Center for Environmental Health Directory

Health may be affected by the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat or the contaminants we touch. Chemicals, radiation, microbes, or anything in the physical world has the potential to affect our health. At the Center for Environmental Health, our scientists, engineers, sanitarians, physicians, educators, researchers and other public health professionals work together to prevent and reduce New Yorker's health risks at home, work, school and play. This directory describes the environmental health responsibilities and activities for each division, bureau, and program group within the Center.

Center for Environmental Health

Center Director: Nathan Graber, M.D., M.P.H.
Center Administrator: Susan Dorward

518 402-7500

The Office of the Center Director provides overall executive direction for environmental health programs. In addition to supervision of central office staff, the office works closely with regional office staff to coordinate the oversight of environmental health program activities implemented by the Department's nine district offices, 36 county health departments, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

  • Outreach & Education Group

    Director: Faith Schottenfeld, Ed.D.
    518 402-7530

    The Group maintains communication with Center staff and the public to raise awareness, increase understanding, and respond to concerns about environmental health issues. The Group is responsible for:

    • coordinating the Center's response to the public regarding environmental health issues;
    • coordinating community involvement and public participation for a wide range of programs across Center bureaus and divisions;
    • identifying educational and outreach needs for diverse audiences;
    • developing key messages and designing and preparing information packages;
    • creating fact sheets, brochures, flyers, posters, videos, presentations, and exhibits; and
    • managing the Environmental Health Infoline.

    The Center maintains a toll-free environmental health information line to encourage and simplify communication with the public. The number is 1-800-458-1158. The infoline is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. After-hours callers can leave a message. Calls are routed by computer from an electronic menu, or operators will route the calls.

  • Office of the Medical Director

    Medical Director: Nina Ahmad, M.D.
    518 402-7500

    The Office of the Medical Director focuses on cross-cutting initiatives throughout the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) as it relates to clinical issues. The Office monitors and assesses environmental health threats to the public, responds to outbreaks, provides clinical guidance for the Center and oversees the occupational health clinic network across the state. The Office also houses CEH's Emergency Preparedness and Response program.

  • Division of Environmental Health Assessment

    Director: Kevin Gleason
    518 402-7511

    The Division evaluates the health effects of people's exposure to chemical, physical, and microbiological agents in food, soil, water, air and consumer products. It carries out exposure and health effects studies of people who have been exposed to these environmental agents, and it identifies and studies practices that put workers or the public at risk for injuries or adverse health effects. The Division maintains environmental disease registries and uses registry data to conduct research and design public health interventions. The Division uses mapping and other tools to display data, for health professionals and the public, on chemicals in the environment and on diseases. These tools increase understanding of changes over time and across New York State. Through these activities, the Division informs people about possible health risks and how to reduce or eliminate them.

    • Bureau of Environmental & Occupational Epidemiology

      Director: Syni-An Hwang, Ph.D.
      Acting Assistant Director: Alissa Van Zutphen, Ph.D.

      518 402-7950

      Bureau staff study, monitor, and evaluate the effects of exposure to toxic substances and other environmental factors at home, at work, and in the community. The Bureau is responsible for:

      • surveillance of chronic diseases and epidemiological studies to help identify environmental risk factors;
      • geographic information system maps of disease and risk factors;
      • surveillance and research of congenital malformations;
      • registries of people exposed to environmental risk factors to monitor their health status over time;
      • exposure investigations to identify and reduce environmental health risks; and
      • public education regarding environmental and occupational exposures and health risks.

      The Bureau has four sections:

      • Community Exposure Research, Elizabeth Lewis-Michl, Ph.D.
      • Congenital Malformations Registry & Research
        • Birth Defects Registry & Surveillance, Deborah Fox, M.S.
        • Birth Defects Research, Marilyn Browne, Ph.D.
      • Environmental Health Surveillance, Neil Muscatiello, M.P.H.
      • Child & School Health, Michele Herdt, M.P.H., Ph.D.
    • Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment

      Director: James Leach, M.S.
      Assistant Director: Gregg Recer, Ph.D.

