Environment
Section Newsletter
Spring 2004

Message from the Chair

As the beautiful smells and sites of spring are upon us we are reminded of the fact that we are only six months away from the 2004 APHA Annual Meeting! Similar to the many other APHA Sections, SPIGs, and Caucuses, the Environment Section has been working hard to organize around the many exciting events planned at this year’s Annual Meeting. One successful planning event was the Section’s first Mid-Year Meeting, held in March at APHA Headquarters, in Washington, D.C. A great amount of work was accomplished, further assisting in the direction of section and conference related affairs.

Being that the theme of this year’s APHA Annual Meeting is “Public Health and the Environment,” The Environment Section is very excited to announce the creation of a Green Neighborhood at the APHA Expo! This specific area of the Expo floor section will showcase organizations that focus on environmental health issues. Exhibitors in the Green Neighborhood will be grouped with others whose focus is environmental health, highlighting many wonderful initiatives and services. Currently, an extensive outreach effort is being made to invite organizations to not only have booth space at APHA 2004, but to join us in the Green Neighborhood specifically. For more information please contact Brenda Afzal at <bafzal@son.umaryland.edu> or Robyn Gilden at <rgilden@son.umaryland.edu>.

The program planning for this year’s Annual Meeting is now in its track-organizing phase. Over 350 abstracts were received this year during the grant submission process! I have personally been working with APHA staff, other section and caucus leaders, as well as government agencies and community-based organizations to organize special larger sessions on environmental justice. The input and expertise during this process has been invaluable, resulting in a very intriguing set of sessions!

The Environment Section is pleased to be continuously working with APHA staff to incorporate as many environmentally responsible practices possible during the meeting planning and actual activities on site. Through our pressure, the D.C. Conference Center is now putting together a recycling policy for our review. Organic food options will also be available for social events per our request. The Expo Coordinator is also assisting our efforts by forwarding information to vendors on ways they can also be more responsible. We also hope to have continued exposure in pre-meeting materials.

Finally, the Environment Section is very pleased to announce that our new Web site is now up and running! We encourage all of you to visit it today to learn about the many exciting ways you can become active in Environment Section! Please visit us at <http://www.apha.org/sections>.

In Peace,

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon

Mid-Year Meeting

On Wednesday March 24, 2004, the APHA Environment Section held its first official Mid-Year Meeting! The all day meeting was held at APHA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The more than 20 participants represented Section members, invited guests, and fellow Section leaders. Specifically, the Public Health Nursing Section provided a great list of suggestions for further collaboration that included joint efforts in program planning, business meetings, and the Continuing Education Institute.

We were joined by Frances Atkinson, Manager of APHA Section Affairs, Lynn Schoen, APHA Exhibits Manager, Tracy Kolian, Policy Fellow, and Dr. Georges Benjamin, APHA Executive Director. Dr. Benjamin highlighted some planned events for the 2004 Annual Meeting to date and voiced his excitement for this year’s theme “Public Health and the Environment.” The Section will continue to work closely with APHA on plenary session organizing, exhibit coordination, and inclusion of environmental health messages and strategies in the overall conference planning.

The Membership Committee reported that current goals include not only obtaining new members but retaining current members as well. The Policy Committee reported that they have reviewed and prioritized existing environmental section policies and selected two areas, air quality and built environment, for official review this year. The policies in these two areas have been listed on the APHA Web site, and comments were solicited from the general membership. The Student Involvement Committee has been working to have students more involved behind the scenes during the APHA Annual Meeting. This Committee is also looking for ways to have students highlighted in scientific sessions, increasing professional development.

The Environment Section annually provides a local field trip in the host city of the APHA Annual Meeting. The group discussed possible locations for this year’s tour in the D.C. metro area. Interest was presented for a built environment focus as well as highlighting a successful community revitalization project.

The success of the Mid-Year Meeting provided consensus among members to make such an event a regular part of section yearly business. This meeting not only provides a specific time for the Section to get a great amount of work accomplished but also serves as a great social time away from the larger APHA Annual Meeting. The Section also found this meeting to be a great way to encourage potential members to actively become engaged in a variety of Section business.

Letter from the Membership Chair

Dear Colleague:

We are glad to have you as a member of the APHA Environment Section, and want to encourage you to participate in section activities to get the most from your membership. As you know, the Environment Section serves as a multi-disciplinary "home" for all who are concerned about the juncture of environment and health. Our bold mission is to influence public policy and to help facilitate changes that create and sustain healthy environments while enhancing research, public awareness, and the prevention and treatment of disease caused or exacerbated by environmental factors. We seek to develop alliances with others professionals who work in a variety of public and private settings and endeavor to keep our members up to date on relevant environmental health science and policy issues.

One major initiative is the Built Environment Institute. Developed by our section, the Institute's overall goal is to assist in an effort to identify what combinations of planning, design, and lifestyle choices are prescribed for healthy and sustainable living and more human-focused growth. The Built Environment Institute was launched at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco in 2003, and is supported by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Environment Section offers many opportunities for your participation, professional development, and networking.

Our section offers a dynamic Web site that will provide a connection to section activities through out the year. We invite you to visit our site at <http://www.apha.org/sections>.

