Statement Of Thomas Newton
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
Iowa City, Iowa
April 15, 2003
Division Director, Iowa Department of Public Health
Division of Health Protection and Environmental Health
Good afternoon. My name is Tom Newton and I am representing the Iowa Department of Public Health today. I am the Director of the Division of Health Protection and Environmental Health. I was talking to our department's director the other day. She, Dr. Mary Hansen -- who has been in her new office about two weeks-- has a schedule that is really booked. It is tough to get in for 20 minutes but I did meet with her the other day. She asked me about this event and wanted to be sure that I would be here for it. I assured her that I would be able to represent the department today. She wanted me to carry two messages over here. One was to extend her apologies for not being able to be here today. The second: to say that she appreciates forums like this, opportunities to meet with the public and to discuss environmental policy and public health policy. When we talk about environmental exposures, as some of my colleagues have mentioned, we talk about three distinct populations that we need to be aware of: the very young, the elderly and the immuno-compromised. The Iowa Department of Public Health is committed to protecting the health of all Iowans. We look forward to hearing comments today and look forward to opportunities to partner with our sister state agencies, the Department of Elder Affairs and also DNR, and also any opportunities we may have to partner with EPA on this. Again, thank you to EPA and thank you to the Heritage Agency on Aging.