PHTA Awards Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant

The PHTA has awarded the 2023 Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant to Craven County Environmental Health in New Bern, North Carolina. The winner was announced during the PHTA Awards of Excellence Ceremony on Nov. 12 in Las Vegas, as part of the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo.

Given in the memory of Dr. Robert Neil Lowry, a long-time member of PHTA and the Recreational Water & Air Quality Committee, this $5,000 grant honors a public health official or department who has made outstanding contributions to advance the public’s health and safe use of recreational water in pools, spas and waterparks through educational, safety, operational and technical programs.

Craven County currently operates 40 public swimming pools and is expecting that number to increase, partially due to the expansion of military operations at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and a new community development expected to bring 19,400 residents to the area.

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With the grant, the department plans to train two environmental health staff as certified pool and spa operator instructors who can then offer CPO certification training to other employees. Craven County Environmental Health also plans to offer swimming safety programs to all pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade classes. These efforts will ensure the department has knowledgeable pool operators on staff and can provide lifesaving survival skills.

“As their community expands, so does their commitment to serving that community through pool safety training for its public pool operators,” says RWAQC vice chair John Weber, senior formulations chemist at BioLab, Inc. “Craven County Environmental Health upholds the strong beliefs of Dr. R. Neil Lowry that education and safety are of utmost importance to protect the health and lives of their community.”

For more information about the Dr. R. Neil Lowry Grant, visit phta.org/lowry-grant.