Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Environmental Health Officer Professional Advisory Committee

2018 Environmental Health Officer Responder of the Year 

Environmental Health Officers,FY18_Responderoftheyear_Pic_Czarnecki.png

I am pleased to announce LCDR Brian Czarnecki as the 2018 Environmental Health Officer (EHO) Responder of the Year Award recipient.  The purpose of the EHO Responder of the Year Award is to recognize excellence by individuals in achieving the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) mission of improving the Nation’s health through the practice of environmental health during emergency preparedness, disaster response, and contributions to national or international public health threats.

LCDR Brian Czarnecki is currently serving as an Industrial Hygienist in the Division of Occupational Health and Safety at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.  

In September 2017, LCDR Czarnecki served as the Chief Safety Officer on the Incident Response Coordination Team (IRCT3) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This deployment was in response to Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in the Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands territories in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

LCDR Czarnecki contributed to the HHS Emergency Support Function #8 mission accomplishments of ensuring safety, welfare, and accountability of assigned personnel; executing missions identified by the Federal Health Coordinating Official, and maintaining positive control of teams/equipment assigned to the Incident Response Coordination Team.  For example, he managed risk and controlled plausible threats by conducting safety orientations to greater than 600 first responders upon arrival to Puerto Rico. He also conducted safety briefings to each of the teams prior to mobilizing in the field.  LCDR Czarnecki demonstrated an immense amount of safety and health knowledge, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

LCDR Czarnecki’s work exemplifies the highest traditions of the Environmental Health category and demonstrates the PHS mission to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of our Nation.  Please join me in congratulating LCDR Brian Czarnecki on this outstanding achievement.


CDR Jamie Mutter
EHOPAC Awards and Recognition Subcommittee Chair

The Affordable Care Act and Permanent Grade Eligibility - 3/8/2017

A message from EHOPAC Leadership on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had an effect on the Permanent Grade (P Grade) eligibility and promotion status of some officers.

Most of us have been conditioned not to think too much about our P Grade because our pay and advancement in the Corps is mostly related to our Temporary Grade (T Grade); however, several questions have come up lately regarding officers who lost varying years of eligibility toward their next P Grade promotion when the ACA was passed in March of 2010. Beginning in 2016, the CPOs and PAC Chairs have worked with DCCPR to get a better understanding of what happened so that the information could be shared with officers.  DCCPR provided a presentation at the February monthly PAC Chairs meeting and we have included key information here.

On 23 MAR 2010 (when the ACA was passed), IF you were an officer on active duty that day, and IF you were not already assimilated into the Regular Corps, you were simply deemed Regular Corps. To understand the differences between these processes, it is important to understand that officers assimilated into the Regular Corps prior to ACA were processed according to 42 USC 209 (b) which gave officers “constructive credit” (credit they had been earning since their last P Grade promotion). Based on the ACA (Law), Officers who were deemed Regular Corps on 23 MAR 2010 through the ACA had to be processed according to 42 USC 204 (b) which did not give these officers “constructive credit” (credit they had been earning since their last P Grade promotion). Our understanding is that this was based on interpretation of the ACA Law at the Department (HHS) level and not by OSG or DCCPR. Regardless, this resulted in some officers losing up to 10 years of constructive credit toward their next P Grade promotion. The ACA did not impact P Grades for officers that were already assimilated or those officers who came into PHS after 23 MAR 2010.

Due to recent questions on this issue, DCCPR has asked the PACs to share this information with officers within their Category. To learn more about your P Grade or if you have questions:

  1. Check your eOPF and PIR to understand your current P Grade rank if you were deemed Regular Corps in 2010 because of ACA. Since your P Grade rank will always be your TRUE rank in PHS, we recommend you closely monitor and track your P Grade rank.
  2. Review this Q&A Document provided by DCCPR: FAQ-Reserve Deemed Regular (pdf)
  3. Review this presentation: EHOPAC-ACA and P-Grade (pdf)
  4. If you have any questions about how ACA impacted you or any of the above material, please submit them to the EHOPAC anonymous Q&A website at:

   2017 EHOPAC Award Recipients

                View the recipients picture and bio (starting on page 16) via this link: 2017 Spring EHOPAC Newsletter.

Greetings from the new EHOPAC Chair for 2017


I am pleased to announce the 2017 EHOPAC Leadership Team:

  • CAPT Alan Parham, EHO Chief Professional Officer
  • CDR Jill Shugart, EHOPAC Chair
  • CDR Chris Van Twuyver, EHOPAC Vice-Chair
  • CDR Carrie Oyster, EHOPAC Ex Officio
  • LCDR Jessica Otto, EHOPAC Secretary/Treasurer
  • LT Daniel Malashock, EHOPAC Executive Committee Liaison

We have a great team of EHOPAC Voting Members and Advisors this year and we look forward to serving you! We hope that you will participate in the four quarterly EHOPAC Conference Calls this year from 1300-1500 EST:

  • Spring Meeting: 14 March
  • Summer Meeting: 13 June
  • Fall Meeting: 12 September
  • Winter Meeting: 12 December

Please mark your calendars! We will be providing updates on EHOPAC activities, specific EHO materials and opportunities, and critical PHS information. We look forward to hearing from you! Details regarding the call-in and webinar information will be sent by LCDR Otto prior to each meeting. For more information on the EHOPAC, please keep an eye on this website and sign up for the EHOPAC Listserv.

