Section Newsletter
Spring 2006

I. Note from Environment Section Communications Chair/E-News Editors

Timelines for final e-newsletter in 2006 (fall edition):

Please send ideas for contributions, for the subsections below or other ones we are happy to create, by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues in 2006 of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org (forwards to home and work computers) for Derek and Andrea.Wismann@UCHSC.edu for Andrea Wismann, our new Secretary-elect.  

The submission deadlines will be publicized through the APHA monthly e-newsletters for the two months prior to deadline (for fall 2006, this would be August and September).  A final notice is then sent to the Section’s primary members about a week in advance of the deadline by APHA at our request.

II. APHA Environment Section’s Membership Committee Report: Highlights of the Membership Survey

Did you attend the Environment Section business meeting in Philadelphia in December?  If you did not, you missed the results of one of the year-long efforts of the Membership Committee, namely the results of the Environment Section survey. Completed in late-October, 2005, the purpose of the survey was to gather information needed to continue to respond to the needs of the Section membership.  More than 200 people, or about 20 percent, of the Section's members responded.  Here are a few highlights from the survey:  Fifty-five percent of the respondents were members of the Environment Section two years or less.  Of the non-mutually exclusive reasons people joined:  90 percent joined to join other environmental professionals in promoting public health; 88 percent to establish professional contacts through networking opportunities; 86 percent to affiliate with a national organization; 83 percent to receive up-to-date information; 61 percent for continuing education; and 53 percent to engage in person leadership development.

The top four benefits/services offered by APHA were networking, advocacy, the American Journal of Public Health and The Nation's Health. With regard to the Environment Section, although 40 percent rated the Section's accomplishments within the last year good or better, 43 percent had no opinion of accomplishments, meaning that we need to do a better job of letting our Section members know what we are doing.  As a corollary to that, when asked what "would you like to see improved upon" in the Section, more than 70 percent of respondents cited a communication-related issue as a first choice.  These included: communication about environment/public health policies and issues; more communication between leadership and members; an updated Environment Section Web site; and communication about APHA policies and issues.  On the other end of the scale, recruitment gained the spot as the last thing members thought our Section needed to improve and mentoring and networking fell in the middle.   

Always on the look out for new blood for the section leadership, we asked the question, if you considered but decided not to run for a Section elected position, why? Almost half of the respondents (48 percent) wrote in that they had time commitments/constraints/limitations. Coming in number two, at 31 percent, were issues related to elected positions, some of which demonstrated a lack of knowledge about those positions, including: being too new; already involved; "term is too long;" not knowing the requirements; not knowing enough people to run for office; and "I don't like to do these things."  

The last question was really not a question, just a place for comments.  Members basically used this question as a forum for letting us know what additional activities they would like to see the Section involved in.  For example, there was a desire for the Section to be a serious research organization; plan/promote improvements in community water supplies/waste management facilities; and support education to reduce magico-religious mercury contamination of Latino/Caribbean homes.  In addition, members expressed a wide range of views, including: dues should be lower; the Section should provide more mentoring; establish a recruitment Web site for volunteers; have a monthly article in AJPH;
have local meetings; share the membership list with organizations with common interests; have more involvement with public health agencies; have better communication about Section activities/APHA structure/advocacy.

Now that we know what you feel we should be working on, we shall establish a timeline for attending to some of these activities.  We welcome your participation to make these things happen.  
Please contact us; we look forward to having you join us. 

Dorothy Stephens, Dorothy.Stephens@CMS.hhs.gov and/or Susan Lynn Stone, Stone.Susan@epamail.epa.gov

III. APHA Environment Section “Student Corner” (1)

A.             2006 Student Co-Liaisons Introductions

Students can be the driving catalyst in public health progress, which is why our involvement in the APHA Environmental Section is so important. As co-liaisons to this section, we are very excited to be working with such a dedicated group of public health professionals.

Who are we?

My name is Rebecca Tave Gluskin and I am currently a prospective MSc candidate in Environmental Health at New York University. My research is in air pollution, with interests branching into policy.

