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: Gary Ginsberg, PhD
Deputy Center Director: Daniel Lang, MS, PG
Strategic Operations: Dr. Kathleen Bush, PhD
Emergency Operations and Planning: Vacant
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: Gena Gallinger, MS
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 and conducting audience evaluation projects to better understand preconceptions, beliefs, and behaviors with the goal of informing or driving behavior change to improve public health;
  • supporting CEH outreach efforts by developing communication plans, key messages, and designing and preparing information packages;
  • creating websites, videos, fact sheets, brochures, flyers, posters, presentations and graphic displays;
  • working with DOH’s Public Affairs group on promotional items, media campaigns, printing, and distribution for all materials targeted for the public;
  • managing the Environmental Health Infoline and the center mail log;
  • overseeing the Hudson River Fish Advisory Outreach Program;
  • managing a team of CEH Bureau web liaisons charged with updating and promoting materials to DOH’s website.

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.

Division of Environmental Health Assessment

Director: Elizabeth Lewis-Michl, PhD
Assistant Director: Kevin Malone, MPH

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: Neil Muscatiello, MS
Assistant Director: Sana Savadatti, DrPH

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;
  • conducting surveillance, epidemiological studies and health services research for birth defects and muscular dystrophies;
  • maintain a geographic information system, GIS support to Center initiatives, create maps of disease and risk factors;
  • exposure investigations to identify and reduce environmental health risks, including biomonitoring in communities to assess exposure to contaminants;
  • managing the New York State Birth Defects Registry and registries of people exposed to environmental risk factors to monitor their health status over time;
  • managing programs to improve children’s environmental health at home and school; and
  • providing public education, data and information about birth defects, environmental/occupational exposures and environmental/occupational health risks to the public and professionals.

The Bureau has the following sections:

  • Community Environmental Health Surveillance, Steven Forand, MA, MS
  • Birth Defects Lifespan Studies, Aida Soim, PhD
  • Birth Defects Registry & Surveillance, Michele Herdt, MPH, PhD
  • Birth Defects Research, Marilyn Browne, PhD
  • GeTSMarT CEH Resource, Sanjaya Kumar, MS

Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment

Director: Thomas Johnson, PhD
Assistant Director: Mike Hughes, MS
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 emergency oil spill relocation program; and
  • provide information for responding to instances of chemical and biological releases/exposures.

The Bureau has the followingsections:

  • Prevention & Sustainability, Henry Spliethoff, MS
  • Exposure Characterization & Response, Pat Fritz, ME
  • Risk Assessment, Kaycee Cole, MS

Bureau of Occupational Health & Injury Prevention

Director: Michael Bauer, MS
518 402-7900

Bureau staff monitor and address occupational illness and both occupational and non-occupational injuries, provide work-site consultation services 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
    • prevention of injuries, through projects related to:
      • vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle safety;
      • fall prevention;
      • teen driver education; and
      • suicide prevention.

The Bureau has the following sections:

  • Asbestos Safety Training Programs, Karen Cummings, MPH
  • Epidemiology and Surveillance, Alicia Fletcher, MPH
  • Injury Prevention Programs, Jennifer Hogan, MS

Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation

Director: Christine Vooris, PE
Grants and Initiatives: 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 (ATSDR). Staff also conduct exposure investigations as part of the state’s Cancer Surveillance Improvement Initiative.

The Bureau includes one unit and manages sites across NYS in nine DEC regions:

  • DEC Regions 1,9, Charlotte Bethoney
  • DEC Regions 4,5 and 8, Justin Deming, PG, MS
  • DEC Regions 3,6, Melissa Doroski, MPH
  • DEC Regions 2,7, Scarlett McLaughlin, PG
  • Reporting & Management Unit, Kate McLaughlin

Division of Environmental Health Protection

Director: Christine Westerman, MPH
Assistant Director: Darby Greco, MPH
Field Coordination: Jim Maurer

518 402-7500

The Division houses 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: Sheri Ford
Assistant Director: Timothy Shay


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 provide 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 the following sections:

  • Food Protection, Vacant
  • Recreational Environmental Health, Jim Maurer
  • Housing Hygiene, Thomas Carroll
  • Tobacco Enforcement, Steve Martin
  • Program Standardization Evaluation and Reporting, Vacant
  • Illness investigation and Research, David C. Nicholas, MPH

Bureau of Water Supply Protection

Director: Kristine Wheeler, PE
Assistant Director: Tina Hunt, PE
Assistant Director: N. Scott Alderman, PhD, PE

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, oversee the implementation of the Protection against Legionella and the Lead Testing in School Drinking Water regulations 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;
  • recreational bathing facilities design.
  • oversight of NYC’s Filtration Avoidance Determination;
  • harmful algal blooms; and
  • Legionella and legionellosis outbreaks.

The Bureau has the following sections:

  • Design, Dave Phillips, PE
  • Design, Brock Rogers, PE
  • Design, Monika King, PE
  • Operations, Steve Gladding, PE
  • Residential Sanitation & Professional Certification, Stephen Marshall, PE
  • Water System Control & Analysis, Ursula Lauper, MA, MPH
  • Compliance, Min-Sook Kim, PhD, PE
  • New York City Watershed, Patrick Palmer, MPH
  • Special Projects, Kevin Kenyon, PE

Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection

Director: Alexander Damiani, MS, MPH
Assistant Director: Vacant

518 402-7550

The Bureau regulates the public health aspects of ionizing radiation and is the lead state program for responding to radiological emergencies. Work includes:

  • registration and inspections of facilities that use radiation producing equipment;
  • licensing and inspection of facilities using radioactive materials;
  • licensing and registration of radiologic technologists;
  • education and technical support for radon testing and mitigation;
  • addressing public question/concerns on radiation, including electromagnetic radiation;
  • assessing potential public health threats from radiologically contaminated sites; and
  • responding to radiation emergencies or incidents.

The Bureau has the following sections:

  • Radiation Equipment and Radiologic Technology, Robert Snyder
  • Radioactive Materials, Dan Sampson, CHP
  • Radiological Emergency Response and Radon and Environmental Radiation, Cynthia Costello, MS, MPH, CHP
  • Inspection and Enforcement, Charles Burnes

NYSDOH 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.