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History of the Environmental Public Health Program

Through the concerted efforts of environmental health practitioners and professional organizations in the state of Wisconsin and through the dedication, vision, and foresight of early UWEC faculty and administrators, an undergraduate degree in environmental and public health (BS-ENPH) was established. What follows is a chronology highlighting the various events important to the history of this program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

1960 -Joint Education Committee of the Wisconsin Environmental Health Association and the Wisconsin Association of Milk and Food Sanitarians establish goals regarding creation of Environmental Health degree somewhere in Wisconsin; Mr.C. K. Luchterhand is chair of Education Committee
1961 -Mr. C. K. Luchterhand meets Dr. John Gerberich regarding Cottage Cheese incidence in Eau Claire; "seed" is planted regarding creation of ENPH program; Luchterhand meets with administrative officers at WSU-EC to discuss idea
1964 -Mr. C. K. Luchterhand meets with WSU-EC Vice President of Academic Affairs regarding interest in program
1966 -WSU-EC faculty Advisory Committee appointed to study possibilities of establishing environmental health program
- Advisory Committee meets with Joint Education Committee
1967 -Faculty Advisory Committee and Joint Education Committee meet for a second time to discuss creation of BS degree.
-Proposed BS program presented to State Sanitation Education Convention at its conference
1968 -Board of Regents approves BS-ENPH degree
1969 -Program implemented; first ENPH courses taught by:
Mr. Lloyd Owens (Supt. of Public Utilities, Eau Claire)
Mr. John Bacherach (Head Officer, City-County Health Department)
Dr. John Gerberich (UWEC Biology Professor/Program Director)
1971 -Faculty Senate approves the establishment of the Division of Allied Health Professions (BS-ENPH and BS and MS in Medical Technology included in Division)
-Dr. John Gerberich becomes Chairman of the Division
-FIRST graduates of ENPH Program
1972 -Dr. Robert Nelson hired as first full-time ENPH instructor
-Dr. Carol Klun joins Medical Technology program; begins teaching epidemiology
1973 -SNEHA Chapter formed (Gerry Gabor and Chuck Fitzgerald, founding members; R. Nelson faculty advisor)
-Continuing Education Program established in Wisconsin. Initial courses in Madison and Fond du Lac
1974 -Dr. Karl Erickson hired as second full-time ENPH instructor
-Expansion of continuing education program occurs with courses taught in Madison, Fond du Lac, Waukesha, Wausau and Eau Claire
1975 -ENPH Program receives provisional accreditation from the National Accreditation Council for Environmental Health Curricula
-MS-ENPH program requested by the Joint Education Committee
1977-78 -Planning for the MS degree in Environmental Health
1978 -ENPH Program receives full accreditation from the National Accreditation Council for Environmental Health Curricula
-MS-ENPH Graduate Program approved by the Board of Regents
1980 -Dr. John Gerberich retires from UWEC (27 years of service)
-Dr. Carol Klun becomes Director of the Division of Allied Health Professions
1981 -ENPH program moves to new Allied Health and Clinical Services Building
-Dr. Al Metts hired as third ENPH faculty member
1983 -BS-ENPH Program is reaccredited by the National Accreditation Council for Environmental Health Curricula
-First MS-ENPH graduate
1984 -R. Nelson goes on sabbatical; Lon Couillard (ENPH '76) replaces him for the academic year; hazardous waste course initiated
1986 -First Environmental Health Symposium at UWEC
1991 -ENPH Program reaccredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC)
-Summer internship program in Sweden begins
-Henry Grote begins teaching Hazardous Waste Management course
1993 -Dr. Al Metts retires from UWEC
1995 -Music Therapy program joins the Division of Allied Health Professions
-Dr. Dale Taylor replaces Dr. Carol Klun as Chair of the newly named "DEPARTMENT" of Allied Health Professions
-Dr. Klun chosen as Associate Dean for the newly created School of Human Sciences and Services
1996 -25 Year Celebration of ENPH graduates! (October 4-5)
1997 -Largest graduating class ever (25)
-Laboratory modernization and computer technology approved for ENPH program
1998 -J. J. Keller Environmental Learning Station dedicated
-Dr. Karl Erickson retires after 24 years of service to the Univ.
-BS-ENPH program is reaccredited by National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC)
-Dr. Christopher Hart Joins ENPH faculty as assistant professor
2000 -Dr. Christopher Hart resigns position
-Dr. Christine Gabel hired as full-time Lecturer
-National search begins for new ENPH faculty member
2001 -Dr. Barbara McCarthy joins ENPH faculty as assistant professor
-UWEC receives Envir. Health Capacity Building grant; work begins on developing MS-ENPH extended degree option and on strengthening and promoting the BS-ENPH program; R. Nelson serves as PI for grant.     
-Dr. Christine Gabel continues as part time faculty member and grant participant.
2002 -Dr. Marilyn Skrivseth named as acting chair of Dept. of Allied Hlth Prof.
-Remodeling & reorganization of EH laboratories and classrooms begins
-Environmental Technology computer lab is completed
-Several web-based EH courses are developed and added to curriculum.
2003 -Cooperative efforts begin with School of Public Health at Univ. of Minnesota and with U.S Food and Drug Admin. (re. use of graduate-EH courses)     
-Dr. Robert Nelson retires after 31 years of service to Univ.
-Dr. Barbara McCarthy resigns position
-Dr. Crispin Pierce hired as new faculty member
-Dr. Christine Gabel hired as PI for 3rd year of EH Capacity; and as teaching faculty member.
-Dr. Patricia Christopherson named as acting chair of Dept. of Allied Health Prof.
2004 -School of Human Sciences and Services is dissolved
-College of Professional Studies is eliminated and College of Nursing and Health Sciences is created
-Department is re-named as Public Health Professions
-Program is re-named as Environmental Public Health
-Dr. L. Elaine Wendt named as Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
-Dr. Douglas Olson named as acting chair of Dept. of Public Health Prof.
2005 -Department of Public Health Professions/Environmental Public Health Program begins transition into the Nursing building.
-ENPH Graduate Program admissions are suspended.
2006 -Dr. Christine Gabel, Glenn Stoddard, Carol Johnson, and Jim Dunning are hired as academic staff to teach ENPH courses.
2007 -Dr. Christine Gabel is hired as academic staff to teach ENPH courses.
2008 -First joint ENPH-Nursing class is taught: NRSG 255 Introduction to Public Health, by Drs. Crispin Pierce and Cheryl Lapp.
-Professor Karen Maddox named as Interim Chair of the Department of Public Health Professions.
2009 -Dr. Crispin Pierce is granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor and Dr. Christine Gabel is hired as tenure-track Assistant Professor.
-ENPH Program awarded BluGold Commitment grant to develop 3-course online certificate and risk assessment course.
-ENPH Program awarded two UWEC Bundle grants, along with faculty colleagues across campus to answer questions: “What is or should be our relationship with the planet?” and “Climate Change: Will humanity choose to live within Mother Nature's means?”
-HSS 218 Lab is remodeled to include a teaching station.

Summary:Mr. C. K. Luchterhand, one of the original founding "fathers" of the ENPH program, summarized some of his feelings in his letter of Sept. 22, 1996 to R. Nelson. He states, in part: "... I will always honor the faculty and others for nurturing a wonderful project far beyond my wildest dreams. When I see and hear about the young men and women (from UWEC) who are now leaders in environmental health throughout the state and nation, both in public service and industry, the lumps and bumps (in the planning process) seem far away. Keep up the fine work of nurturing Environmental Health in Wis. I am mighty proud to have had the privilege to work with all of you."