My name is Taylor Anderson, and I am currently working towards a MPH in Health Education and Health Promotion at Portland State University. I plan to do PhD work in epidemiology, with the ultimate goal of research and teaching. I have a broad range of interests in public health, with environmental health being a main one.

To get a jump start this spring, we would like to hear from the APHA student community. Tell us why you are interested in environmental health, what you would like to gain from this group and what you would like to contribute. For example, do you want networking opportunities (at Annual Meeting and during other times), ways to get involved with policy, updates on research, award opportunities, etc.? We hope to make this a beneficial resource for the APHA Environmental Section student community.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Rebecca Tave Gluskin                
Co-Liaison Environmental Section APHA       
Prospective MSc Environmental Health            
New York University                                          
Taylor Anderson
Co-Liaison Environmental Section APHA
Prospective MPH Health Education/Health Promotion
Portland State University

III. APHA Environment Section “Student Corner” (2)


We have initiated the “Student Corner” portion of our seasonal newsletter for use by and the benefit of our student members.  We encourage student members to send text by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org and Andrea.Wismann@UCHSC.edu.  We encourage short update reports from our section’s Student Involvement Committee and news pertaining to APHA’s Student Assembly of interest to our section membership. 

IV. APHA 2006 Annual Meeting, Boston, Nov. 5-8, 2006 (1)


Please go to http://www.apha.org/meetings for more information and specific deadlines by Section; each edition of the American Journal of Public Health and The Nation’s Health newspaper now have overall program information, registration forms, etc.

[EDITOR NOTE: Aditi Vaidya is our senior program planner for 2006, joined by August Martin, our new junior program planner.]

Submitted by: 2005 Environment Section Program Planners,

Aditi Vaidya (aditi_v1@yahoo.com)

IV APHA 2006 Annual Meeting, Boston, Nov. 5-8, 2006 (2)

APHA 2006 Update: Opening and Closing Session Speakers Announced

Appropriate for this year's theme “Public Health and Human Rights,” Paul E. Farmer, MD, PhD, a founding director of Partners In Health and a world-renowned authority on AIDS and tuberculosis, and Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH, president and CEO of CARE USA, will speak in the Opening General Session, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2006.

The Closing General Session on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006, will focus on increasing access to health care and examine initiatives at the state and federal level that incorporate individual and employer mandates. Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative, a coalition of organizations seeking to insure quality affordable health care, and John E. McDonough, executive director of Health Care for All, Massachusetts’ leading consumer health advocacy organization, will be the speakers. APHA Headquarters, via Editors derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org

IV. APHA 2006 Annual Meeting, Boston, Nov. 5-8, 2006(3)


APHA 2006 Update: Notification of Abstract Status by June 1

Notification of abstract status will be sent to abstract submitters via e-mail by June 1.

If your e-mail address has changed or will change by this date, contact Conference Exchange at (401) 334-0220.

If you do not receive your e-mail by June 1, please check your e-mail spam folders or log on to: http://apha.confex.com/apha/134am/abstractstatus.cgi to check abstract status.

Submitted by: APHA Headquarters, via Derek Shendell

IV. APHA 2006 Annual Meeting, Boston, Nov. 5-8, 2006 (4)

D. Please Register to Vote During APHA 2006 via Absentee Ballot!

This year's Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006, will happen during the APHA Annual Meeting in Boston.  Make your voice heard in the ballot box by registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot before your state deadline!  Click here for more information: https://ssl.capwiz.com/apha/e4/.

IX. Inter-Section and Policy Updates (1)


Report from Environmental Health and Public Health Nursing Task Force

The task force is a joint collaboration between the Environment Section and the Public Health Nursing Section. Throughout 2005, with the support of a mini-grant from Nurses Work Group of Health Care Without Harm, the taskforce developed environmental health "Principles and Recommendations," which were approved in December by the PHN Section and endorsed by the Quad Council of PHN Organizations (ACHNE, ASTDN, ANA).   The "Principles and Recommendations" document will be shared with the Environment Section for the section's endorsement. Work for the taskforce in 2006 is being supported by another HCWH mini-grant to prepare a "Greenprint for Action," which will serve to raise awareness and foster adoption of the environmental health principles and recommendations for environmental health practice, education, research, and advocacy.

