Monday, July 20, 2009

Terrance B. Gratton Receives the 2009 Walter F. Snyder Award

Award Recognizes Outstanding Achievement in Advancing Environmental Health

NSF International and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) announced recently that Terrance B. Gratton, Dr.P.H., D.A.A.S., R.S. was the recipient of the 2009 Walter F. Snyder Award. Dr. Gratton was presented with the award at NEHA’s 73rd Annual Educational Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, June 21, 2009.

This prestigious award, given in honor of NSF's co-founder and first Executive Director, is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of environment health. Dr. Gratton was recognized for his 40-year career within the San Antonio, Texas, Metropolitan Health Department, the U.S. Public Health Service and the University of North Texas School of Public Health.

“Dr. Gratton’s contributions to the environmental health profession have left a lasting positive impact in areas such as education, training and sanitation,” said Kevan P. Lawlor, NSF President and CEO. “It is his outstanding leadership and dedication to environmental health that resonate with the principles of Walter F. Snyder, and what make him an ideal recipient of the 2009 Walter F. Snyder Award.”

Early in his career, Dr. Gratton was employed as a sanitarian with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department (SAMHD), where he worked to improve and implement food establishment inspections in the lower income areas of the city. He was then promoted to the engineering section of SAMHD, where his primary responsibility was the inspection of daycare facilities, institutions and nursing homes. He later became the chief trainer of new sanitarians, where he taught food codes and San Antonio Metropolitan Health ordinances, improving the overall education and quality of sanitarians’ work with environmental health issues.

He joined the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service in 1977. During his career with the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Gratton spent 18 years with the Indian Health Service in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arizona, and five years with the Bureau of Prisons in Fort Worth, Texas. Throughout his tenure with the Indian Health Service, Dr. Gratton’s leadership and determination led him to organize and implement several environmental improvement projects, which provided quality of life improvements to tribes in his jurisdiction.

“Dr. Gratton has long been involved in environmental health activities at the local, state, and national levels and always with great devotion to the people whose lives were being affected by poor environmental quality,” said Nelson Fabian, NEHA Executive Director. “His dedication to IHS over the last 18 years improved the lives of thousands of families living on the reservations. It is because of contributions like this and his outstanding leadership that Dr. Gratton is receiving the 2009 Walter F. Snyder Award.”

Many of Dr. Gratton’s contributions to environmental health have been demonstrated through his dedication to education and research. After retiring from the U.S. Public Health Service in 2000, Dr. Gratton turned his attention to educating the next generation of public health service leaders. As a full-time faculty member at the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of North Texas Health and Science Center School of Public Health, Dr. Gratton teaches the environmental health core courses for the Master of Public Health program and the environmental determinants core courses for the Ph.D. program.

“Terry is a strong leader, a talented educator and a role model for young sanitarians in Texas and across the U.S. Terry is generous with praise and never lacking for words of support,” said Steve Claybrook R.E.H.S., R.S., Past President of Texas Environmental Health Association.

Dr. Gratton serves on several institutional and academic committees, including Chair of the Health Science Center Safety Committee. He is a founding member of the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society and has received the Public Health Student Association Award for outstanding contributions for service and events. He has also received an Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of North Texas School of Public Health.
For more information about the Walter F. Snyder Award and previous winners, visit NSF's Web site.

About NEHA: The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is a national professional society that represents the profession and practice of environmental health (

About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods ( Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.
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