      518 402-7800

      Bureau staff assess the potential for exposures and risks when people come in contact with toxic substances through air, water, soil, and food.

      Bureau staff:

      • assess exposures and health risks associated with contaminated sites;
      • evaluate pesticides to determine their potential to pose significant risks to public health;
      • develop annual sportfish and game consumption advisories;
      • perform indoor air quality assessments for schools and other public buildings;
      • assist in the development of drinking water and ambient water standards and guidelines;
      • assess potential public health impacts of electric generating facilities, incinerators, and other sources of air contaminants;
      • manage the National Toxic Substance Incidence Program; and
      • provide information for responding to instances of chemical and biological releases/exposures.

      The Bureau has three sections:

      • Prevention & Sustainability, James Leach, M.S.
      • Exposure Characterization & Response, Mike Hughes, M.S.
      • Risk Assessment, Kenneth Bogdan, Ph.D.
    • Bureau of Occupational Health & Injury Prevention

      Director: Kitty Gelberg, M.P.H., Ph.D.
      518 402-7900

      Bureau staff monitor and address occupational illness and both occupational and non-occupational injury, provide work-site consultation service and oversee a statewide network of clinics specializing in diagnosis and prevention of occupational diseases. Staff keep track of where, to whom, and why injuries occur across the state and use this information to develop injury prevention programs. Staff respond to questions and concerns regarding:

      • work-related illness, injury, death and hazardous exposure;
      • certification and training of asbestos-removal workers;
      • reporting to environmental disease registries for:
        • heavy metals exposures (lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury);
        • occupational lung diseases (asthma, asbestosis silicosis, etc.), and
        • pesticide poisonings;
      • prevention of injuries, through projects related to:
        • vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle safety;
        • fall prevention; and
        • teen driver education.

      The Bureau has five sections:

      • Occupational, Nicholas Pavelchak
      • Asbestos Safety Training, Kevin Malone
      • Epidemiology & Surveillance, Michael Bauer, M.S.
      • Child Injury & Traffic, Gina Gillooley
      • Adult Injury & Violence, Leah Wentworth
    • Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation

      Acting Director: Krista Anders, Ph.D.
      Special Projects Coordinator: Fay Navratil

      518 402-7860

      map of DEC regions

      Bureau staff investigate the potential for human exposure from environmental contamination, primarily at inactive hazardous waste sites and brownfield sites. For every state, federal superfund, brownfield, and voluntary clean-up site, a Bureau specialist is assigned to coordinate and communicate health-related activities. In addition, Bureau staff prepare public health assessments for federal superfund sites under an agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Staff also conduct exposure investigations as part of the state's Cancer Surveillance Improvement Initiative.

      The Bureau includes one unit and manages sites across New York State in nine Department of Environmental Conservation regions:

      • DEC Regions 1, 5, & 9, Charlotte Bethoney
      • DEC Regions 2, 4, & 8, Justin Deming, M.S.
      • DEC Regions 3, 6, & 7, Maureen Schuck
      • ,
      • Reporting & Management Unit, Kate McLaughlin
  • Division of Environmental Health Protection

    Director: Michael Cambridge, R.S.
    Field Coordination Liaison: Claudine Jones Rafferty

    518 402-7500

    The Division houses most of the Center's regulatory programs designed to minimize environmental health threats and provides policy directives and implementation guidance to city/county health departments and state, regional and district offices. The programs protect the State's residents and visitors by enforcing health and safety regulations relating to drinking water quality, food safety in restaurants, beach and swimming pool safety, children's camps, radiation protection, lead poisoning prevention, migrant farm worker housing, indoor tanning, tattooing and exposure to tobacco smoke.

    • Bureau of Community Environmental Health & Food Protection

      Director: Brian Miner

      Bureau staff develop environmental health regulations and associated program guidance to ensure that core environmental health program standards are achieved in the areas listed below. Staff research public health issues which form the scientific basis for regulation development and provides training to local health departments and district offices. Bureau staff oversee illness and injury incident investigations associated with these regulated facilities and respond to questions and concerns from the public.