The section newsletter, published quarterly, is available only to section members. Section/SPIG newsletters are an APHA membership benefit and can be accessed using your personal APHA username and password. Need help logging in? Go to <www.apha.org/intro_private.cfm>.

We encourage you to sign-on to our section's listserv by sending a blank message to environ-l@liststar.apha.org; type "subscribe environ-l" in the subject line.

Please join us for section business meetings at the APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6-10. All members are invited and encouraged to participate in business meetings, where the work and direction of our section activities are planned.

We invite you to attend the "meet and greet" section party at the 2004 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The date, time and location will be announced on our Web site and in the APHA annual program announcements. This is a great opportunity to network with fellow section members and enjoy a nice social time.

We want the Environment Section to meet your needs for professional development and networking while advancing our mission of a sustainable and healthy environment. Please get involved in our activities and help this section continue to be one of the best at APHA. A list of this year's section leadership and section committees is pasted below. If you are interested in participating or obtaining additional information, please feel free to contact me or anyone else on the list directly. We look forward to working with you.

ENVIRONMENT SECTION LEADERSHIP AND COMMITTEES

Officers:
Chair - Nsedu Obot Witherspoon (nobot@cehn.org)
Past Chair - Allen Dearry (dearry@niehs.nih.gov)
Chair-Elect - Jill Litt (jill.litt@uchsc.edu)
Secretary - Vince Radke (vradke@cdc.gov)


Section Council:
2004 - Jill Litt (jill.litt@uchsc.edu), Daniel Boatright (daniel-boatright@ouhsc.edu)

2005 - Marni Rosen (mrosen@jaf.org), Michael Reiss

2006 - Patricia Elliot (pelliott@astho.org), Neal Rosenblatt (neal.rosenblatt@mail.state.ky.us)


Governing Council:
Heidi Klein (HeidiMKlein@hotmail.com )
Susan West Marmagas (swest@psr.org )
Beth Resnick (bresnick@jhsph.edu)
David Wallinga (dwallinga@iatp.org)



Committees:

POLICY
John Balbus - Chair (jbalbus@ed.org)
Brenda Afzal (afzal@son.umaryland.edu)
Pat Elliott (pelliott@astho.org)
Tony DeLucia (delucia@mail.etsu.edu)
Susan Stone (stone.susan@epa.gov)
Steve Boese (sboese@healthyschools.org)
Renee Robin (rlrobin@cehn.org)

MEMBERSHIP
Leyla Erk McCurdy - Chair (mccurdy@neetf.org)
Robin Lee (rpl5@cdc.gov)
Brenda Afzal (afzal@son.umaryland.edu)
Dorothy Stephens (des0@cdc.gov)
Susan Stone (stone.susan@epa.gov)

STUDENT INVOLVEMENT
Sacoby Wilson - Chair (smwilson@email.unc.edu)
Max Weintraub (ejhu@ejhu.org)
Aditi Vaidya (avaidya@sph.emory.edu)

BYLAWS
Pat Elliott - Chair (pelliott@astho.org)
Renee Robin (rlrobin@cehn.org)
Nse Obot Witherspoon (nobot@cehn.org)

WEBSITE
Lilah Besser - Chair (lbesser@sph.emory.edu)
Jill Litt (jill.litt@uchsc.edu)
Max Weintraub (ejhu@ejhu.org)
John Balbus (jbalbus@ed.org)

GREEN CONFERENCE
Tony DeLucia - Chair (delucia@mail.etsu.edu)
Michelle Courville (Michele.courville@montgomerycountymd.gov)
Rania Sabty-Daily (rsabtyd@calstatela.edu)
Lilah Besser (lbesser@sph.emory.edu)
Neal Rosenblatt (neal.rosenblatt@mail.state.ky.us)
Brenda Afzal (afzal@son.umaryland.edu)
Renee Robin (rlrobin@cehn.org)
Nse Obot Witherspoon (nobot@cehn.org)

APHA SECTION BOOTH
Jill Litt - Lead (jill.litt@uchsc.edu)
Vince Radke (vradke@cdc.gov)

NEWSLETTER
Rebecca Head - Editor (headr@ewashtenaw.org)

NOMINATIONS
Allen Dearry - Chair (dearry@niehs.nih.gov)
Nse Obot Witherspoon (nobot@cehn.org)
Jill Litt (jill.litt@uchsc.edu)

AWARDS
Leon Vinci - Chair (lfv6@aol.com)
Joe Sliman (jsliman@hjsph.edu)

MANAGEMENT/BUDGET
Nse Obot Witherspoon - Chair (nobot@cehn.org)

_______________________
Leyla Erk McCurdy
Membership Chair

Important APHA Section Election Information

APHA's 2004 Section elections are quickly approaching, and we are excited to offer you the opportunity to vote online. The elections began May 14, 2004 and will end on June 15, 2004. On May 14 you were sent an e-mail notification letting you know that your Section's election is open. The e-mail subject line read "APHA Voting Information Enclosed." Please do not delete this e-mail.

Your e-mail notification includes:

* Your online election validation number
* Your APHA membership ID number
* Voting instructions
* A direct link to your Section's voting Web site

All you have to do is click on the direct link and VOTE!