For more information on the taskforce, to receive our "Principles and Recommendations" and/or "Greenprint for Action," or to join the efforts, please contact the Co-Chairs listed below.

Rita Lourie (PHN), Robyn Gilden (ENV)

IX. Inter-Section and Policy Updates (2)


Please read APHA’s The Nation’s Health for policy updates, including on outdoor air pollution standards and source emissions policy (May 2006) at http://www.apha.org/tnh/index.cfm?fa=ADetail&id=2698 .

Note from Environment Section Communications Chair/e-News Editors

Timelines for final e-newsletter in 2006 (fall edition):

Please send ideas for contributions, for the subsections below or other ones we are happy to create, by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues in 2006 of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org (forwards to home and work computers) for Derek and Andrea.Wismann@UCHSC.edu for Andrea Wismann, our new Secretary-elect.  

The submission deadlines will be publicized through the APHA monthly e-newsletters for the two months prior to deadline (for fall 2006, this would be August and September).  A final notice is then sent to the Section’s primary members about a week in advance of the deadline by APHA at our request.

V. The National Council on Diversity in Environmental Health

The National Council on Diversity in Environmental Health (NCODE Health), still in its formative stage as a national organization, actually has three years of significant experience in diversity recruitment and retention. A collaborative effort between Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) brought together a truly diverse group of environmental health scientists representing multiple federal, state, and local government organizations, academia and industry, and formed the National Environmental Health Diversity Recruitment Task Force (NEHDRTF).  

The NEHDRTF’s mission was to develop and implement a diversity recruitment and retention model that could achieve racial and ethnic diversity among environmental health students and faculty, and eventually the environmental health workforce. The model was developed and piloted at Eastern Kentucky University from 2003 through 2006 with tremendous success.  

The model encompasses key factors, or “best practices,” that include:

•   Leadership/management commitment
•   Nexus concept (partnerships)
•   Broad organizational strategic planning for diversity
•   Program goals that include targeted recruitment populations
•   Program goals that include recruiting diverse faculty
•   Development of curriculum that encourages diversity
•   Creation of an advisory diversity council of local practitioners
•   Creation of an active student environmental health association
•   Embracing a “Students are "our customers" policy
•   Encouragement of parental involvement
•   Recruitment as a “way of life”

The immediate positive results in the EKU pilot included higher numbers of diverse students enrolling in environmental health classes and declaring environmental health as their majors. By November 2004 the NEHDRTF realized that to disseminate the important lessons learned in this unique recruitment model nationally, and to be able to provide other organizations with assistance, an independent national organization was necessary.  By November 2005 a strategic plan for organizational development was initiated and the National Council on Diversity in Environmental Health came into existence.
NCODE Health’s platform and beliefs are as follows:
•   Diversity fosters stronger Environmental Public Health leadership
•   Dedication to improving the field of Environmental Public Health.
•   Diversity is critical to the future of Environmental Public Health, Public Health as a whole, and the economic health of the nation.
•   Diverse student bodies and faculties must be created in educational institutions to produce a diverse workforce.
•   A diverse workforce in Environmental Public Health is essential to bring “emerging professionals” into the field.  
•   Effectiveness in resolving Environmental Public Health concerns in a community is related to the degree to which the environmental public health workforce is representative of the population it serves.
•   Solutions and innovations to enhance diversity must be incorporated in all sectors of the environmental public health workforce within local, State and Federal programs, academia and industry.

Diverse student bodies and faculties are crucial to the provision of truly comprehensive environmental public health education and the development of a diverse environmental public health workforce with informed leadership. Increasing diversity in the Environmental Public Health workforce, and especially in the leadership, is a critically important step towards achieving greater competency in the resolution of the disproportionately high number of environmental public health problems faced by our nation’s diverse communities.

Currently, NCODE Health is seeking and contacting potential partnering organizations.  It has initiated such efforts in the Atlanta, Georgia area, including Georgia State University’s Institute of Public Health, Spelman College, and various federal and local/county agencies.  Individuals and organizations interested in NCODE Health and its initiatives should contact Dr. Welford Roberts.

