In June, the Water Environment Federation announced Dr. Andrew Sanderson as its first Chief Medical Officer (CMO). He will guide and assist WEF in providing reliable medical information to wastewater utility managers and workers, as well as conduct research and serve as a spokesperson on medical issues for the water sector.

Dr. Sanderson is a gastroenterologist with Weatherby Healthcare, and an Associate Professor at Howard University (Washington, D.C.). In this podcast, he describes his academic and professional background, including serving as a medical officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He explains his interest in serving as WEF’s CMO and how he will focus on the health and safety of the water workforce.

“Specifically, as a medical officer, my primary goal is the safety and health of the water professionals and wastewater and biosolids workers who are exposing themselves to biologic hazards — one of which is COVID-19,” Dr. Sanderson said. “The fact is that there is a lot of science out there, and that science helps us to understand how to protect workers. Part of my job as CMO will be to translate that science into plain language so that workers will feel confident in doing the important work that they are doing, but also know what symptoms to look for and what type of things to ask for in terms of personal protective equipment.”

In addition to coronavirus response, Dr. Sanderson shares how he will help WEF to coordinate with U.S. and international governmental agencies to ensure that “everyone is aligned in terms of thinking so that we can marshal all the resources available to address a specific problem.”

Dr. Sanderson will bring his expertise and perspective on coronavirus research and water worker safety and health throughout WEFTEC.

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