NEHA Honors Vincent J. Radke With the 2021 Walter S. Mangold Award
In keeping with the legacy of Walter S. Mangold, Radke’s impressive career is an example of both professionalism and service. He served as president of NEHA from 2018–2019. He was nominated by Dr. Adam London, president of the NEHA Past Presidents Affiliate. From 2001–2018, Radke was a sanitarian for the Environmental Health Services Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he helped lead collaborative food safety activities, including the Environmental Health Specialist Network (EHS-Net) within the CDC at the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the National Center for Infectious Diseases. Dr. Laura Brown, lead of the Safe Food Section Lead at NCEH, said, “Vince has had a substantial, positive impact on food safety at the federal, state, and local level.” Glenda Lewis, director for the Retail Food Protection Staff at the Food and Drug Administration, stated, “Vince has set a pattern in demeanor, professionalism, and integrity that remains a pattern for exemplary service for all following in his footsteps.”
Radke was involved in many domestic and international emergency responses to natural and man-made disasters. Some of these responses included an earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, Ebola in West Africa, Zika virus in U. S. and Caribbean, Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the Western U.S., an earthquake in Haiti, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, multiple hurricanes in the U. S. and Caribbean, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. Vince provided environmental health information, surveillance, risk assessment, and analysis.
As a surveillance and assessment officer with the U.S. Peace Corps and the World Health Organization (WHO), Radke worked with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, tribal chiefs, schools, health clinics, and church staff to combat smallpox and establish cholera and tuberculosis immunization programs. WHO requested Radke to assist with the to eradicate smallpox in Bangladesh and to document that smallpox had been eliminated in Kenya. In 1976 he was awarded the Order of the Bifurcated Needle by the WHO Director-General for his efforts in this area. WHO declared smallpox eradicated in 1980.
Presently, Radke continues his work in environmental health. He consults with the Association of Food and Drug Officials on food safety issues. He is president-elect of the NEHA Past Presidents Affiliate and is a board member of the International Food Protection Training Institute. During 2020–2021, Radke conducted pro bono consulting regarding the COVID-19 pandemic with certain national companies and local restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia.
The NEHA Board of Directors, staff, and Mangold Award Selection Committee are delighted to award Vince Radke the 2021 Walter S. Mangold Award. The award will be recognized during the closing of the NEHA 2021 Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition Three-Part Virtual Series.