Jamaica Canadian Association (JCA) Vice-President, Dr. Sylvanus Thompson, has been appointed secretary of the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) Americas region.
The IFEH is a federation comprising national associations of professionals working in the environment and health protection field. The organization’s primary task is to facilitate professional exchange of experience and expertise and to promote the development of health protection and research.
Thompson is a member of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI) and the United States-based National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) that are all affiliated to the IFEH.
“He is the only person who is a member of all three associations that are part of the region,” said IFEH chair, Mel Knight.
An NEHA technical advisor and past president and lifetime member of the JAPHI, Thompson welcomed the appointment.
“My initial focus will be to determine how the federation can support environmental health officers in the Caribbean,” he said. “I might even explore the possibility of a Caribbean Association of public health officers.”
Established in 1985, the IFEH represents nearly 60,000 members who are mostly employed by public authorities at local, regional and national levels as well as professionals engaged in teaching and research.
A Toronto Public Health associate director, Thompson has almost three decades of environmental health management experience. He played a key role in the implementation of the Toronto Food Inspection and Disclosure System – DineSafe – that posts inspection results for Toronto eateries online and in their front windows. The program was recognized with the Samuel J. Crumbine Award in Ohio in June, 2011.
Prior to migrating to Canada, Thompson was the Western Regional Health Authority veterinary public health coordinator responsible for food safety. He graduated from Clarendon College, the West Indies School of Public Health, Ryerson University, the University of California Berkeley, the University of Guelph and York University’s Schulich School of Business.
Last year, Thompson was recognized for his significant work in health administration with the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors and the Environmental Health Foundation of Canada National Sanitation Foundation Food Safety awards.
Thompson is a former JCA Scholarship Awards committee chair and ex-president of Spelling Bee of Canada’s North York West chapter.