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CAPT Alan Parham  CAPT Alan Parham is currently serving as the Chief Professional Environmental Health Officer for the United States Public Health Service. As chief environmental health officer, CAPT Parham leads the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps) Environmental Health Professional Affairs, and advises the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health and Human Services on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention, and career development of Corps environmental health professionals.

CAPT Parham currently serves as a Senior Environmental Health Scientist with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in Atlanta, GA where he works with ATSDR’s State Cooperative Agreement Program in the public health evaluation of impacts to communities from hazardous waste sites.

CAPT Parham began his career with the USPHS in 1990 when he completed a summer JRCOSTEP assignment with the Indian Health Service (IHS) in Gallup, New Mexico. After finishing his B.S. degree in Environmental Health from Western Carolina University in 1991, he received a Call to Active Duty with ATSDR in October 1991 where he worked as a health assessor evaluating potential health impacts to the local communities and the Pueblo tribes surrounding the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. In 1995, he was selected for ATSDR’s Long Term Training program and completed a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After returning from long term training, he accepted an assignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Health and Safety where he was responsible for managing CDC’s Hazardous Waste Disposal Program. During this time, he also led the CDC remediation efforts at a pesticide burial site in Savannah, GA that was the result of the Malaria Control in War Areas Agency research on DDT in the 1940s. After his assignment with CDC, he accepted a detail with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) as the Safety and Environmental Health Officer for the Coast Guard’s largest base in Kodiak, Alaska where he was the manager and technical expert responsible for addressing all safety, environmental and occupational health, and industrial hygiene issues for 3,000 employees and dependents as well as all other Coast Guard units in Western Alaska. Since 2002, he has worked with ATSDR’s State Cooperative Agreement Program which provides money and technical support to State Health Departments that are evaluating the public health impact from historical and current hazardous waste sites around the country.
CAPT Parham has served in numerous leadership positions throughout his career including: Publication Committee Chairman for COA Atlanta Branch (1993-1995), Secretary COA Atlanta Branch (1996-1997), EHO Category Lead Associate Recruiter (2002-2006), Co-Chair EHOPAC Marketing and Recruitment Subcommittee (2005-2010), Co-representative for EHO Billet Transformation (2007-2012), EHO representative for the Recruitment Transformation WPDG (2006-2007), EHOPAC Vice Chair (2006-2007), EHOPAC Chair (2008), and Applied Public Health Team 4 (APHT 4) Deputy Team Lead (2006-2011) and Acting Team Lead (2011-2013).

CAPT Parham has also been involved in numerous Commissioned Corps response efforts. In 2001 he deployed to New York City (Ground Zero) as part of the residential air sampling team that evaluated indoor and ambient air following the World Trade Center attacks. In 2003 he deployed to North Carolina for Hurricane Isabel as the ATSDR representative on the Secretary’s Emergency Response Team. He also served in the CDC Emergency Operations Center in support of the public health response efforts for the Southeast Asia Tsunami in 2004 and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010. During his time in leadership with APHT 4 he was instrumental in the planning and execution of the team’s OFRD training missions to Camp Bullis, TX, Fort A.P. Hill, VA, and the more recent mission to Pine Ridge, SD.

CAPT Parham has been recognized with several individual awards including one Citation, two Achievement Medals, one Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Department of Transportation 9/11 Medal, and the EHOPAC’s Thomas E. Crow Mentor Award. In addition, CAPT Parham has received two Exceptional Proficiency promotions during his career to the ranks of LT and CAPT. CAPT Parham has been a consistent and recognizable leader in the EHO Category during his career, supporting EHOs and the Commissioned Corps. He resides in Winder, GA with his wife Kim and four children Logan, Brady, Sheridan and McKinley.

RADM Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH
U.S. Surgeon General (Acting)
U.S. Public Health Service

The First Chief Environmental Health Officer of the USPHS

Thomas Edward Crow, 1998-2001

Tom was born in Elizabethton, Tennessee on November 12, 1949. When he was three years old his family moved to Hampton, Virginia, where he received most of his public education. The family moved back to Elizabethton during Tom’s junior year of high school. He graduated from Unaka High School in Elizabethton in 1968, where he played football and basketball and served as captain of the track team. During his senior year, Tom set the Unaka High School record for the mile run. Following his graduation from high school, Tom worked briefly as a textile worker for Beaunit Fibers in Elizabethton, where he learned the importance of getting a college degree.