      Program areas include:

      • children's camps;
      • food service facilities;
      • public beaches, swimming pools, and recreational aquatic spray grounds;
      • migrant farmworker housing;
      • hotels and motels;
      • adolescent tobacco use prevention;
      • clean indoor air act (tobacco smoke);
      • ultraviolet tanning facilities;
      • tattooing and body piercing;
      • childhood lead poisoning prevention program;
      • primary prevention of lead poisoning;
      • campgrounds and agricultural fairgrounds;
      • public health nuisances;
      • mobile home parks; and
      • mass gatherings.

      The Bureau has five sections:

      • Food Protection, Darby Greco
      • Recreational Environmental Health, Timothy Shay
      • Housing Hygiene, Thomas Carroll
      • Tobacco, Tanning, Tattooing Enforcement, Steve Martin
      • Program Standardization Evaluation & Reporting, Vacant
    • Bureau of Water Supply Protection

      Director: Roger Sokol, Ph.D.
      Assistant Director: Teresa Boepple-Swider, P.E.
      Coordinator for Research & Special Projects: Lloyd Wilson, Ph.D.

      518 402-7650

      Bureau staff regulate the operation, design and quality of public drinking water supplies and commercial bottled water suppliers; assure water sources are adequately protected; administer the State Drinking Water State Revolving Fund that provides financial assistance to public water suppliers; train and certify drinking water system operators; develop standards and other policy for realty subdivisions, individual water supplies and individual wastewater systems (septic systems); review recreational bathing facility designs, and conduct research on emerging drinking water issues. Staff respond to questions and concerns regarding:

      • reports of water-related illness;
      • drinking water quality, advisories, or problems with a water provider;
      • drinking water treatment and the design of water treatment systems;
      • drinking water system security, emergency preparedness, and response;
      • drinking water related research and environmental risk assessment;
      • drinking water related critical infrastructure protection and geographic information system support;
      • practical ways to reduce exposure to possible contaminants in drinking water;
      • watershed protection;
      • water system improvement funding;
      • small water system technical assistance;
      • bottled and bulk water provider certification;
      • drinking water treatment and distribution system operator certification;
      • realty subdivisions, private residential water and onsite wastewater treatment systems; and
      • recreational bathing facilities design.

      The Bureau has six sections:

      • Design, Michael Montysko, P.E.
      • Operations, Bill Gilday, P.E.
      • Residential Sanitation & Recreational Engineering, Ben Pierson, P.E.
      • Information Systems/Compliance, Tina Hunt, P.E.
      • New York City Watershed, Pamela Young, Ph.D.
      • Professional Certification, Vacant
    • Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection

      Director: Stephen Gavitt, C.H.P.
      Assistant Director: Robert Dansereau

      518 402-7550

      Bureau staff address public health risks from exposure to radiation. Major program areas are:

      • registration and use of x-ray machines or other radiation sources;
      • licensing of radioactive material;
      • licensing and registration of radiologic technologists;
      • home testing for radon and radon reduction measures;
      • health effects from radiation, including electromagnetic fields;
      • any site-related radiation concerns;
      • response to radiation emergencies or incidents.

      The Bureau has four sections:

      • Radiation Equipment & Radiologic Technology, Alexander Damiani, M.S., M.P.H.
      • Radioactive Materials Licensing, Dan Sampson, C.H.P.
      • Environmental Radiation/Radon & Emergency Response, Cynthia Costello, M.S., M.P.H., C.H.P.
      • Inspection & Enforcement, Robert Snyder
  • Regional & Field Structure

    State District Offices carry out environmental health protection programs in the 21 counties that do not deliver environmental health services through county or city health departments. They ensure that suitable water, food, housing, and recreational facilities are provided to the public. The District Offices identify, investigate, and resolve actual and potential health hazards caused by environmental factors. Regional Offices provide technical and program support, as well as monitor and evaluate implementation of environmental health protection programs in District Offices and local health departments within the regional jurisdiction.

    Telephone numbers for regional, district, county, and city health departments are listed on our interactive map.