification, and risk communication.
Independently conducts indoor air quality (IAQ) investigations in response to contamination, illness, complaints, or referrals and determines compliance with established IAQ guidelines.
Travels to respond to incidents and conducts complex environmental health investigations; develops a plan of action and takes necessary steps to maintain environmental health safety.
Provides technical assistance to local health departments, regional offices, state or federal agencies, schools, the public, and other organizations.
Participates in infectious disease outbreak investigations, including but not limited to legionnaires’ disease.
Represents the Program at meetings with regulated entities and public meetings to discuss investigatory findings and recommendations.
2. Prepares detailed technical reports and correspondences concerning observations, field investigations, environmental assessments, proposed work plans, and equipment evaluations.
Drafts letters and correspondence to regulated entities regarding investigation results and recommendations for corrective actions.
Drafts enforcement proceedings with Program Manager.
3. Develops and provides outreach, health education, and training for healthcare professionals, the public, and other interested organizations.
Presents IAQ training, including traditional face to face meetings and webinars.
Works with the Program’s Public Health Educator and other Office of Health Protection staff to develop fact sheets, posters, infographics, social media content, and other outreach materials.
4. Serves as Deputy Occupational Health and Safety Consultant for the Division and helps maintain the respiratory protection program.
5. Maintains the Section’s inventory of equipment for monitoring and sampling, including routine maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
Research new technologies to improve techniques used by Section staff to sample indoor environments for hazardous substances and conditions.
Trains central office and regional Office of Health Protection staff to properly use and maintain equipment.
6. Attends continuing education and professional development training.
Completes mandatory knowledge and practical training required by Office of Health Protection standard operating procedure and program requirements.
Attends professional meetings and continuing education training to expand knowledge and job skills appropriate to program areas.
7. Performs other duties as required or assigned which are reasonably within the scope of the duties listed above.
Requires possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college with at least 30 semester hours in the physical or biological sciences, including at least six semester hours coursework in toxicology, risk assessment, industrial hygiene, biochemistry, or physiology.
Requires three years of professional experience in environmental health practice.
Current licensure in Illinois as an Environmental Health Practitioner. Certification as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS/RS) is equivalent.
Ability to pass a medical evaluation, wear a negative pressure respirator, and walk for extended periods of time while carrying equipment weighing 15 to 30 pounds.
Two years of experience conducting indoor air quality investigations in schools and commercial buildings.
Two years of experience operating environmental monitoring and sampling equipment, analyzing, and interpreting data, and preparing technical reports.
Two years of experience responding to infectious diseases in congregate settings or workplaces, including assessing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
Two years of experience developing and presenting environmental health training, including traditional face to face and webinars
One year of experience authoring technical guidance document
One year of experience managing and developing a respiratory protection, medical surveillance, or health and safety program.
Working knowledge in public health principles, occupational health, epidemiology, and safety engineering.
Conditions of Employment
Requires use of personal vehicle for work?related travel within the State.
Requires possession of a current and valid driver’s license.
In Illinois, if you have eaten at a restaurant ... required hospital or nursing home care ... vacationed at a campground or swam at a public beach or pool ... drank a glass of milk ... got married or divorced ... had a baby, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has touched your life in some important way.
Assuring the quality of our food, setting the standards for hospital and nursing home care, checking the safety of recreation areas, overseeing the inspection of milk producing farms and processing plants, maintaining the state's vital records and screening newborns for genetic diseases are just some of the duties of IDPH.
In fact, IDPH has 200 different programs that benefit each state resident and visitor, although its daily activities of maintaining the public's health are rarely noticed unless a breakdown in the system occurs. With the assistance of local public health agencies, these essential programs and services make up Illinois' public health system, a system that forms a frontline defense against disease through preventive measures and education. Public health has provided the foundation for remarkable gains in saving lives and reducing suffering. Today, lif...e expectancy is 80 years for women and 74 years for men compared with fewer than 50 years at the at the beginning of the 20th century.
In the past, IDPH directed state efforts to control smallpox, cholera and typhoid, virtually eliminated polio, reduced dental decay through fluoridation of community water supplies, and corrected sanitary conditions that threatened water and food supplies.
Today, IDPH has programs to deal with persistent problems that require continued vigilance – infectious diseases, such as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and meningococcal disease; foodborne and communicable diseases, such as E. coli 0157: H7, monkeypox, salmonella and West Nile virus; vaccine preventable diseases; lead poisoning; lack of health care in rural areas; health disparities among racial groups, breast, cervical and prostate cancer; Alzheimer's disease; and other health threats -- sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco use, violence, and other conditions associated with high-risk behaviors. In addition, IDPH has been charged with handling the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of bioterrorism.
IDPH, which is one of the state's oldest agencies, was first organized in 1877 with a staff of three and a two-year budget of $5,000. IDPH, now has an annual budget of $2.9 billion in state and federal funds, headquarters in Springfield and Chicago, seven regional offices located around the state, three laboratories, and 1,200 employees.
IDPH is organized into 12 offices, each of which addresses a distinct area of public health. Each office operates and supports numerous ongoing programs and is prepared to respond to extraordinary situations as they arise.