Tom graduated from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in August of 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. Tom received a stipend from the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) during his junior and senior years at ETSU, so immediately after graduation he began his two-year payback obligation as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Following his Officers Basic Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Tom was assigned to the 629th Medical Company at Fort Ord, California as a Field Medical Pla toon Leader. In that capacity he was responsible for a platoon of 35 field medics and the administration of a 40-bed field medical facility. During his assignment with the 629th , Tom had occasion to work with the battalion environmental health detachment. As a result of that relationship, Tom developed an interest in environmental heath that sparked the remainder of his professional career.

Tom left the Army in September of 1974 to pursue graduate school. He worked briefly as a bookkeeper for a Johnson City bakery while his application for graduate school was being processed. He entered the Master of Science in Environmental Health program at ETSU in September of 1975, and graduated with an MSEH in December of 1976. Following graduation from ETSU, Tom worked as a furniture salesman while his USPHS application was being processed. He was commissioned as a PHS Commissioned Officer in April of 1977 and reported for duty at his first assignment as a District Sanitarian in Minot, North Dakota. Over the ne xt 14 years, Tom served with the Indian Health Service as a Service Unit Sanitarian in Keams Canyon, Arizona; the Institutional Environmental Health Officer for the Phoenix Area Indian Health Service; and the Environmental Health Services Branch Chief in Billings, Montana. In September of 1991 Tom was selected as the Indian Health Service Environmental Health Services Branch Chief in Rockville, Maryland, where he stayed until his retirement in August of 2001. During his time in Headquarters, Tom served on the Board of Directors of the Commissioned Officers Association and two terms as the Chair of the Sanitarian Professional Advisory Committee (SPAC). His term as SPAC Chair was noteworthy for enhancing the professional image of the Sanitarian Category. During his Chairmanship, Tom led the SPAC to revise the appointment standards and establish standing committees to support career development, mentorship, and professional image and standards. He also instituted the John C. Eason, Edward (Ted) Moran, and John G. Todd Awards to recognize noteworthy career achievements by members of our Category.

Acting Surgeon General Jarret Clinton appointed Tom to the position of Chief Sanitarian Officer of the USPHS in 1998. Tom’s legacy as Chief Professional Officer was characterized by his efforts to revitalize the Category and the professional image of the practitioner of environmental health. The first step of the revitalization effort was the strengthening of the appointment standards, by specifying degree requirements that were more in line with the actual needs of the Corps and the degrees that were required by the profession. The second step was to establish career tracks that would give guidance to individual officers in their career planning. The final step was to choose a name for the category that accurately reflected the fullness of who we are as environmental health practitioners, whether we were sanitarians, environmental health specialists, industrial hygienists, or health physicists. Following many months of often heated debate, the category name was officially changed to the Environmental Health Officer Category on October 1, 1999. On that date, Tom officially became the last Chief Sanitarian Officer and the first Chief Environmental Health Officer.

In 2005 the Environmental Health Officer Professional Advisory Committee (EHOPAC) established the Thomas E. Crow Mentor Award in Tom’s honor. The Crow Award is presented each year to recognize significant contributions by an individual who has enhanced professional growth and career development of environmental health professionals working in the United States Public Health Service by serving in a mentoring capacity. This award is presented annually at the American Academy Sanitarians/National Environmental Health Association Conference.

Following his retirement from the USPHS, Tom worked as a private consultant for four years until he became the Director of Environmental Health for the Fairfax County, Virginia Health Department in February of 2006. Fairfax County has the largest environmental health program in the State of Virginia, serving more than one million people with a staff of 70 environmental health specialists and administrative support staff. Being the most affluent county in Virginia and directly adjoining the District of Columbia, Fairfax County (and by association its environmental health program) also receives close media scrutiny as well, which makes Tom’s new job extremely interesting.