VI. Summaries of Other Upcoming or Recent Meetings and Workshops (1)


International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant, 2006

The International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant has become the preeminent international forum for formal presentation and discussion of scientific advances concerning environmental mercury pollution. The depth, breadth, and pace of scientific discovery on the sources, environmental transport and fate, biogeochemical cycling, and adverse effects of mercury have increased enormously since the inaugural conference was convened in Sweden in 1990. In view of proposed U.S. and international actions on mercury emissions, the 2006 conference will present a timely opportunity to assimilate, synthesize, and disseminate scientific knowledge and technical information in a form useful to policy discussions involving mercury in the environment.

The 8th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant will be convened in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, August 6-11, 2006.

All are invited to participate in this global mercury conference, which will again feature scientific advances in mercury research, with an expanded scope to include socioeconomic issues and public policy.

One of the principal goals of the 8th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant is to increase participation by under-represented groups. Under-represented groups include: graduate students and beginning professionals conducting mercury research;  members of non governmental organizations working on mercury issues; representatives of developing nations involved with the mercury problem; and leaders of communities affected by mercury pollution, particularly indigenous and immigrant fishing communities.

To increase participation by under-represented groups at the conference, financial assistance to attend the conference is available. More information is available at: http://www.mercury2006.org/Default.aspxtabid=1517

VI. Summaries of Other Upcoming or Recent Meetings and Workshops (2)


Joint meeting on Environmental Exposure and Epidemiology in Paris

Two international societies fostering the scientific foundation of the public health discipline of environmental health will meet this fall on the theme of Science, Population Diversity, Caution and Precaution.

The International Society of Exposure Analysis (ISEA) and the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) will meet together in Paris, Sept. 2-6, 2006, to discuss science and policy around three main themes.  The themes are:
*    The relationship between early-life exposures, early damage to developing systems, and chronic disease in later life;
*    The interaction between environmental exposures and genes; in particular, how understanding the diversity of gene expression in humans and testing the gene-environment interaction will improve the study of environmentally caused disease; and
*    The scientific and societal basis of protective public health policy developed when scientific information on environmental hazards is incomplete or uncertain.

This exciting meeting in an acclaimed city has something for every scientist and policy-maker involved in environmental health.  A wide variety of sessions, classes and workshops are designed to bring together exposure scientists and environmental epidemiologists to exchange skills, techniques, ideas, and viewpoints on the common goal of improving the sciences that link environmental exposure and disease, and the policies for prevention.

Visit the conference Web site (http://www.paris2006.afsset.fr/) to learn more about the conference. Registration for the conference is now open and the deadline for early registration is June 15, 2006.  

The conference is hosted by the AFSSET, a new public administrative body reporting to the French ministers for ecology, health, and employment. Learn more at http://www.afsset.fr.

Members of the two societies publish their research in the official journals, The Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology and Epidemiology.  For more information about them, please see www.iseaweb.org and http://www.iseepi.org/, respectively.

Pamela Shubert, Environmental Toxicologist
Minnesota Department of Health
Environmental Health Division  

Michael Dellarco, Dr. PH, President of ISEA, dellarco.michael@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA/NCEA (8623-N)

VI. Summaries of Other Upcoming or Recent Meetings and Workshops (3)


October 2006 Meeting by Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment, one of 10 pediatric environmental health specialty units in the country, is planning a continuing education meeting in Pittsburgh in October, 2006 in conjunction with Pittsburgh Children Hospital. Further details will be presented in the fall 2006 APHA Environment Section newsletter (September 2006). For more information about this meeting, please go to: http://www.health-e-kids.org.

Co-Director, Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health & the Environment, George Washington University, 2141 K St, NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20037-1866

VI. Summaries of Other Upcoming or Recent Meetings and Workshops (4)


Annual National Environmental Health Association Conference

The NEHA 70th Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition is being held in downtown San Antonio, Texas, Sunday-Wednesday, June 25-28, 2006. For more information, including registration and the detailed day-by-day agenda, please go to http://www.neha.org/AEC/2006/index.html.

