Our environment, both natural and built, greatly impacts our health.
The Gallatin City-County Health Department’s Environmental Health Services (EHS) works to protect our community from risk factors in the environments in which we live, work, eat and play.
Meet some of our newest local environmental health workers:
Megan Hazen – Program Assistant
What do you do?
I do many different things! A large part of my job is assisting people with submitting applications (for septic permits or establishment licenses). I also schedule exams, send out Air Quality reports, make sure the county cars get their oil changed, help people find old septic permits (which can be detective work), proofread every establishment license before mailing it out, and more! There are lots of moving pieces involved in the administrative side of Environmental Health, and the admin team is responsible for knowing the offices’ many processes and being able to clearly communicate those processes with the public.
Why does your work matter?
My work as a program assistant is important to the overall flow of the office – the admin team does a lot of behind-the-scenes work that is vital to the functioning of EHS programs. The work of our office as a whole is important to protecting public health, e.g. keeping people healthy by inspecting restaurants and keeping the land and water healthy by making sure wastewater treatment systems are adequately designed and sized.
Why did you choose to work in this position? What were you doing before?
I chose to apply for this position because the role of EHS in our community is really important and I wanted to be a part of that work! Plus, the position itself seemed like a good fit for me with my previous work experience. Before I started in EHS, I had just finished a season of trail work as a crew member in Montana Conservation Corps. Before that, I worked at MSU in the financial aid office for a little less than a year, and before that I did a year with AmeriCorps as a VISTA at the Community Mediation Center here in Bozeman.
What do you think is the biggest environmental health challenge in Gallatin County?
Well, a big challenge for our office is just keeping up with the growth happening in Gallatin County.
What do you like most about your work?
There’s always something to do and it doesn’t get boring. I answer the main phone line and sometimes we get pretty interesting phone calls. My co-workers are the best!
Environmental health-related fun fact: the average life-span of a septic system is 30 years.