In the field of environmental health, it has been another remarkable year. Life hasn’t entirely returned to normal since the pandemic, despite its ongoing decline. We have nonetheless made progress. At events like CIPHI National and Alberta, it was wonderful to run into some of our excellent environmental health agency clients.
THE NEXT CHAPTER BECOMES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.
One subject notably shone out in 2022 with Canadian agencies, according to visitor stats from the Hedgerow Software blog and LinkedIn: community participation. I questioned whether increased community involvement would be the environmental health field’s next big thing a few months ago. It really is on people’s minds, based on the replies posted on LinkedIn. How can we mend the ties that the pandemic has shattered? How can we guarantee that everyone has access to healthy environments? These are difficult questions, and I’m sure that in 2023, as an industry, we’ll all be working hard to advance this cause. Hedgerow Software will continue to offer tools that support organizations in this area from a technological standpoint. One example, which has come up in nearly every interaction I’ve had with our clients over the past few months, is Hedgerow Portal.
NEED IMMEDIATELY TO REFILL THE TALENT POOL
With regard to the brilliant workers in our business, we are at a turning moment. Agency authorities are aware that the field of environmental health needs a new influx of inspectors, analysts, technicians, and others. especially after a mass migration of more seasoned personnel caused by the pandemic. To ensure that more young professionals are exposed to environmental health with a direct career path, we’ll need more cutting-edge programmes like the Bachelor of Environmental Public Health (BEPH) offered by Conestoga College, which provides education, real world technology experience, and apprenticeship programmes.
REVIVAL OF EMPLOYEE WELLNESS FOCUS
Another development to watch out for is how organizations assist their teams from a wellness standpoint. On many levels, the pandemic has been stressful and difficult, particularly for environmental health teams. Watch for more organizations to put a strong emphasis on team wellness in order to create a culture of understanding and guarantee that workers are happy and productive at their jobs. The Region of Peel, a Hedgerow customer, won Excellence Canada’s Great Employer Award for 2022’s Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month.
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BARRIERS CAN BE REDUCED WITH DATA-DRIVEN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
How we continue to lower obstacles in our sector is another important topic to think about. The provision of environmental health services to historically underserved groups will receive increasing attention from organizations, civic leaders, and nonprofits in the upcoming year. Promising initiatives like the Canadian Indigenous clean drinking water effort, which was founded by the University of Alberta students and received support from Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively of Hollywood, are expected to receive more generous funding in the future. Through the use of data-driven tools that assist organizations and community leaders in eliminating unintentional bias from environmental health services, technology should continue to play a vital role in this area.
Clean innovation makes a significant advancement
The Region of Waterloo said earlier this year that it will take the lead in the development of sustainable energy with an emphasis on equity and economic growth. The Clean Economy Cluster Map was developed by a group that included the Region of Waterloo, Sustainable Waterloo Region, WR Community Energy, and Waterloo EDC. The group’s goal was to develop a clean energy future that recognised how equity and economic prosperity are intertwined for long-term success. We anticipate that other provincial leaders will adopt similar measures. We are aware that fighting climate change requires a community, and we’ll make further strides in 2019.