Perspectives: Meet the Water Quality & Health Council

Who We Are: The WQ&HC is a multidisciplinary group of independent experts sponsored by the American Chemistry Council’s Chlorine Chemistry Division.

The group’s knowledge and experience span science and medicine, public health policy, consumer advocacy, environmental engineering, risk assessment and emergency response. In 2011, the American Chemistry Council and the WQ&HC celebrated the 20th anniversary of the WQ&HC’s founding.

Our Mission: The WQ&HC strives to protect public health by promoting knowledge of evidence-based practices and policies that enhance water quality and health. It separates science fact from fallacy and informs industry, health professionals, policy makers, and the public on a wide range of topics.

Water Quality & Health Council
The Water Quality & Health Council: From left to right, Fred Reiff, Linda Golodner, Ralph Morris, Barbara Soule, Joan Rose, Jerod Loeb, Chris Wiant and Bruce Bernard

The Chlorine Connection: Chlorine chemistry is used to help control infectious diseases that can be spread through contaminated drinking water, swimming pools and surfaces. In 1991, the chlorine industry invited a small group of experts to serve as advisors on the appropriate use of chlorine for public health. The current group includes four original members.

The Members: Each member of the WQ&HC brings a unique perspective to the group’s public health mission, based on technical expertise and professional experience. The following summarizes this broad base of experience:

  • Chair, Chris Wiant, PhD, is the chair of the WQ&HC and President and CEO of the Caring for Colorado Foundation, which funds health care projects throughout Colorado. Dr. Wiant has been Executive Director of the Tri-County Health Department, serving nearly one million residents in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties in Colorado. He has been involved for many years in issues of national, state and local public health and environmental policy. He has been appointed to numerous boards and commissions including current responsibilities on the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission and the Colorado Pollution Prevention Advisory Board. Nationally, he has served on the EPA National Drinking Water Advisory Council, the Federal Advisory Committee for development of regulations for disinfection by-products in drinking water (Stage I and II) and he was the chairman of the NSF International Council of Public Health Consultants. Dr. Wiant is also a past president of the National Environmental Health Association and the Colorado Public Health Association.
  • Co-chair, Linda Golodner has dedicated her professional career to advocating for consumer rights in healthcare, food and product safety. She has also focused her work on corporate social responsibility and ethical behavior in the marketplace. She was President and CEO of the National Consumers League (NCL) from 1985 to 2007, is now President emeritus and represents NCL on several Boards and advisory groups. Ms. Golodner is the principal of Consumer Initiatives, advising and consulting with government, nonprofit, and for profit organizations on consumer issues. While at NCL, President Clinton appointed her to the White House Apparel Industry Partnership, which she co-chaired and now serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of its successor organization, the Fair Labor Association, a multi-stakeholder nonprofit organization dedicated to ending sweatshop conditions in factories worldwide and building innovative and sustainable solutions to abusive labor conditions. She is on the Dental Assisting National Board and is a public member of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
  • Bruce K. Bernard, PhD, is Founder and President of SRA International, Inc., a consulting firm started in 1982 and now based in Cambridge, Maryland, which serves clients in animal and human health and environmental sciences, particularly at the junction between science and regulations. He has been retained by the National Academy of Sciences, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of the Navy, Department. of Defense, as well as consumer industries and legal entities. Dr. Bernard’s career as a toxicologist has spanned over 40 years; he has published more than 60 books, monographs and full-length publications in addition to extensive Letters to the Editor, Abstracts and contributed papers. He has served as Associate Editor of the International Journal of Toxicology for many years and for over 25 years as a member of Editorial Boards, Section Editor or Reviewer for numerous professional journals.
  • Jerod M. Loeb, PhD, is Executive Vice President for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. As a member of the senior management team, he has administrative responsibility for The Joint Commission Departments of Quality Measurement and Health Services Research, including the Centers for Performance Measurement; Measurement System Operations; Data Management and Analysis; and Quality, Patient Safety and Innovation Research. At The Joint Commission, Dr. Loeb has played a leadership role in identifying, evaluating and implementing performance measures across the wide variety of Joint Commission accreditation and certification programs. He is involved in a variety of national and international initiatives associated with performance measurement and patient safety, including those of the National Quality Forum, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the International Society for Quality in Health Care, and the World Health Organization. In 2012, Dr. Loeb was presented with an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission as part of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. The award recognizes Dr. Loeb’s extraordinary and sustained contributions to health care quality and patient safety in his leadership role identifying, evaluating and implementing performance measures across the wide variety of Joint Commission accreditation and certification programs.
  • Ralph D. Morris, M.D., M.P.H., is a semi-retired physician in northern Minnesota working as the Medical Director for Greater Northwest EMS and teaching on-line epidemiology at the University of North Dakota. Dr. Morris has worked in the US Public Health Service (USPHS); served as Bureau Chief of Community Health Services for the Texas Department of Health; was Executive Director of the Galveston County Health District for 17 years and worked in emergency preparedness and response for the Minnesota Department of Health. Dr. Morris served 29 years in the USPHS and US Army Reserves. His credentials include membership to the American Board of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and General Preventive Medicine (1986) and a Diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners (1975).
  • Fred Reiff, P.E., is a registered professional engineer with 50 years of experience that includes civil, environmental, ocean and public health engineering in both the private and government sectors at the local, national and international levels. Mr. Reiff is a retired official from both the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Public Health Service. From 1981 to 1995, Mr. Reiff was responsible for disseminating the WHO drinking water quality guidelines and fomenting the adoption or updating of national drinking water quality standards. He also was responsible for managing the United Nations Global Environmental Monitoring Programs for Water (for the Americas), the development and promulgation of environmental interventions in disaster preparedness and relief, and the development of appropriate technology for treatment of both potable and waste water. He also served on the Pan American Health Organization’s management task force that was formed for the prevention and control of cholera. This level of involvement provided many opportunities for both overall and close-up monitoring of the status of water supply disinfection and its effectiveness as a public health measure in prevention and control of waterborne diseases in all Latin American and the Caribbean countries before, during, and after the introduction of cholera in Peru in 1991.
  • Joan B. Rose, PhD, serves as the Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research at Michigan State University, the Co-Director of the Center for Advancing Microbial Risk Assessment and Co-Director of the Center for Water Sciences. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, serves the International Water Association as part of US National Committee and works in Singapore advising the Public Utilities Board. She was chair of the Drinking Water Committee for the EPA Science Advisory Board (2004-2010). She is an international expert in water microbiology, water quality and public health safety publishing more than 300 manuscripts. She has been involved in the investigation of numerous waterborne outbreaks world-wide. Her work addresses the use of new molecular tools for surveying and mapping water pollution for recreational and drinking water; assessment of innovative water treatment technology for the developed and developing world and use of quantitative microbial risk assessment.
  • Barbara M. Soule, RN, MPA, CIC, FSHEA, has worked in health care for over 40 years, serving as Director of Infection Control and Epidemiology for 25 years at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington, and Director of Safety, and Director of Quality Management Services. In these roles she managed programs in quality and performance improvement, hospital epidemiology and infection control, risk management, clinical research, education, and care management services. Ms. Soule has broad experience practicing and teaching about infection prevention and control and healthcare epidemiology and has published extensively in this area. She is an associate editor of the American Journal of Infection Control and coeditor of the Global Perspectives Section, a Past President of The Association for Professional in Infection Control and Epidemiology (2003), a member of the APIC Scientific Research Committee, and in 2006 was appointed to the CDC’s Healthcare Infections Practices Advisory Committee.