If you choose to vote online, please be assured that the site will be secure and you will have the same level of privacy and anonymity as if voting by mail. The system will prevent anyone from voting more than once.

As a member of one of APHA's 24 Sections, your involvement in the
selection of your leadership is an integral part of your Association's governance. We encourage you to take part in this year's election.


Frances Atkinson
Manager of Section Affairs

2004 APHA Policy Process Update

The APHA Joint Policy Committee (JPC) met for the first round of the 2004 proposed policy review process on April 27-28 at the APHA headquarters in Washington D.C. The JPC is comprised of 12 members appointed from APHA’s three Boards – The Science Board, the Action Board, and the Education Board. The JPC is co-chaired by the chairs of these three boards. The Action Board members represent the various sections of the Association, while the Science and Education Board members are appointed to broadly represent APHA and its members.

During the two-day meeting, the JPC members reviewed each of the draft policy statements submitted for 2004, discussing their merits in terms of their compliance with APHA policies, accuracy of the problem statements, adequacy of their documentation, consistency and appropriateness of the resolution’s action steps with the stated problem, and their relationship to existing policies (i.e., is it duplicative of existing policies?). The JPC does not make judgments with regard to specific subject or content of the proposed policy statement. Only one of the 23 proposed resolutions received a positive endorsement from the JPC. Six received a negative assessment; and the remainder received a conditional assessment. A positive assessment means that the resolution can go forward with only minor, if any, changes by the author. A negative assessment indicates major flaws in the document that would need to be addressed before the policy document could be resubmitted. A conditional assessment indicates that there are some major concerns that need to be addressed by the author(s), but the resolution could go forward if the changes are made.

Below are the list of submitted resolutions and policy papers along with their JPC assessment. The authors of proposed policy statements that receive a negative assessment from the JPC can appeal the decision to the Executive Committee.

GROUP - A: HEALTH DISPARITIES
A-1: Reducing Underage Alcohol Consumption and Advertising to Youth (CONDITIONAL)
A-2: Supporting Environmental Accessibility to Reduce Health Disparities (CONDITIONAL)
A-3: Eliminating Health Disparities Through a Concerted Emphasis on Prevention (NEGATIVE)
A-4: Treatment of Periodontal Disease and Prevention of Pre-term Low Birth Weight Infants (NEGATIVE)
A-5: No Title Submitted. Subject: ER Personnel turning in undocumented immigrants (NEGATIVE)

GROUP - B: ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
B-1: Workplace Violence Prevention-Increased Funding for Intervention Research, Training, and Establishment of an Enforceable OSHA Standard (CONDITIONAL)
B-2: Resolution for Support for Overtime Pay (CONDITIONAL)
B-3: No Title Submitted. Subject: Built Environment (CONDITIONAL)
B-4: Resolution Supporting Environmental Health Education for Health Professionals (CONDITIONAL)
B-5: Preventing human Exposure to Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) Fire Retardants to Protect Public Health (CONDITIONAL)
B-6: Affirming the Necessity of a Secure, Sustainable, and Health-Protective Energy Policy (CONDITIONAL)

GROUP - C ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE
C-1: Support for Repeal of Uniform Individual Accident and Sickness Policy Provision Law (UPPL) Exclusions (CONDITIONAL)
C-2: Support for the Licensure of Naturopathic Doctors as Physician-Level Providers of Comprehensive Health Care (NEGATIVE)
C-3: International Volunteer Vision and Eye Care Services (CONDITIONAL)
C-4: Correctional Health Care Standards and Accreditation(CONDITIONAL)
C-5: Support for Coordinated School Health Programs: Essential Public Health Infrastructure (CONDITIONAL)
C-6: Advocating for the Inclusion of Comprehensive Sex Education Programs in the School System (CONDITIONAL)

GROUP D - PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
D-1: Resolution Condemning Recent Attacks on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and HIV-Related Research (CONDITIONAL)
D-2: Threats to Public Health Science (LB 03) (CONDITIONAL)
D-3: Community-Based Participatory Research (CONDITIONAL)
D-4: No Title-Subject: Food at APHA meetings (NEGATIVE)
D-5: No Title-Subject: Antibiotic resistance (CONDITIONAL)
D-6: Support for Nutrition Labeling in Fast-Food and Other Chain Restaurants (POSITIVE)

E-ssentialLearning: Expanded Access to Annual Meeting Sessions

 
APHA is expanding the educational experience of both presenters and attendees at the APHA Annual Meeting by investing in LCD projectors, computers and new Web-based technology for all scientific sessions. This new technology will enable voice and PowerPoint presentations to be recorded and uploaded to the APHA Web site following the meeting, thus expanding the life of the meeting and providing access to hundreds of actual scientific session presentations that Annual Meeting registrants may have missed while attending other sessions.

Annual Meeting attendees can receive full access to these expanded sessions by registering for E-ssentialLearning on the Annual Meeting registration form. Special introductory discounted fees are $25 for Annual Meeting session presenters, $50 for APHA members (who are not session presenters), and $100 for members and are in effect for anyone registering for the full APHA Annual Meeting by the Oct. 1 pre-registration deadline. These fees will increase substantially for anyone registering on-site in Washington.

