I know how dedicated your organization is to the well-being of military service members and their families. That is why I want to make sure you are aware of an upcoming meeting on the impacts of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I hope that you will mark your calendar to attend in person or via webcast, and that you will share information with your membership about this important environmental health event.
At the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we are dedicated to protecting communities from harmful health effects related to environmental exposure to natural and man-made substances. One way we have addressed this mission is by creating a Community Assistance Panel (CAP) to serve the community of those affected by water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
The next CAP meeting will be a two-day event at the Hilton Crystal City at Washington Reagan National Airport, on Friday and Saturday, September 13 and 14. At the event, I will join a variety of subject matter experts who will share ongoing scientific research and recent findings, as well as updates on public health assessments and health studies. The event opens with a CAP business meeting on Friday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., followed by a public forum on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The public forum is an opportunity to participate in direct discussions with ATSDR staff and CAP members.
Please plan on attending in person (registration required) or via webcast. A link will be available here the morning of September 13 to join online.
At ATSDR, we rely on science to do our jobs. But we also rely on communications with affected communities. I hope to meet you at the September CAP meeting, and I welcome your thoughts on the best ways to reach affected Marines, military service members, veterans, family members, and concerned citizens.
Christopher M. Reh, Ph.D.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
About the Community Assistance Panel (CAP)
ATSDR began its work at Camp Lejeune in 1989. In the following years, ATSDR conducted public health assessments, water modeling activities, and health studies to find out the health effects of exposure to contaminated drinking water on former residents and employees of Camp Lejeune. In 2005, a scientific panel recommended that ATSDR find a way to work and communicate with the community. ATSDR had already been working with Camp Lejeune veteran groups, so the site team asked them to nominate members for a CAP. The Camp Lejeune CAP has been one of the most successful community participation groups ever established by ATSDR, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has made valuable contributions to ATSDR’s work. For additional details, visit the Camp Lejeune CAP meeting homepage.