Brenda Bass is a regional environmental health specialist for the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Children’s Environmental Health Unit. In this role, she works with local environmental health departments in the areas of childcare, schools, and lead poisoning prevention.
Before working for NC DHHS, Brenda was a local environmental health specialist in Wayne County and then a program specialist in Wilson County. She has always worked in public service and she likes the diversification of the environmental health profession.
She says, “when I worked at the county level, we used to get a lot of calls and some questions during lead investigations about other things going on in the homes.”
Researching those issues and seeking the appropriate contact agency in response to the questions, sparked her interest in healthy homes as well.
Brenda enjoys her profession because she appreciates field work and likes working in different areas of the state. She acknowledges that every household is different, and she stresses the importance of awareness when visiting someone’s home.
Unfortunately, she admits that she encounters situations that pull on her heart strings, and when possible, she attempts to provide information that may assist the family. Luckily, some counties have a variety of social support and economic programs that are available. When county resources are not an option, she remains sympathetic yet respectful.
Although she can’t always attend the NC Lead and Healthy Homes Task Force meetings, she values the connections and notes that result from the partnership. She appreciates the Task Force’s goal of providing information for professionals to share with parents, homeowners, and renters about creating safe environments for families. She also notes the importance of having an affiliated program that provides sound science information all in one place.