Log-in information and password access to these E-ssentialLearning sessions will be provided to registrants immediately following the Annual Meeting.

New! Presenters Able to Upload PowerPoint Presentations in Advance

LCD projectors and computers are now included as part of the standard audiovisual package in each session room. Thise new technology will enable presenters to upload their PowerPoint presentations in advance of the meeting and have them pre-loaded on the APHA session computers. Individual presentations then begin with the click of a mouse. The cost and inconvenience of bringing a computer to the Annual Meeting has been eliminated for presenters, allowing them to take advantage of new technologies as part of the E-ssentialLearning experience.

APHA 2004 Program Planning Update

Program Planning Process
Abstract Review


We have successfully completed a blinded review of each individual abstract and are putting the finishing touches on placing individual abstracts in 90-minute sessions. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered his or her time and expertise throughout this process. We received over 300 individual abstracts and 19 full session proposals. The Environment Section will have scientific sessions on the following topics: Built Environment Institute, Environmental Public Health Infrastructure, Environmental Health Policy and Practice, Science in Environmental Public Health, Global Environmental Public Health, and Disparities in Vulnerable Populations and Communities.

Overall Process

This year, the Section has made several changes in program planning that have improved the process. We created a Program Planning Advisory Council to help with decision making, reduced the number of tracks from 10 to 6 to reduce overlap and confusion when submitting abstracts, and created a process for submission and review of full session proposals. In addition to the changes in abstract review, the section also changed the business-meeting schedule to eliminate conflict with the New Members Reception on Sunday night. One change to be aware of at the APHA level is that there will be LCD’s and laptops for all oral presentations. While this is great news, it does require a little extra planning for presenters. APHA would like all presentations to be submitted ahead of time to allow them to be loaded on the machines in each room, and if slide projectors are needed they have to be specially requested and paid for.

Student Involvement

The Section is again working on ways to include and recognize student participation in our section’s scientific program. We anticipate having another student poster session to highlight the best student work submitted to our section. In addition we will continue to include various student and new professional presentations throughout our program.

It’s Never Too Early to Talk About Next Year

Several section members have made suggestions of ways to improve the call for abstracts, review, and organizing process. If you have recommendations to consider for next year we would love to hear them now and, more importantly, we welcome you to volunteer for a workgroup that will address these issues before the next program planning process begins at the 2004 Annual Meeting in November. Please let Robyn Gilden know if you are interested, <rgilden@son.umaryland.edu>, (410) 706-4803.

APHA 132 Built Environment Institute II

Identifying approaches for building sustainable environments that actively improve human health

The Built Environment Institute, in its second year, is continuing its pursuit of identifying approaches for building sustainable environments that actively improve human health. This year's sessions will: explore the connections between the built environment and obesity; gain perspectives on designing healthy futures; investigate transportation issues and offer possible design solutions; consider a more holistic approach to sustainability in the built environment from building materials selection to creating a more healthful, less toxic built environment; school environments; and a host of other topics spanning several sessions over a very full two-day period, Nov. 8-9, 2004.

The Institute is also planning a field trip on Sunday, November 7 to one of the many planned communities surrounding the Washington, D.C. area. The historic communities of Greenbelt and Columbia Maryland are being considered. Other newer planned communities that have been constructed using new urbanist design principles, such as the Kentlands, are under consideration, as well.

The Built Environment Institute would not be possible without the generous support from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For this we are grateful as this year’s program continues to develop and as we look into future

Green Neighborhood Project

For those of you who have not heard about this project, the Green Neighborhood will be hosted by the Environment Section in the exhibition hall at the 2004 APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7-10. To highlight this year’s theme, “Public Health and the Environment," the Section is planning to showcase organizations that focus on environmental health issues in the exhibition hall by grouping them in a specially marked area. We envision having a distinctive entry with a “green” path through the neighborhood. The neighborhood will be highlighted in the final program and flyers promoting the neighborhood will be distributed at the meeting. Also in the plans are awards for exhibitors who exemplify “Environmentally Friendly Booths.”

Special invitation letters have been sent out by APHA program planning staff to over 80 organizations suggested by members of the Environment Section. (If your organization did not receive one and you would like to be added to next years list or you know of an organization that should be invited, please send us contact information). Space is limited and timelines are short, but we are hoping for an excellent response. As the conference approaches we will keep you up to date and if anyone is interested in helping plan the final details please contact Brenda Afzal, <bafzal@son.umaryland.edu>, (410) 706-1778), or Robyn Gilden, <rgilden@son.umaryland.edu>, (410) 706-4803.

Nurses and Environmentalists: Creating Strength and Value through New Alliances

Nurses care deeply about people’s health. Environmentalists care deeply about the environment. Lo and behold, these two communities have discovered a new common ground where the environment and health converge. Several new and emerging campaigns, networks, and collaborations are supporting nurses and others in their efforts to work on this new common ground called environmental health - a condition in which all living things can thrive.


