The SNHS Environmental Health Unit has offices on both territories at the Lionel R. John Health Center and the Saylor Building. This unit focuses on upholding environmental standards on all three residential Territories (Cattaraugus, Allegany, and Oil Spring) as well as the additional territories in Erie and Niagara Counties. We are focused on maintaining the health and welfare of the Seneca people in relation to their environment, both natural and man-made. Our goal is to prevent environmentally related diseases among the Seneca people through the development and implementation of a comprehensive environmental health program. The purpose of our program is the promotion and protection of human health and the environment in the following areas: food protection, indoor air quality, recreational swimming pools, vector control, drinking water quality, water sanitation, and emergency preparedness.
Environmental Health offers many services to Seneca Nation departments and community. Services provided include Radon testing, rabies response including holding bi-annual FREE rabies clinics, tick identification for Lyme assessments, outreach education drinking water testing and mold assessments. We have been working on the enhancement of lead poisoning prevention program. This work is focused on the development of a Lead (Pb) Smart Partnership with surrounding health departments with activities are geared at raising lead hazard awareness families and for people performing home renovations. Environmental Health is also responsible to coordinate and participate in emergency preparedness initiatives within the health system in conjunction with Seneca Nation Emergency Management.
Environmental Health extends beyond the general services and is active participants in two specialized groups. We have begun the Allegany Traditional Medicines and Healing Group, led by Rosalind Ground. The primary intent of the group is to engage the community and build positive relationships while providing a stress relieving and enjoyable environment. The Allegany Traditional Medicines and Healing Group typically meet on Tuesdays from 5-7pm in the Lionel R. John Health Center’s Blue Room. The group works together to increase knowledge of traditional medicines with the promotion of holistic healing. The Watershed Resources Working Group was brought together to combat blue-green algae in Reservoir but grew significantly over the last 2 years. The group pursues environmental issues that impact the Nation on the watershed scale.
Health Engineering addresses infrastructure needs within the Seneca Nation communities by planning, designing and constructing many types of projects to meet public health needs. The unit deals with projects involving drinking water, wastewater, health facilities, and other related infrastructure work.