Vincent J. Radke Earns 2013 Walter F. Snyder Environmental Health Award
Given annually in honor of NSF International’s co-founder and first executive director for outstanding contributions to the advancement of environmental health
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — NSF International and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) are pleased to announce that Vincent J. Radke, MPH, RS, CP-FS, DAAS, CPH, is the 2013 recipient of the distinguished Walter F. Snyder Environmental Health Award. Mr. Radke will receive the award on Tuesday, July 9 at the NEHA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. for over four decades of significant and lasting contributions to public and environmental health at the international, federal, state and local levels.
The award is given annually in honor of NSF International’s co-founder and first executive director, Walter F. Snyder, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of environmental health. Mr. Radke is being honored for 43 years of distinguished environmental and public health service in enhancing the lives of people worldwide through leadership, dedication, service and a commitment to fostering collaboration.
“Vince Radke’s career achievements reflect the principles expressed by Walter F. Snyder and the public health mission of NSF International,” said Kevan P. Lawlor, NSF International President and CEO. “His service as a public health advocate, as well as a leader and a mentor, demonstrate his strong commitment to the promotion of public and environmental health. He inspires collaboration between agencies and people at all levels, and has helped establish many programs that have made a lasting global impact. These accomplishments make him an exceptionally worthy recipient of the Walter F. Snyder Award.”
“Vince Radke is a respected leader in the environmental health field worldwide. He is highly regarded and respected due to his tireless service as well as his ability to encourage collaboration and drive change. Vince is an exceptional human health professional, as well as an inspiring human being. He deserves the Walter F. Snyder Award,” said Nelson Fabian, Executive Director and CEO of NEHA.
In the 1970s, Mr. Radke was instrumental in helping to eradicate smallpox, the only human disease ever eliminated from the planet. As a surveillance and assessment officer with the U.S. Peace Corps in 1970, Mr. Radke worked with the Ethiopian government, tribal chiefs and school, health clinic and church staff to combat smallpox and establish cholera and tuberculosis immunization programs. The World Health Organization (WHO) requested Mr. Radke to assist with the eradication of smallpox in Bangladesh in 1975, and to document that smallpox had been eradicated from Kenya in 1977. For his work, he was awarded the Order of the Bifurcated Needle by WHO’s Director General.
In the 1980s through early 1990s, Mr. Radke held several environmental health positions. As Director of Environmental Health in Stamford, Connecticut, he ran programs in water, sewage disposal systems, food services, noise control and air pollution. At the Virginia Department of Health, he provided sanitation and inspection services for water supplies, foodservice establishments, swimming pools, day care centers, pet shops and nursing homes. For his work responding to a cyclosporiasis outbreak related to pesto sauce, he and his colleagues at the Alexandria Health Department received the Washington, D.C. Counsel of Government Award for Meritorious Service.
Mr. Radke was instrumental in establishing the Model Food Code in Northern Virginia in the mid 1990s, for which he received two annual Jerrold M. Michael Awards from the National Capital Area Environmental Health Association. He also helped to set up the Model Food Code for the State of Virginia.
In 2000 at the Institute for Environmental Assessment, Mr. Radke developed health, safety and injury reduction programs for school districts in Minnesota. He established school safety committees and implemented environmental compliance training for school employees in food safety, blood borne pathogens, chemical hygiene standards and laboratory safety.
In 2001, the Environmental Health Services Branch (EHSB) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hired Mr. Radke as a lead sanitarian to enhance food safety and security domestically and globally. He organized and led collaborative food safety activities within the CDC and with the National Center for Environmental Health and the National Center for Infectious Diseases, across many public health disciplines (epidemiology, behavioral science, laboratory and environmental health). He also led studies to identify environmental antecedents associated with foodborne illness, which required coordination between federal, state and local agencies.
Mr. Radke helped develop the Environmental Health Specialist Network (EHS-NET), a collaborative forum of environmental health specialists to improve the practice of environmental health nationally. As co-leader of the EHSB innovation team, Mr. Radke has ushered the development of numerous national public health programs to raise the awareness of public health professionals on emerging environmental health issues and to improve the practice of the environmental health sciences.
Mr. Radke served as a mentor in the Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI), working with environmental health leaders from federal, state, local and tribal agencies across the U.S. His expertise was sought by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to assess water and sanitation systems following natural disasters in the Pacific Islands and the Philippines, and he has been a first responder in many hurricanes in the U.S.
Mr. Radke has served as president of two NEHA affiliates, the National Capital Area Environmental Health Association and the Virginia Environmental Health Association. He is NEHA technical advisor in disaster and emergency response and a board member of the American Academy of Sanitarians. He has served as a council member on the National Environmental Health Science and Professional Accreditation Council, reviewing and accrediting courses of study in environmental health at undergraduate and graduate levels.
For more information about the Walter F. Snyder Award and previous award recipients, visit NSF International’s website.
About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer products industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF International has been collaborating with the World Health Organization since 1997 in water quality and safety, food safety and indoor environments.
Additional NSF services include NSF Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 environmental management systems registration and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and chain of custody (COC) certifications.
About NEHA: The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is a national professional society that represents the profession and practice of environmental health (www.neha.org).