1. Commonweal Network

In March 2004, at a beautiful northern California retreat center, a dozen each of national nursing leaders and national environmentalist leaders came together for three days of learning each others’ language and values and forging new relationship based on their discovery and recognition of shared interests and concerns. The attendees have formed a network of environmentalists and nursing organizations that are committed to continue the momentum established during the meeting in a variety of ways:


  • Imagining what we would do differently in nursing practice - at the bedside, with building design, about health economics, and with our scientific research agenda - if we had a health care system based on a deep understanding of the unity of personal and planetary health.


  • Working with major nursing educational organizations such as the American Association of the College of Nurses and the National League of Nursing to raise awareness and develop a strategy for better integration of environmental health concepts into basic, advanced, and continuing education.


  • Enhancing nursing’s workplace advocacy and collective bargaining activities by incorporating environmental health into our efforts to improve nursing working conditions.


  • Actively engaging within the nursing community and in partnerships with others towards a goal of healthy people and a healthy environment and recognizing that they are inextricable.


Brenda Afzal, RN, MS, at the Environmental Health Education Center of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, is the “Secretariat” for the follow-up activities from the national retreat and will be facilitating continued information sharing and communication. Information on the follow-up activities will be incorporated into the enviRN Web site: <www.enviRN.umaryland.edu>. To find out more about the national efforts, please contact Ms. Afzal: <afzal@son.umaryland.edu>.


2. Nursing and Environmental Health - APHA Convergence

A new Environmental Health Task Forcehas been established within the Public Health Nursing Section that includes members of the Environmental Health Section as a way of bridging these two important sections in the prospective work of the Task Force. The goals of the Task Force are to:


  • Enhance the PHN Section’s environmental health awareness, expertise, and commitment;


  • Develop a formal collaborative relationship with the Environmental Health Section for purposes of sharing expertise, addressing critical issues, and developing joint programs, which will serve as a model for inter-sectional collaborations;


  • Develop APHA and PHN program sessions for the annual meetings, including research, education and service endeavors; and


  • Make recommendations on broader strategic efforts that can enhance environmental health knowledge and skill in public health nursing.


A full-day, preconference workshop is being planned for the 2004 Annual Meeting to increase public health nurses’ capacity to take leadership roles on environmental health – within their state and local health departments; in local, state, and national policy-making; in academic institutions – for environmental health education and research; and as trusted sources of information within our professional and personal communities.

We welcome all public health nurses and environmental health professionals to join the Environmental Health Task Force to discuss and address critical environmental health issues from a public health perspective. Marjorie Buchanan chairs the new Task Force - <marjorieon@aol.com>. Come and help us imagine what our public health mission should look like if our ultimate goal is public and planetary health.


3. Collaborative for Health and the Environment (CHE)

The Collaborative for Health and the Environment is a network of individuals and organizations that focuses on helping us better understand the science regarding the association between environmental risks and health outcomes. It does this by mining the existing peer-reviewed science and current reports by governmental and non-governmental organizations and presenting it in cogent, accessible ways for health professionals and patients/families who are affected by specific diseases that may be associated with an environmental risk. Every month, there is a free hour-long briefing on the science associated with a specific topic. Past presentations have included Parkinson’s Disease, mercury poisoning, and infertility. Access to these briefings is available to all those who register with the CHE campaign, via their Web site: <www.CHEforhealth.org>. An associated Web site has been created that contains summaries of peer-reviewed papers and categorizes them for easy retrieval – see: <www.protectingourhealth.org>.

In addition to disseminating the science, CHE helps to connect organizations that represent health-affected groups such as the Endometriosis Association and Breast Cancer Action to scientists and advocates who are working on the environmental health risks associated with specific health problems. When people are interested in deeper exploration of a subject or issue, workgroups are convened. For instance, the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative workgroup is made up of people who are concerned about people with learning disabilities, mental retardation, autism, and other developmental disabilities. This particular group sponsored a national meeting in May 2004. Workgroups are made up of people with the diseases of concern, their families, the practitioners who care for them, and scientists. Communication within the workgroups is facilitated by free monthly conference calls to discuss both science and policies issues.
___________
Barbara Sattler, RN, DrPH, FAAN, <bsattler@son.umaryland.edu>, is the Director of the Environmental Health Education Center at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, the home of the first Masters Degree and Post Masters Certificate in Environmental Health Nursing, <www.enviRN.umaryland.edu>.

COALITION FOR HEALTHIER SCHOOLS: Providing the forum for school environmental health

From:

CHILDREN'S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NETWORK
NATIONAL PTA
AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION
HEALTHY SCHOOLS NETWORK

GROUPS DEMAND CONGRESS, BUSH HELP FIX SCHOOL FACILITIES, REDUCE IMPACTS ON CHILDREN

APRIL 19, 2004: National Healthy Schools Day

1. (Monday, April 19, Washington, D.C.) The National PTA, Healthy Schools Network, Children's Environmental Health Network, and APHA, in concert with scores of organizations representing millions of parents and school employees, today called upon members of Congress and President Bush to address the impacts of decayed and environmentally contaminated schools on child health and learning. April 19, 2004 is National Healthy Schools Day and marks the start of National School Building Week.

