Section Newsletter
Winter 2004

Message from the Chair

Entering 2004, I am very honored to lead the ambitious efforts of the APHA Environment Section during such a groundbreaking year. With the theme of the 2004 APHA Annual Meeting being Public Health and the Environment, the opportunities before us remain tremendous. Beyond the expertise and interest we collectively bring to the program planning process, this year especially, we also look forward to not only collaborating with other sections to promote the many linkages their work has to environmental health, but also to leverage the many ways that environmental health issues remain some of our most desperate public health issues yet.

Being quite an active and large section, we are very proud and excited that we will be provided with some of the largest numbers of scientific sessions at this year's Annual Meeting. In order to make sure that we meet many of our established goals for the year our section officers and committees have already been working diligently on assigned tasks. This year we have decided to create Advisory Council to assist our wonderful Program Planners in their many tedious tasks and deadlines. In addition to the large duty of program planning, our section leaders are planning to work with APHA to make sure that the 2004 conference and all to follow will make as many environmentally friendly considerations as possible. Various membership drives are under way and we have placed specific focus on the recruitment and retention of students to the Environment Section. Special awards and scholarships are being planned to make the students' participation more attractive and accessible.

Best regards,
Nsedu Obot Witherspoon

2004 Environment Section Leadership

For more information on how to become more active in the APHA Environment Section or to discuss possible collaboration between your section & ours, please contact one of our section leaders. The Environment Section is pleased to announce our 2004 Section Officers and Committee Chairs:

Nse Obot Witherspoon Chair
Allen Dearry Past Chair
Jill Litt Chair Elect
Vince Radke Secretary

Section Councilors
Dan Boatright
Michael Reiss
Jill Litt
Marnie Rosen
Neal L. Rosenblatt
Patricia I. Elliott

Governing Councilors
Heidi Klein
David Wallinga
Susan West Marmagas
Beth A. Resnick

Committee Chairs
Membership: Leyla Erk McCurdy
Program: Robin Lee & Robyn Gilden
Nominations: Allen Dearry
Strategic Plan: Michele Courville
Bylaws: Pat Elliott
Awards: Leon Vinci
Newsletter: Rebecca Head
Budget: Nsedu Obot Witherspoon
Policy and Archiving: John Balbus
Web site: Lilah Besser
Display for Washington, DC (2004): Jill Litt
Washington, DC Field Trip: Michele Courville
Green Conference: Tony DeLucia

2003 Environment Section Awards

2003 Annual APHA Meeting: Environment Section Student Poster Awards
At the recent APHA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, students presented poster sessions as part of the Environment Section's Program. Selecting the top three from these excellent posters yielded the student winners listed below. The awards were announced at the gala Awards Recognition Event.

Student winners:
First place - Joshua Benjamin Fisher
Second Place - Sacoby M. Wilson
Third Place - Dolores J. Severtson
Top 11 Student Posters
The top 11 titles and authors are listed here (in alphabetical order by first author).

·Differences in sources of lead exposure for Hispanic and non-Hispanic childhood lead poisoning cases in California
Amy G. Cantor, MHS, