Local Sanitarian Named Young Professional of the Year

Western Upper Peninsula Health Department is pleased to announce that Rachael Smith, WUPHD Environmental Health Sanitarian has been awarded the 2015 David H. McMulllen, Young Professional of the Year Award by the Michigan Environmental Health Association.

This prestigious award recognizes Rachael’s outstanding accomplishments to the environmental health profession within the first five years of employment and her quality work, dedication, innovation and potential leadership abilities as an environmental health professional. Rachael has been with Western UP Health Department for two years and works in all environmental health programs, including food protection, on-site water supply and wastewater treatment program, radon education, and campground and public swimming pool regulation. She co-instructs the department’s Certified Food Safety Manager courses offered to restaurant operators. In addition to her health department duties, Rachael is the Michigan Environmental Health Association quarterly Journal editor and serves on several MEHA committees.

Prior to joining the health department, Rachael earned a BS in Environmental Studies at Michigan State University. Her project background includes working with rural communities in Bolivia on wastewater treatment systems, monitoring Lake Superior water quality with a university research lab and preparing site assessments and conducting remediation at contaminated sites around the Upper Peninsula. Rachael was an Environmental Science Intern for Tetra Tech in Lansing, Michigan, locating and sampling sources of water contamination, and also worked as an Environmental Technician for U.P. Engineers & Architects, Inc.

She made a notable contribution to public health and improvement in the quality of life during her service in the Peace Corps in El Salvador. Along with her husband, Rachael performed a community health and needs assessment for a rural Salvadoran village, supported the local community on a water committee, and served as an aide in English and science classes helping school teachers improve their curriculum.

According to Kate Beer, WUPHD Health Officer, “Rachael is a very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and versatile asset to our environmental health staff here at Western UP Health Department. She is very deserving of Michigan Environmental Health Association’s Young Professional of the Year Award”.

Western U.P. Health Department provides public health services to residents in Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Ontonagon, and Gogebic counties. Western U.P Health Department has offices in Hancock, L’Anse, Ontonagon and Bessemer.