Tom married the former Kathleen Faye Grindstaff on November 17, 1972 in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Tom and Kathleen blessed to be the parents of two sons, Nathan and Ryan. They enjoy church activities, hiking, camping, and just generally hanging out together as a family.

Bruce R. Chelikowsky, R.S., M.P.H. Captain, United States Public Health Service Chief Sanitarian Officer

June 1989 – January 1994

Born in New York and raised mostly in Ohio, CAPT Chelikowsky began his career in public health as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sarawak, Malaysia in 1965. He worked in malaria control, sanitation, and communicable diseases. It was a sobering experience, one that shaped his career path and his aspirations in life. After this service, he accepted an assignment with the Agency for International Development as a technical advisor in environmental health to the nine provinces of southern Thailand. Now fluent in both Thai and Malay, he returned to Malaysia and trained three Peace Corps groups in the areas of health and development.

After Southeast Asia, CAPT Chelikowsky went back to the United States and earned a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In September 1972, he was commissioned in the U.S. Public Health Service. In his first assignment in Crownpoint, New Mexico, he managed an environmental health program and later served as Director of Community Health, directing public health nursing and other field programs. In October 1975, he transferred to Portland as the Tribal Utilities Consultant for the 29 Tribes in that Area and provided assistance for operation and maintenance of Tribal sanitation facilities.

In March 1978, CAPT Chelikowsky was detailed to the University of Hawaii and assigned to the Ministry of Health in Jakarta, Indonesia. As part of a three-person team, he developed a competency-based environmental health curriculum for technician and professio nal level staff. A train- the-trainers curriculum and a how-to-do field manual in Indonesian were also developed to help ensure that these skills and new information were disseminated as widely as possible in the country. Here he met his wife, Jouhra Sitti, and their wedding was attended by family members and friends from around the globe.

Upon completion of the project, CAPT Chelikowsky was assigned to Indian Health Service (IHS) headquarters in July 1980 in the new position of Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. He held this position until 2004. During his tenure, he developed a process for deploying IHS personnel and played a key role in the developme nt of the Federal Response Plan. He was also responsible for the deployment of IHS personnel of all disciplines to nearly every disaster that occurred over this period includ ing the Cuban/Haitian refugee camps, hurricanes Andrew and Iniki, Georgia flooding, contingency planning for the Gulf war, 9/11, and Katrina. In November 1984, CAPT Chelikowsky was selected as the Chief, Environme ntal Management Branch. He assumed the responsibility for training IHS and Tribal environmental health and engineering staff and taking the lead for reviews of each Area’s programs. Under his guidance, the number of training courses offered increased and continuing education units were awarded. He held this post concurrently until May 1999.

In July 1995, CAPT Chelikowsky was selected for his present position, Deputy Director, Office of Environmental Health and Engineering. He also was the acting Office Director for five ye ars. In this position, he manages a program that plans, designs, constructs, and maintains new health care facilities and staff quarters, plans and constructs sanitation facilities, operates clinical engineering and comprehensive environmental health programs, as well as real property. This position invo lves a great deal of exposure with the Department, the Congress, and Tribes. CAPT Chelikowsky has also been involved with the Self- Governance process since its inception. He participated in the Healthy People Objectives from 1990 to the present, represented the IHS on the Department’s International Health Representatives Group, and most recently served on the IHS Director’s Execut ive Council formed to advise the Director on policy issues.

CAPT Chelikowsky has also been active in Commissioned Corps activities. He served as the Executive Secretary of the Sanitarian Professional Advisory Committee from 1980 to 1987 and as Chair from 1988 to 1989. He was appointed by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop as the Chief Professional Office for the Sanitarian Category in June 1989 and held the post until January 1994. In this capacity, he served as a spokesperson for the Category, represented the Surgeon General and the PHS with public and professional groups and stressed recruitment, especially through the Commissioned Officer and Student Training Extern Program. In 1998, CAPT Chelikowsky was detailed ½ time to the Office of the Surgeon General for approximately 9 months to assist with the transition to a new Surgeon General. He assisted in the preparation of two Reports to Congress on the Commissioned Corps and the Inactive Reserves. With the proceedings from a meeting he planned and coordinated, he developed a five- year timeline to carry out the major recommendations to utilize the inactive reserves. Recently, he part icipated on Classifications and Positions Work Group, formed to address the Transformation of the Corps.