"Every single day millions of children attend schools whose contaminated conditions harm health and undermine learning. Congress and The Administration know that healthier facilities have better outcomes, yet have failed to invest in key programs to help the nation's 53 million children enrolled in 115,000 schools," said Claire Barnett, Executive Director, Healthy Schools Network,

National PTA President Linda Hodge added, "National PTA believes that every child deserves to learn in a healthy environment and that improving the quality of the school environment will have a significant impact on student academic achievement."

Daniel Swartz, Executive Director, Children's Environmental Health Network, raising questions about illnesses and disabilities, asked, "With asthma the leading cause of school absenteeism and rates of learning disabilities skyrocketing, why can the federal government not help schools understand that environmental factors are playing an increasing role in child development and provide schools with funds to fix health hazards or to engineer better facilities?"

In Washington, the national Coalition wrote to Congress and to President Bush, saying, (excerpt):
"We cannot compel children to attend schools that make them sick; we must provide the renovation and construction funds to ensure that every child has a healthy school. We ask that you:


  • Demand that the US Department of Education submit to you the long-overdue Study of National Significance on the impacts of decayed schools;


  • Fund the Healthy, High Performance Schools program at $25 million a year;


  • Expand funding for US Environmental Protection Agency's "IAQ Tools for Schools" and "Design Tools for Schools" programs;

  • Support federal funds for repairing and for constructing schools; and,


  • Pass the School Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) that requires schools to minimize the use toxic pest control products around children."


Speaking for APHA, Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, added, "The environmental condition of America's schools and the impacts on children, especially low-income children, is a priority for us. Public health must not stop at the schoolhouse door. Should the poorest children and the highest risk learners have to beg for repair funds?"

The national ad hoc Coalition for Healthier Schools, coordinated by Healthy Schools Network, has supported federal funds and policies to improve school buildings. Congress has not renewed $1 billion for repairs, nor funded the Healthy, High Performance Schools program; the Education Department has not sent a long-overdue report to Congress on a National Priority Study on facilities and children authorized in 2002.

Activities around the country to build awareness of facility issues illustrate that local schools can adopt healthier practices and that even high-needs districts are scrambling to put 'healthy, high performance' school building standards into place. Federal support would speed needed changes. A list of activities from coast to coast, including school tours and community-based groups commending schools and policy makers in twelve states for steps towards healthier schools, is appended below in 2.

For more information:
HSN, Claire L. Barnett, (518) 573-5878
CEHN, Daniel Swartz, (202) 543-4033
PTA, Courtney Snowden, (202) 289-6790
APHA, Donald Hoppert, (202) 777-2514





2. THE FOLLOWING STATE-BY-STATE ACTIVITIES SHOW WIDE SUPPORT, NEED FOR HEALTHIER SCHOOLS

Arizona: Tucson school hosts tour to demonstrate to parents, community, and students merits of nontoxic interior paints and healthy maintenance practices. Ian Ornstein, (520) 628-1553.

California: Moraga parents praise local district for adopting green cleaning and for remediating arsenic-treated equipment to protect the well-being of Moraga children. Tony Randazzo, Moraga School District, (925) 376-4151. The Healthy Children Organizing Project congratulates the San Francisco Unified School District for adopting 'high performance school' design standards to improve the indoor air quality in its schools as it allocates newly approved $295 million for construction. Neil Gendel, (415) 777-9648.

Connecticut: Foundation for Environmentally Safe Schools sends national Position Statement to all members of Connecticut General Assembly, highlights connection between federal and state reforms, urges careful attention to landmark Indoor Air Quality legislation passed last year. Joellen Lawson, (203) 426-2954.

Illinois: Illinois Healthy Schools Campaign honors Chicago Public Schools for leadership in High Performance School design and other measures to promote healthier schools. Mark Bishop, (312) 593-5931.

Maryland: PTA Council of Howard County celebrates successful introduction of the School Environment Team (SET) Program into 24 schools, looks forward to phase-in of SET into all 69 schools, and the program as a role model for other Maryland schools. Veronika Carella, Chair, Health & Environmental Issues Committee/PTACHC, (410) 489-5495.

Massachusetts: Mass. PTA and Mass. Committee on Occupational Safety and Health support "Healthy Cleaning Products" legislation that will reduce the toxicity of products routinely used in schools, day care, and other locations, and endorse national Position Statement. Ellie Goldberg, (617) 965-9637, M-PTA; Tolle Graham, (617) 291-7763 or (617) 825-7233 ext. 19, MassCOSH.

Maine: Sponsoring groups, including American Lung Association of Maine and state agencies, highlight a South Portland school piloting the "Safe and Healthy School Team" as a new facility management system designed to prevent 'sick' schools. Ginny Mott, (207) 738-2180.

New Jersey: The NJ Work Environment Council, with labor and environment allies, commend the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services for convening the first ad hoc healthy schools state interagency meeting this spring and urge continued cooperation by the NJ Schools Construction Corporation and the state departments of Community Affairs, Education, Environmental Protection, and Labor. Jim Young, (973) 233-1946

New York State: Healthy schools advocates send new report on science and policy for High Performance Schools to policy-makers as Legislators pass joint Resolution proclaiming April 19 Healthy Schools Day; press conference in State Capitol commends bipartisan bills on banning mercury and ensuring children's health. Stephen Boese, (518) 462-1426.

