Montana Environmental Health Education & Assessment Program (MEHEA)
In 2017, the State of Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services' (DPHHS) Public Health and Safety Division (PHSD) was awarded the APPLETREE grant which is a cooperative agreement with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). This award funded the establishment of the Montana Environmental Health Education and Assessment (MEHEA) program.
This partnership between Montana DPHHS and ATSDR provides funding to address public health threats from environmental wastes by:
- Strengthening collaborative relationships with federal, state, and local partners;
- Identifying pathways of human exposure to hazardous substances in the environment;
- Implementing and sustaining Montana’s Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education (CSPECE) program; and
- Building on Montana’s capacity to respond to citizens’ needs for assistance with hazardous substance and toxics exposures and to use what we learn to prevent future exposures.
The MEHEA program coordinates with local, state, and federal government agencies to address environmental public health concerns. This includes public health support at federal and state superfund sites. The major goals of this program are to help people protect themselves from site-related hazards, and importantly, help people to reduce, eliminate, or prevent exposure related health effects.
Our mission is to reduce, eliminate, or prevent exposures to toxic substances throughout this great state.
To meet our mission, our ongoing activities include:
- Make recommendations to regional and state partners to take action to prevent and stop exposures, for example by installing water filters or replacing soil in residents’ backyards.
- Assist local and regional agencies or individual citizens, in the interpretation of environmental data as it relates to human health.
- Coordinate with partners to establish a Choose Safe Places for Early Care and Education (CSPECE) program to ensure child care centers are in facilities free of environmental hazards.