Candidate Profile | Ed Weiner
Board of Health (contested)
The local election will be April 9, 2022. In order to inform eligible voters and empower them with the information they need to both show up at the polls and make an educated decision once they get there, I’ll be profiling candidates for election. I complete these profiles by interviewing the candidates and then writing up our conversation in a conversational format, much like I have done with the local government profiles. Candidates are invited to review the profiles prior to publication to ensure I got the facts correct.
Other upcoming opportunities to learn more about your candidates:
Democratic Town Committee Candidate Event
This is one of three candidate profiles for the contested Board of Health (BoH) race. Click a name below to read about the other candidates.
Ed Weiner, widely known as Dr. Ed, has been a member of the Burlington Board of Health for 33 years. He first ran for election shortly after he’d come to town, because as an author, lecturer, professor, and medical professional, he felt he possessed both the passion and experience to be the ideal candidate. When he joined the Board, the members were not scientifically trained, and he continues to see his education and professional experience as an asset. If Dr. Ed wins re-election in April, he will be the only doctor-level scientist on the Board.
Dr. Ed sees our town as an international region, and he has been passionate about the work the Board has done to modernize the town. During his tenure, he has worked hard to keep the town safe and well, including lobbying Congress to support the establishment of the Burlington Volunteer Reserve Corps (BVRC), a unit of the Medical Reserve Corps, now staffed with 400 volunteers of all ages.
Dr. Ed’s Priorities for BoH
Now that the Board’s time isn’t being dominated by the response to a public health emergency, Dr. Ed sees going back to normalcy as an immediate priority. He would focus his time in the short term on getting back to the programming we were offering before the pandemic. There are already plans in place to hold the Health Fair, Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day, Stop the Bleed, and infectious disease trainings, some of which had been put on hold due to the pandemic.
Dr. Ed would also like to work to find grants for programs in the area of public health, so we’re making the most out of the opportunities available to us and not leaving money on the table.
Speaking of grants, Dr. Ed thinks it would be very useful to have a Town Development Committee, in which members of all departments come together to write block grants so we can have a cohesive picture of all the different opportunities available to us. This would be something to start talking about now, so we can get the ball rolling.
A Board of Health Speakers Bureau is another idea Dr. Ed would like to see established. This would be a collection of BoH members and their professional staff, but also community members, business leaders, and members of scientific organizations who could come and speak to the community in their area of expertise.
Finally, Dr. Ed would like to expand the BVRC. He recognizes the Corps not only as a vehicle to assist the community and its members, but also as a way for people of all ages to come together to give back to Burlington. He would love to see additional programs about how to respond to mental health emergencies, suicide prevention, what to do with your pets during emergencies, and more.
In the long term, Dr. Ed sees it vital to address climate change and evaluate its effects on public health. Flooding and an increase in infectious disease are obvious areas of concern, but another example is mosquito control - we need to find a way to control these pests without affecting beneficial insects like bees.
Our Board of Health has been come to be known as a highly credible source of information. We need to work on having additional resources that this community can access in the way that works for them, whether that be in written hard copy form, on the website, or maybe even some multimedia outreach in the form of podcasts or videos.
And finally, to the extent they can, the BoH needs to ensure our water is safe and healthy for all, and that our backup water sources such as Mill Pond are also providing clean water. As the Select Board (and not the Board of Health) is responsible for regulating the water supply, this will require some collaboration with not only them but also with the Department of Public Works, some of which Dr. Ed has already facilitated.
Dr. Ed and the Board of Health believe that racism is a public health issue. There is a disparity in our country with respect to the extent to which people of different races, cultures, and socioeconomic status can access resources to maintain their health and wellness, and Dr. Ed wants to work to close that gap in our local community.
From helping clean up the corporate waste accumulated in the post-World-War-II and -Cold-War era, to writing the grant that brought lipid scans that identified community members who were at risk for cardiovascular disease, Dr. Ed is proud of the work the Board of Health has been able to accomplish over the 33 years he has been a member. His professional expertise has only grown during that time, and over the decades he’s been a very visible and vocal member of local government. He is eager for the opportunity to continue serving his community in this role.
Contact Dr. Ed
Dr. Ed can be reached in the following ways:
Be sure to check his Facebook page for more details about upcoming events.