Actively involved in a number of professional associations, CAPT Chelikowsky served four terms on the Commissioned Officers Association Board of Directors over two decades, four terms as Regional Vice-President on the National Environmental Health Association’s (NEHA) Board of Directors, and three terms on the NSF International Council of Public Health Consultants, including one as Chairman. He also he ld offices in the American Academy of Sanitarians (AAS), the Uniformed Services Affiliate to NEHA, and the Environment Section of the American Public Health Association.

Because of his efforts on behalf of the IHS and PHS, CAPT Chelikowsky has been the recipient of several awards, including the PHS Distinguished Service Medal, Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal and the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service. To recognize his contributions to the profession and to public health, AAS and NEHA also bestowed on him their highest accolades: the Davis Calvin Wagner Award and the Walter S. Mangold Award respectively.

CAPT Chelikowsky is married to Jouhra Sitti and they have a son, Adam. He was a certified scuba diver, is an avid runner, and enjoys golf.


JOHN GREY TODD 1974—1986

John G. Todd, born in Richmond, Kentucky on February 15, 1929 many of his friends and colleagues knew him as Jack or Rebel. His career exemplifies outstanding achievements, leadership vision and service to his country. His early education was in Kentucky, Georgia and Ohio. He graduated from high school at Troy, Ohio in 1946. Immediately after graduation he joined the US Navy where in served two years active duty as a machinist mate on the destroyer USS Gainard and 6 years in the inactive Navy Reserves.

Upon discharge from the Navy in 1948 he entered Ohio University at Athens, Ohio. In 1949 he married Marilee Ditmer from Ludlow Falls, Ohio, where he received a bachelor degr ee in agriculture in 1952; he also received a Master of Science degree in 1953. He began his environmental health career with the Ohio Department of Health in Dayton, Ohio. In 1954-1959 he became the Chief Sanitarian for the Fayette County Health Department at Washington Court House, Ohio. During this period of time he received a scholarship from the Ohio Department of Health and was granted a leave of absence from the Fayette County Health Department and attended the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill where in 1957 in obtained a master of public health degree. During the year of academic work at UNC he applied for and received a reserve commission in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). He returned to the Fayette County Health Department for a year. He then became a six county Supervising District Sanitarian, 1959--1960 for the Ohio Department of Health Southwest District Office, Dayton, Ohio. He then became the Supervising Sanitarian 1960-1962 for Jackson-Vinton County Health Department, Jackson, Ohio. In the summer of 1962 he activated his reserve commission in the USPHS and was assigned to the Indian Health Service (IHS) where served the next 26 years.

During his Indian Health Service career he served as:

  • Field Sanitarian Winslow, AZ, 1962-1964
  • Chief Environmental Health Services Branch, Oklahoma City Area, 1964-1966
  • Acting Area Executive Officer Oklahoma City Area, 1966-1967
  • Peace Corps Project Director Health Program, Ghost Ranch, NM, 1967
  • Director of Training, Oklahoma City Area Office, 1967-1968
  • Acting Chief Office Environmental Health, Oklahoma City Area, 1968-1969
  • Long Term Training University of Oklahoma, School of Public Health completed Dr. Public Health, January 1970
  • Assistant to Director, IHS, Rockville, MD 1970-1973
  • Acting Director, Aberdeen Area, IHS, Aberdeen SD, (5 months) 1973
  • Director, Division Program Operations, IHS, 1973-1981
  • Acting Deputy Director, IHS, Rockville, MD, (5 months)1982
  • Chief of Staff, IHS, Rockville, MD, 1982-1983
  • Acting Deputy Director, IHS, 1983-1984
  • Senior Health Advisor to Director IHS, Rockville, Maryland, 1984-1986
  • Retired July 1986 with 26 years in the USPHS.

John G. Todd was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1977, during his career he was well recognized as an outstanding Sanitarian, (Environmental Health O fficer). He was an avid recruiter, trainer and mentor for many sanitarians and other public health people throughout his career and held a number of academic appointments at several colleges and universities. He was a champion for sanitarians to obtain advanced education & training to become a respected professional and a vital member of the public health team. He held membership and offices in many professional organizations and received numerous awards.