VII. Selected New Publications on Environmental Public Health Topics (1)


We encourage other APHA Environment Section members to share information about new reports and books, available free on the Internet from their organizations, which have the potential to be of broad interest to section members due to their multidisciplinary nature and/or focus on prevention (of exposures, disparities, morbidity, mortality, disability) or policy.  However, due to space limitations, please note we publicize neither reports which are also available as archived peer-reviewed journal articles nor government reports and Web sites.  Please send your ideas with descriptive text (250-300 words or less) by the appropriate deadlines for upcoming issues of the APHA Environment Section e-newsletter to derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org and Andrea.Wismann@UCHSC.edu. 

VII. Selected New Publications on Environmental Public Health Topics (2)


1.) New Report: "Student Volunteers At Risk in Gulf Coast"

This report was distributed through the National Parent-Teacher Association legislative listserv and was one of the top stories in the March 31 edition of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Clearinghouse for Worker Health and Safety’s e-News Brief; please see,

These are resources for public health professionals across public and private sectors who wish to demonstrate public leadership and advocacy, with the goal to prevent illness and widespread disability from affecting a generation of young people who are only trying to volunteer their time and energy to assist those in need.

VII. Selected New Publications on Environmental Public Health Topics (3)

B. 2.) New Mold Course Available The New EPA Mold Course for environmental and public health professionals is now available at: http://www.epa.gov/mold. This course features information on mold prevention and remediation. It is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary guidance document Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. The target audience is environmental and public health professionals. The course includes an Image Library -- mold and moisture photos may be used for presentations and educational purposes without contacting EPA. This course is free and available to all. EPA will not provide a certificate, certification, or any other credential for viewing the course -- it is for informational purposes only. Some organizations may choose to offer continuing education credits (CEUs) for completion of the course. EPA does not track test results or provide the information to any other party. All participation in the course is completely anonymous. Laura Kolb, MPH Kolb.Laura@epamail.epa.gov

VII. Selected New Publications on Environmental Public Health Topics (4)



A Dialogue, a Film and a Forum: Community Outreach in Southern Louisiana after the 2005 Gulf Storm Season

We began our outreach project in Louisiana with a clear objective framed by the NIEHS Center Community Outreach & Education Core (COEC) at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas (UTMB).  We were asked to meet with community based environmental leaders to determine how our Center could best collaborate with local groups in research and capacity-building efforts.  In early October, we traveled east from Galveston and briefly rendezvoused with another outreach crew from UTMB and UT/MD Anderson Cancer Center –- trucking water, diapers and assorted medical supplies –- at the home of Rochelle Ste. Marie in La Rose, Louisiana, our community liaison throughout much of this project.  The next day we embarked on a scoping journey that ranged through greater Baton Rouge, Tangipahoa, Orleans, St. Bernard, Jefferson, Lafourche, and Terrebonne Parishes, and the city of New Iberia.  We returned twice, attending the Louisiana Environmental Action Network conference in November, and again in December, to gauge the progress of recovery efforts in Chalmette, a petrochemical industry fence-line community in St. Bernard Parish, southeast of New Orleans and the site of the Murphy Oil spill.   Equipped with a basic video camera –- and few other technical embellishments -- we posed the following core questions to each of our community respondents:

•     What significant damage did your region sustain during or because of hurricanes Katrina and Rita?

•     What is the most significant threat to human health in your area, post-Katrina (or Rita)?

•     How has the hurricane evacuation, reentry and recovery process disrupted the social fabric of your area, and Louisiana generally?

•     What environmental health projects –- involving collaborations among environmental scientists, health care/social service providers and communities -- do you think are most important to safeguard the health of people and the ecosystem in your region and the state?

•     Describe your organization's response to this disaster.  How have you modified your mission to make an effective response?  How have these modifications affected your organization's capacity to realize your original mission?  (This strand of questioning was applicable only in interviews with members of environmental orgs.)

