Toxicology Staff Roles

VDH staff who support grant activities includes a toxicologist, health assessor, health educator, and an epidemiologist. Their roles are described below.

Toxicologist – The toxicologist identifies potential health hazards in communities and determines what harmful effects will occur under certain exposure circumstances. Next, the toxicologist makes recommendations to abate or reduce any exposure.

Health Educator – A health educator is responsible for providing detailed information about the different aspects of community health. The health educator serves as a liaison between health professionals, officials, and community members of an affected population to inform them about health impacts in their environment. Job responsibilities include assessing individual and community needs, identifying resources, and planning, developing, coordinating, and implementing health education programs.

Health Assessor – A health assessor is responsible for investigating possible human exposures to toxic and hazardous substances and assessing the public health implications of such exposures. The health assessor evaluates the data contributed by all members of the public health assessment team and makes recommendations if necessary to protect public health, and to prevent ongoing and future exposures and resultant health effects.

Epidemiologist – In a public health assessment, an epidemiologist may be required to evaluate the feasibility of using health outcome data, to analyze the rates of diseases and health conditions in a specific area, to help examine exposure information, and to assist with communicating findings of the data analysis.

Data Analyst Specialist – A data analyst specialist is responsible for assessing current surveillance and investigation business processes and data flows related to toxic substances. In doing so, they  manage and evaluate public health information systems and environmental data, and serve as lead point of contact with technical staff responsible for system development and implementation. They support the development of training materials and provide technical assistance to system users, as well as share environmental data records with other offices.