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over 6 years ago

Couple Weeks Left + Local Environmental Health

There's only a couple weeks left for this App Challenge and we are really looking forward to seeing what you create! Thank you for your participation thus far.

If you're having trouble finding open data sources, you may find some ideas here.

Remember, you have a lot of creative freedom with your app. As long as it helps to achieve an environmental health objective and uses public data (you are not required to use the CDC's API), you are good to go! 

I've posted interviews with ST from Code for America, David from WE ACT, and now we have insight from a local level EH professional.

Stuart Rekart is the Principle Information System Analyst at the Los Angeles County Environmental Health Department. He shared some information on his local level environmental health department.

What is your work’s mission?

LA County Public Health’s mission statement is “To protect health, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being.”  The Environmental Health Division strives to promote health and quality of life by identifying, preventing, and controlling harmful environmental factors in Los Angeles County.  The mission of Environmental Health is to assess environmental conditions and reduce exposure to health risks, and to educate the public on sources of environmental risk so they are empowered to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.

What type of EH work do you do?

Essentially, the work that EH does is that of physically inspecting facilities (restaurants, housing, and pools are our bread-and-butter) related to a wide variety of environmental factors from housing to drinking water to radiation devices (x-ray machines) to solid waste disposal (dumps/trash trucks).  We also respond to a wide variety of public complaints regarding these facilities.

What kind of EH and organizational problems do you run into that you wish you had a tool to solve?
  • We’re always the last to know when somebody gets sick from eating at a restaurant and claims it was tainted food that caused the illness
  • Public Access to our data
  • Minimizing in-person visits and phone calls while increasing customer confidence by offering convenient online service (e.g. permit applications and statuses, complaint processing and statuses)

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

Thank you,



We're here to help. If you have any questions about the hackathon, post on the discussion forum or email and we'll respond as soon as we can.