Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Engineer Professional Advisory Committee

Public Health Engineering Practice

The Public Health Engineering Practice (PHEP) subcommittee provides a means for engineers from multiple federal agencies with varying levels of experience and expertise to share experiences and lessons learned, disseminate new technologies, and discuss issues of importance which are faced by engineers on a daily basis. The PHEP subcommittee advises the Engineer Professional Advisory Committee (EPAC) and develops resources for Public Health Service (PHS) agencies and their beneficiaries. Based on the EPAC Bylaws, the PHEP subcommittee serves to promote a forum to discuss common concerns and provide a professional practice bridge, both between PHS OPDIVs and with outside agencies and organizations. The PHEP subcommittee currently consists of approximately 20 engineers representing the Indian Health Service (IHS), National Parks Service (NPS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The PHEP subcommittee has the potential to represent any agency served by PHS engineers.


    1. To develop resources for the PHS agencies and their beneficiaries, expanding the understanding and direction of current engineering topics affecting the future health and safety of the nation.
    2. To increase the efficiency of our work by: A) Sharing experiences and lessons learned on issues related to various areas of engineering; B) Bringing to light new technologies on the horizon or in use by members; and C) Promoting discussion and seeking input from members regarding potential solutions to any engineering issues encountered or anticipated in our daily work.
    3. Present public health engineering practice issues with analysis, information and possible solutions to the EPAC


Past projects include workshops on engineering deployment skills at the annual USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium Engineering Category Day and development of healthy building initiatives.

Current projects:

  • Articles for multiple publications are being drafted on environmentally sustainable pipe materials and installation methods.
  • Recommendations are being developed to increase engineer’s access to design and construction standards at work.
  • Ideas and methods are being developed for engineers to learn about and incorporate into their official duties, as well as their local communities, the concepts and goals of Healthy and Safe Community Environments as defined by the Surgeon General’s National Prevention Strategy.




Public Health Engineering Resources and Tools

PHEP Workgroup Involvement

PHS engineers interested in leading or starting a new workgroup can contact the PHEP Subcommittee Chair, LCDR Julia Kane, or Vice Chair, CDR Leo Gumapas.  Those interested in joining a specific workgroup can contact one of the following:

Subcommittee History

The subcommittee was previously known as Building Design and Construction (BDC), but was expanded and renamed to Public Health Engineering Practice in 2008.  At that time the use of the term "practice" vs "practices" was discussed by the subcommittee members with the decision being made to use the word "practice," for its broader connotation. Here "Practice" is used similarly to the way "Service" is used in both the Public Health Service and the Indian Health Service.  Webster defines the term "practice" as: the continuous exercise of a profession.

Meeting Schedule

The PHEP subcommittee generally holds monthly meetings on the third Thursday of each month at 1500 ET. Contact the subcommittee chair or vice-chair for more information.

Page Last Modified on 9/30/2019

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