We distilled the results of our interviews into a series of ideas: a community "wish list" of potential collaborative research projects uniting local environmental groups, NIEHS Center investigators, health care providers and public policy makers.   These results were presented by Pam Diamond, Director of the UTMB/NIEHS Community Outreach & Education Core, at the NIEHS Center Directors Conference at Vanderbilt University, Oct. 31 - Nov. 1, 2005.  We also hoped this inversion of the traditional risk communication paradigm -– shifting the balance of power from expert to local knowledge -– would shed new light on regional risk perception and the effects of risk communication efforts by various states, regional and federal agencies, and provide new perspectives on site-specific exposure pathways. 

We also montaged our still photographs, interview and location footage and separate sound tracks into a documentary film entitled, "…after the wind, child, after the water's gone…"  This film was presented in UTMB's Preventive Medicine & Community Health seminar series, and was an official selection for the 2006 New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival (www.nolahumanrights.org).  Additional screenings are planned at the Center for the study of Society and the Environment/Rice University and through local Sierra Club chapters.  Our process is described in an article entitled, "States of Shock & Unknowing: on Documenting the Wake of Katrina & Rita in Southern Louisiana," accessible at: http://www.communityarts.net/readingroom/archivefiles/2006/04/states_of_shock.php. 

In April, the Public Forum & Toxics Assistance Division of the NIEHS COEC was awarded Pilot Project funding to implement a site-specific "tox & risk" community outreach program in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.   Project CEHRO (Community Environmental Health & Risk Outreach) will condense elements of the ATSDR Community Toxicology and Health Risk Communication Primer, the EPA Cumulative Risk and Community Vulnerability framework, EPA/LDEQ area toxicity data, and local knowledge of exposure pathways and risk perceptions into a translational workshop for community "tox & risk" educators, and two general Community Forums on the following topics identified as significant during the interview process: 1) health hazards and precautions associated with mold, 2) water, sludge and (possibly) dust borne pathogens, such as various vibrio species, staphylococcus, etc., 3) household and industrial spills, leaks and seepages, 4) coastal issues like saltwater infiltration of estuaries, marshland deterioration, adequacy of levees, 5) mental health effects, and 6) evacuation routes and safety.   The project is slated for September 2006, probably in Houma, La. We hope to offer similar programs in east Texas communities affected by Hurricane Rita.

John Sullivan, co-director: Public Forum & Toxics Assistance            

Sealy Center for Environmental Health & Medicine       

NIEHS Center for Environmental Toxicology                 

Galveston, Texas


Bryan Parras

TEJAS & Nuestra Palabra

Videographer Photographer

Houston, Texas

VII. Selected New Publications on Environmental Public Health Topics (5)



In the Wake of the Storm: Katrina’s Story Has Only Begun

As the next hurricane season quickly approaches, beginning June 1, the Gulf Coast’s low-income communities of color are still left behind.  These communities' “days of hurt and loss are likely to become years of grief, dislocation and displacement,” says Manuel Pastor, co-director of the University of California/Santa Cruz Center of Justice, Tolerance and Community.

Six colleagues from different disciplines and universities, with the Russell Sage Foundation’s support, have probed environmental inequality and public health disparities in the United States in the new report In the Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster, and Race after Katrina.  Written by Manuel Pastor (Univ. CA/Santa Cruz), Robert Bullard (Clark Atlanta), James Boyce (Univ. of MA/Amherst), Alice Fothergill (Univ. of Vermont), Rachel Morello-Frosh (Brown University) and Beverly Wright (Dillard University), the report will shatter any remaining illusions that disaster rescue in the United States is an equal opportunity affair, in which all citizens enjoy the same chances for relief.

“We hope to shed light on many in the U.S. who live their own slow-motion Katrinas -- near toxics, suffering with or fearing chronic disease,” pledge the six, all senior scholars of environmental justice from across the U.S -- one of whom the hurricane displaced.

“The first step of a 12-step program is to admit you have a problem,” says sociologist Robert Bullard.  “Our findings suggest we’re hooked on hiding hazards among the most vulnerable and disenfranchised.  It’s time to face reality and offer new strategies.”

