James J. Balsamo Jr., director of the Tulane Office of Environmental Health and Safety, received the 2010 Walter F. Snyder Award from the National Science Foundation International and the National Environmental Health Association during a conference in New Mexico last month. The award is presented to an individual each year who has contributed to the advancement of environmental health.
Balsamo's honor was based on his 40-year career in environmental health at the City of New Orleans Health Department and Tulane University. He established the first comprehensive Institutional Environmental Health Program for the city Health Department.
He organized the first Hospital Environmental Health and Safety Program at Tulane University Hospital while the assistant environmental health and safety officer there. He has served 30 years as director of the Tulane Office of Environmental Health and Safety, expanding programs to address federal, state and local environmental health regulations. He also helped with cleanup efforts after Hurricane Katrina and has trained Peace Corps volunteers about sanitation before they worked in underdeveloped countries. In addition, Balsamo served on the National Science Foundation Council of Public Health Consultants, an advisory group that oversees and ratifies NSF International public health standards.