Do you have questions or comments for the EHOPAC Executive Committee? If so, please remember to submit them to the Anonymous Q&A Website we have created for you.  All questions will be addressed during the quarterly EHOPAC meetings above and we are also working to incorporate the answers to your questions into our quarterly newsletters. We value your feedback!

Additional information will be provided soon on how you can get involved with the EHOPAC this year!

CDR Shugart

2017 Call for EHOPAC Award Nominations - 2/15/2017

The Environmental Health Officer Professional Advisory Committee (EHOPAC) sponsors awards to honor outstanding Public Health Service environmental health professionals. The purpose of these awards is to recognize the exceptional contributions Environmental Health Officers make to further the Public Health Service mission to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of our Nation.

The call for nominations for these awards is now open! Candidates for the Eason, Moran, and Todd awards may be nominated by supervisors, colleagues, or program managers. In addition, candidates for the Crow Mentor Award can also be nominated by protégés/subordinates. Please consider submitting a nomination for an environmental health professional that you feel is doing outstanding work in the field of environmental and public health.

The following are brief descriptions of each of the EHOPAC Awards:

  • The John C. Eason Award was established to recognize the accomplishments of talented newcomers to the field of environmental health and moreover, to recognize the promise these individuals hold for the future of the Public Health Service. John C. Eason Award Nomination Packet
  • The Edward (Ted) Moran Award recognizes an outstanding mid-level environmental health professional who consistently achieves high standards in the practice of environmental health, occupational health and safety, industrial hygiene, or radiological health. Edward (Ted) Moran Award Nomination Packet
  • The John G. Todd Award is the highest honor given by the EHOPAC. The award recognizes an exemplary senior-level environmental health professional for significant career contributions in achieving the PHS mission of improving the Nation's health through the practice of environmental health. John G. Todd Award Nomination Packet
  • The Thomas E. Crow Mentor Award recognizes significant contributions by an individual who has enhanced professional growth and career development of environmental health professionals working in the U.S. Public Health Service by serving in a mentoring capacity. Thomas E. Crow Mentor Award Nomination Packet

Please submit all award nominations to me at by 12:00pm ET, March 6, 2017. All nominations must be submitted electronically and must contain the Nomination Form and the narrative. Please see the award packets for specific requirements for each award.

Contact CDR Jamie Mutter at if you have any questions.

New EHO Coin - 5/10/2016

Check out the NEW EHO Coin.

Abridged Closed Meeting Minutes Posted - 5/10/2016

The minutes from the April 12th, 2016 meeting have been posted to the EHOPAC Minutes page.

Meeting #196 Minutes Posted - 4/1/2016

The minutes from the March 8th, 2016 meeting have been posted to the EHOPAC Minutes page.

Greetings from the new EHOPAC Chair for 2016


I am pleased to announce the 2016 EHOPAC Leadership Team:

  • CAPT Alan Parham, EHO CPO
  • CDR Carrie Oyster, EHOPAC Chair
  • CDR Jill Shugart, EHOPAC Vice-Chair
  • CDR Jamie Mutter, EHOPAC Treasurer & Secretary

We look forward to serving you! 

Starting in 2016 the EHOPAC will be having quarterly open conference calls. These 4 calls will be 1300-1500 EST on:

  • 08 March
  • May (during COA in Oklahoma City)
  • 13 September and
  • 13 December

Call information for these meetings will be:
Conference Line: 1-800-832-0736; Conference Room #: 6084616
Online meeting link:
Meeting Name: EHOPAC

Please mark your calendars and plan to call in. We will be providing critical PHS information, CCHQ updates and other relevant EHO materials. If you want to keep current on PHS changes, promotions, readiness, etc, I highly recommend you attend. And, for your knowledge, you are now able to find the current EHOPAC Voting Members, their contact information and term lengths at


Carolyn J. Oyster MPH, REHS
CDR, U.S. Public Health Service

Meeting #194 Minutes Posted - 11/10/2015

The minutes from the October 20th, 2015 meeting have been posted to the EHOPAC Minutes page. 

2015 Award Recipients

In June and July of this year, 5 outstanding officers were recognized for their outstanding work, committment, and service.  Please use the link below to see these officers and join us in congratulating them on a job well done.

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