The authors document the history of disparities evident before, during and after disasters, to put Katrina in a broader context.  By tracking the slow recovery of low income people of color*due to less information, fewer loans, less government relief and racial bias in housing*they warn of disasters-in-the-making.  Additionally, they offer specific recommendations to guarantee environmental quality and incorporate community voices in the Gulf Coast.

In the Wake of the Storm calls for enforcing environmental standards, strengthening public health resources, conducting independent environmental monitoring and balancing green building and equitable development to prevent “hazard shifting” or displacing long-time residents and developing new mechanisms for community participation.

VII. Selected New Publications on Environmental Public Health Topics (6)


Coalition Representing Hundreds of Groups Calls for Congressional Hearing and Federal Health Actions A new report released April 24 shows an estimated 32 million children at high risk for health and learning impairments triggered by their own schools. State-by-state analysis, including personal stories, illustrate the problems are deeper and more widespread than previously acknowledged. Monday, April 24 was National Healthy Schools Day. A second report also released documents the fact that no federal agency is charged with intervening to protect children's health in schools, and meager programs are uncoordinated, leaving children compelled to attend schools making them ill and leaving their parents without recourse.

To view their nationwide press release, please see: http://www.healthyschools.org/documents/NatlPress4_24_06.pdf To access and read the aforementioned two new national reports, please see:

1- WHO's IN CHARGE OF PROTECTING CHILDREN'S HEALTH AT SCHOOL?, a research report reviewing the sciences of school environments, outlining roles of federal agencies, and showing how no agency can protect children, while adults have some workplace protections.

2- LESSONS LEARNED, a first-even national compendium of state by state data and examples of problems, quoting more than 40 parents and teachers. http://www.healthyschools.org/documents/LESSONS_LEARNED.pdf Healthy Schools Network, Inc. and
Coordinator, Coalition for Healthier Schools www.healthyschools.org
(202) 543-7555, (518) 462-0632 773 Madison Avenue Albany, NY 12208 Claire L. Barnett, MBA, executive director cbarnett@healthyschools.org

VIII. Fellowship, Scholarship, Training and Awards (1)


NEETF Receives USEPA's 2006 Children's Environmental Health Excellence Award

The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF) is a recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2006 Children's Environmental Health Excellence Award for outstanding commitment to protecting children from environmental health risks. NEETF received the award on April 20, 2006, for its accomplishments in integrating environmental health into pediatric health care.

NEETF's Health Care Provider Initiative is a long-term program that takes a strategic approach to incorporating environmental health into health professionals' education and practice in order to improve health care and public health, with a special emphasis on protecting children and other populations disproportionately affected by environmental pollutants. By convening experts, developing national agendas and forming strategic partnerships, NEETF creates tools and organizes trainings for health professionals, and facilitates the integration of environmental health into pediatric health care. NEETF's tools for health professionals include Environmental Management of Pediatric Asthma, Guidelines for Health Care Providers, Pesticide Competency and Practice Skills Guidelines for Medical and Nursing Schools, and Pediatric Environmental History Screening Materials.

The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation is a private non-profit organization dedicated to bringing objective and scientifically sound environmental education to America. The Foundation was authorized in 1990 by the U.S. Congress and is governed by a volunteer board of environmental, health, education, and business leaders.

National Environmental Education & Training Foundation
1707 H Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006

Phone: (202) 261-6475
Fax: (202) 261-6464

VIII. Fellowship, Scholarship, Training and Awards (2)


Robert Wood Johnson Gulf Coast Disaster Leadership Award Applications due June 30, 2006

The Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program (CHLP) is making a special round of five Community Health Leadership Awards of $120,000 to honor those individuals who have demonstrated leadership in responding to the challenges of the Gulf Coast disaster in 2005. CHLP is seeking individuals who, in addition to their ongoing commitment to creating healthier communities, have exhibited the leadership necessary to overcome complex obstacles and find creative ways to bring health services to those affected by the disaster. We are open to nominations from all significantly affected areas, including communities that have offered shelter and support to people displaced from the Gulf Region. If you have a newsletter or listserv, please consider including the announcement attached to this letter. If you know of a person who meets our criteria, we welcome your nomination. Candidates should be working at the grassroots level, have received no significant national recognition and be in "mid-career," with no less than five and no more than 15 years of community health experience. We will be placing particular significance on activities that have taken place since September 2005. Announcement of the award will coincide with The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees visit to New Orleans, Sept. 27-29, 2006. Nominations may be made by consumers, community leaders, health professionals and government officials who have been personally inspired by the nominee.