  • Board of Directors and President Ohio Association Sanitarians, 1958-1962
  • Board of Directors and President National Environmental Health Association, 1963-1966
  • Board of Directors, American Academy of Sanitarians, 15 years
  • Chairman, American Academy Sanitarians, 1971-1976 and 1979-1982
  • National Accreditation Committee for environmental health curricula , 9 years. Chairman, Sanitarian Career Development Committee, 1972-1976
  • Commissioned Officers Association, Board of Directors, 3 year term, 1987-1990
  • Life membership award, Ohio Sanitarians Association, 1966
  • Life membership award, National Environmental Health Association, 1967
  • Commendation Medal, USPHS, 1967
  • National Environmental Health Walter Mangold Outstanding Sanitarian Award, 1970
  • Meritorious Service Medal, USPHS, 1971
  • Distinguished Service Medal, USPHS, 1974
  • Distinguished Service Alumni Award, UNC, 1979
  • Walter F. Snyder Environment Health Achievement Award (NSF), 1980
  • Outstanding Service Medal, USPHS, 1982
  • Distinguished Service Medal, USPHS, 1983
  • American Academy Sanitarians (Wagner Award), 1983
  • Health Resource Services Administration Administrator’s Award for Excellence, 1984
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma, 1991
  • Diplomate Emeritus American Academy Sanitarians, 2003
  • Ordained Baptist Deacon, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1965.

Having worked for 30 years in public health services, RADM John G. Todd was well aware of the needs of people that survived on very little. Soon after his retirement in 1986 he organized, developed and became Chairman of a non-denominational mission, “Hands of Love” people helping people. In 1994 the Internal Revenue Service recognized and approved Hands of Love, Inc. as a 501 (C) 3 organization. Since then the organization has continued to evolve into a provider for the needy; obtaining, loading, shipping and personally distributing truck loads and sea containers of supplies for people locally, nationally and internationally.

In 1996 the USPHS Environmental Health Officers Professional Advisory Committee, (EHOPAC), established an Award in Honor of RADM John G. Todd. The John G. Todd Award is the highest honor given by the EHOPAC. The award recognizes an exemplary environmental health professional at the Temporary O-6/GS-14 level or above for significant career contributions in achieving the PHS mission of improving the Nation’s health through the practice of environmental health. This award is presented annually at the American Academy Sanitarians/National Environmental Health Association Conference.

*2007* John & Marilee have three children, Stephen, Amy, Elaine and eight grand children and currently nine great grand children.

Chief Professional Officers of the Environmental Health Officer Category

**Category name changed from Sanitarian Category to Environmental Health Officer Category in 1999.

CAPT Michael Welch was selected to serve as the Chief Professional Environmental Health Officer for the United States Public Health Service in November 2009. He was recently selected as the Phoenix Area Associate Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering. CAPT Welch began his career with the State of Tennessee Health Department in 1984. He worked as a Field Sanitarian, District Sanitarian and Deputy Regional Director before joining the USPHS in 1990. His first assignment with IHS was as a Field Environmental Health Officer detailed to the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation in Dillingham, Alaska. He also served as the Director for Environmental Health and Safety at Bristol Bay before transferring to Phoenix Area IHS as the Western Arizona District Environmental Health Officer in 1994. CAPT Welch was selected as the Phoenix Area Environmental Health Services Branch Chief in 2001 and served in that capacity until 2007. From 2007-2012 he served as the Acting Associate Director for the Phoenix Area Office of Environmental Health and Engineering.

CAPT Welch graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a BS in Biology and East Tennessee State University with a MS in Environmental Health Administration. He has completed the IHS Executive Leadership Development Program and Certified Healthcare Environmental Manager. He is a member of the American Academy of Sanitarians. He is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist with the State of Tennessee and with the National Environmental Health Association. Captain Welch has received numerous awards including the Society of American Military Engineers Cumming Award, the Health and Human Services Directors Award, Phoenix Area Environmental Health Officer of the Year and the IHS Environmental Health Officer of the Year Award.