Oregon: Oregon Environmental Council praises the Oregon Department of Education and the local schools in Salem-Keizer, Beaverton, and Portland for efforts to reduce diesel emissions by reducing idling, as well as retrofits and use of low-sulfur diesel; urges more resources to speed retrofits and up-grades. Laura Weiss, (503) 222-1963 ext. 111.

Virginia: "Green TC" and the community celebrate $80,000,000 TC Williams High School renovation to begin this summer that is on track for a LEED 'green' building rating. David Peabody, (703) 684-1986.

Washington State: Parent expert and state representative urge Governor and State Department of Health to correct school drinking water quality regulations to address lead and other contaminants. Dr. Mark S. Cooper, (206) 683-4182, State Rep. Maralyn Chase, 360-786-7880. State of Washington Education Association becomes first NEA local in nation this spring to form 'healthy schools' caucus. Chip Halverson, (509) 454-1848 or Art Busch, (509) 452-6559.

National Coalition participants: American Association on Mental Retardation * American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees * Alliance for Healthy Homes * American Lung Association * American Public Health Association * Beyond Pesticides * Center for Health Environment and Justice * Children's Health Environmental Coalition * Children's Environmental Health Network * Connecticut Foundation for Environmentally Safe Schools * Environmental Defense * Funders Forum on Environment and Education * Healthy Kids: The Key to Basics (MA) Healthy Schools Network * Illinois Healthy Schools Campaign * Improving Kids Environment (IN) Institute for Children's Environmental Health * League of Conservation Voters * Learning Disabilities Association of America * Marin Golden Gate Learning Disabilities Association (CA) * Massachusetts Healthy Schools Network * National Center for Environmental Health Strategies * National Education Association * National Education Association/Health Information Network * National Environmental Education and Training Foundation * National PTA * Natural Resources Defense Council * New Jersey Work Environment Council * New Jersey Environmental Federation * Oregon Environmental Council * Physicians for Social Responsibility * Public Education Network * Stuyvesant High School Parents Association (NY, NY) * Twenty-first Century Schools Fund * State of Washington Healthy Schools Roundtable * West Harlem Environmental Action

And,

American Lung Association of Maine
American Occupational Therapy Association, Bethesda, MD
Apollo Alliance for Good Jobs & Energy Independence, Washington, DC

Boston Urban Asthma Coalition, MA
Buckeye Environmental Network, Grove City, OH

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics, Eureka, CA
Cancer Prevention Coalition of Los Angeles, Malibu, CA
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program/MI Dept. of Community Health
Citizens Environmental Coalition, Albany, NY
Clean Air Council, Philadelphia, Pa
Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Baltimore, MD
Coalition for Environmentally Safe Communities, Rockville, MD
Community Toolbox for Children's Environmental Health, CAL
Connecticut Education Association

EcoSchools USA, San Francisco, CA
Education Law Center, Newark, NJ
Embracing Your Life, LLC, Louisville, KY
Environmental Advocates of New York State
Environmental Health Watch, Cleveland, OH

Fulton (NY) IAQ Task Force
Greater Newark Conservancy, NJ

Healthy Building Network, Washington, DC
Healthy-Communications.com
Healthy Children's Organizing Project/Consumer Action, San Francisco, CA
Healthy Homes Network of Greater Kansas City
Health Impact, Seattle, WA
Healthy Living Foundation, Jupiter, FL

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Chicago, IL
Informed Choices, Slidell, LA
Isles, Inc., Trenton, NJ

Jordan Institute, Inc., Concord, NH
Kids for Saving Earth, MN

League of Conservation Voters of New York State
League of Conservation Voters, Washington, DC
Learning Disabilities Association of Maine
Literacy for Environmental Justice, San Francisco, CA

Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, Westminster, MD
Massachusetts Association for the Chemically Injured
Massachusetts Association of Special Education Parent Advisory Councils, Sharon, MA
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
Massachusetts PTA
Mississippi 2020 Network, Jackson MS
Montana Environmental Information Center

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Washington, DC
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Cherry Hill, NJ
New Jersey Citizen Action
New York State Association of School Nurses
New York State United Teachers

Ohio Help End Lead Poisoning (Ohio HELP)
Ohio Fair Schools Campaign, Athens, OH

Parents for Nontoxic Alternatives, Washington, DC
Partnership Effort for the Advancement of Children's Health (PEACH), Durham, NC
PublicsRightToKnow, Malibu, CA
R&D Supply, Inc., Auburn, WA
ReSource for Health, Louisville, KY

Safe Minds, Tyrone, GA
Safer Pest Control Project, Chicago, IL
Shaw Middle School, Philadelphia, PA
South Bronx (NY) Clean Air Coalition

Toxics Information Project (TIP, Providence, RI
Trenton (NJ) Coalition for Healthy Schools
Turtle Clan Environment Testing, Inc., Stratford, CT

Washington (State) Education Association/Healthy Schools Caucus
Weare Advocacy, Weare, NH
Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health, Buffalo, NY

_______________________________________
Claire L. Barnett, Executive Director
Healthy Schools Network, Inc.

Coordinator, Coalition for Healthier Schools

www.healthyschools.org
t. (518) 462-0632, (212) 482-0204

NEW 40-YEAR MEMBERS

Congratulations to the following long-term members of all sections!