Interested nominators should visit our Web site, http://www.communityhealthleaders.org , or contact the Program Office at (617) 426-9772.

The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2006.

Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program Lincoln Plaza, 89 South Street, Suite 405, Boston, MA 02111; (617) 426-9772; fax (617) 654-9922

X. APHA Environment Section Leadership Calls

Upcoming APHA Environment Section leadership calls are on the third Thursday of each month, at 3 p.m. eastern time. 

Please e-mail our new Section Chair Jill Litt at jill.litt@uchsc.edu, to be on the e-mail list to receive each call’s agenda and dial-in information. 

XI. APHA Environment Section Leadership

This is a list of Environment Section and committee Officers, with e-mail contact information (Membership Committee leaders listed above):  

Chair (for 2006-08) = Jill S. Litt, PhD, jill.litt@uchsc.edu

Chair-Elect = Rebecca Head, PhD, DABT, Rebecca_Head@monroemi.org

Immediate Past-Chair = Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, nobot@cehn.org

Communications Chair / e-Newsletter Editor = Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH, derek.g.shendell.96@alum.dartmouth.org

Secretary-elect (conference call minutes) = Andrea Wiseman, MPH, Andrea.Wismann@UCHSC.edu

Section councilors = Michael Reiss; Marni Rosen; Neal Rosenblatt, MS; Peter Ashley; Patricia Elliot, JD, MPH; Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH, MS, MEngs; also, Amy Kyle and Robin Lee were elected to start winter 2006.

Governing Council representatives = Heidi Klein, MPH; David Wallinga, MD; Susan West Marmagas, MPH; Beth Resnick, MPH; also, John Balbus, MD, MPH and Derek Shendell, DEnv, MPH were elected to start winter 2006.

Nominations Committee = Allen Dearry, PhD, dearry@niehs.nih.gov

Policy Committee Chair = John Balbus, MD, MPH, jbalbus@environmentaldefense.org

XII. Message from the APHA Environment Section Chair

As we move into the summer months, the Environment Section leadership and members are busily preparing for the upcoming Annual meeting scheduled for Nov. 5-8 in Boston.  As the new Chair of the Section, I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Environment Section and appreciate your patience as I transition into the Chair position. 

First and foremost, I wanted to formally thank Nsedu Obot-Witherspoon for her leadership over the past two years.  Nse has gone beyond the call of duty to support and transform the Section during her tenure as Chair, and in doing so has created dozens of opportunities to grow the Section and establish important connections within the organization and across the field of environmental health.  Second, on behalf of the Section, we are grateful for the dedication and hard work of the Section’s officers who recently completed their terms – Susan West Marmagas, Heidi Klein and David Wallinga (Governing Council), Michael Reiss and Marni Rosen (Section Councilors) and Derek Shendell (Secretary).  Thank you to all!

On the horizon is the upcoming Mid-Year Section Meeting to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2006.  For the third year in a row we will include Section members who will not be in the D.C. area that day by teleconference.   At that meeting, we will discuss the Section’s Strategic Plan and budget and hope to connect with key APHA staff on issues related to policy and advocacy, finances, section affairs and opportunities to partner and support APHA-related activities.  If you are interested in participating either by phone or email, please contact me by e-mail at jill.litt@uchsc.edu.   

Looking toward Boston this fall, the Environment Section has been keeping very busy. Our Program Planners, Aditi Vaidya and August Martin, have been working tirelessly to arrange another great scientific program. The Student Involvement Committee is gathering momentum and will begin to secure funds to support the Annual Student Scholarship Awards that support travel to and participation at the Annual Meeting.

If you are interested in joining one of the Environment Section’s active committees or have any questions or concerns, please contact any Section officer for more information or contact me by e-mail.

Best Wishes,


Jill Litt