MEMBERS SECTION AFFILIATION

Theodor Abelin, MD, MPH IH
Charles F. Ahlers, MA ENV
Joseph Ciro Barbaccia, MD, MPH GH
H. Lee Binkley, PhD IH
Richard H. Blum, PhD MCH
Patricia A. Buffler, PhD, MPH EPI
Delwin P. K. Ching ENV
D. Walter Cohen, DDS OH
Morton Corn, PhD OHS
Sydney H. Croog, PhD EPI
Jean B. Cropper ENV
Richard E. Erickson, MPH ENV
R. W. Finner, MD MH
Paul F. Fleer OHS
Beverly C. Flynn, PhD PHN
Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr. EPI
I. Paul Geleris, MD GH
Donald B. Giddon, PhD, DMD OH
Rjurik Golubjatnikov, MPH, PhD LAB
Peter Greenwald, MD, DrPH EPI
Rita Joan Haahn, MSPH, BSN PHN
Clark Wright Heath, Jr., MD EPI
Ruth M. Heifetz, MD, MPH OHS
Austin N. Heller, MS, AB ENV
Martin Hirsch, BS, MPH MC
Edward Howard, MPH ENV
Richard K. C. Hsieh, DrPH, MSE MC
Jeanne Johnston, MPH, RN, BSN PHN
Sally Hull Jones, MA MC
John M. Karefa-Smart, MPH IH
Kathleen M. Keenan, PhD STAT
Arnold I. Kisch, MD, MPH MC
Alex Krems MC
Julia J. Kula, MPH FN
Lewis H. Kuller, MD, DrPH EPI
John Murray Last, MD, DPH EPI
Edward L. Lichtenstein, MPH CHPPD
R. Jeannine Lyerly, MPH GH
Edward D. Maggiore, DDS, MA, DrPH OH
Wanda Marra, MPH, MA PHN
William R. Montgomery, PhD SW
Jesse S. Ortiz, DrPH LAB
David L. Rabin, MD, MPH GH
Wallis E. Reagin, OD VC
Carol K. Redmond, ScD STAT
Yvonne Russell, MD MCH
Elliot A. Segal, MPH MC
Sydney D. Shaulis, MPH, MA, ATS PHEHP
Victor W. Sidel, MD MC
Estelle Siker, MD, MPH MCH
Shirley Louise Smale, MPH PHN
Lawrence T. Smedley, PhD OHS
William N. Smirl, MPH, CSP, PE ENV
Hope H. Snider, MD, MPH MC
Monroe Winter Spero, MD, MPH MH
Theodor D. Sterling, PhD EPI
Florence M. Tankevich, MS, RN PHN
Frits Van Der Kuyp, MD, MPH EPI
Shirley T. Van Zetta, MPH PHN
Bea J. Vandenberg, MD, DrPH MCH
Eugene Vayda, MD MC
Doris L. Wagner-Ferguson, MS PHN
George L. Wasser, MSc PHEHP
Donald Morgan Watkin, MD, MPH, FACP FN
Henry Wechsler, PhD ATOD
Calvin H. Weiss, DDS OH
William L. Wendlandt, MPH PHEHP
Jane Wentworth, MPH, PhD FN
Siegfried Wolff, PhD, MPH HA
James Griffith Zimmer, MD, DTPH GH

City of Fort Worth Selected 2004 Crumbine Award Winner

The City of Fort Worth (Texas) Public Health Department has been selected as the recipient of the 2004 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for Excellence in Food Protection.

For more inforamtion, contact Lynn Rosseth, director of market development and programs of the Foodservice & Packaging Institute at (703) 538-2800. A copy of Fort Worth's award-winning application is available on the FPI Web site:<www.fpi.org>.

Call for 2004 Environment Section Award Nominations

Nominations for Section Awards are open. In particular, the two Awards include the Section's Distinguished Service Award (DSA) and the presenter for the annual Homer N. Calver Lecture. The DSA is presented to the person who has exhibited outstanding service to the Section, to the field of Environment Health and to APHA. Many deserving members of our organization are eligible, so please submit their names accompanied by a short letter of support. The annual Calver Lecture is presented by a distinguished individual from the area in which the APHA Annual Meeting is held (2004: Washington, D.C.). The presenter’s primary message focuses on late breaking innovations in environment and public health. Our Section continues to have a distinguished list of past award winners. Please forward nominations to Nominations Chair Allen Dearry and Awards Chair Leon Vinci, at the following e-mail addresses: <Dearry@Niehs.Nih.Gov> and <lfv6@aol.com>.

Announcement

The Environmental Section's Web site has been updated and is now streamlined, easier to read, and ready for new content! Information currently available on the site includes the section's vision and mission, history, principles, goals, the bylaws, the strategic plan, and information on leadership, committees, and membership. An upcoming content update will include a searchable Excel database of the section's existing policy statements, and other updates to current content is highly encouraged. Visit the site at <http://depts.washington.edu/aphaenv/>.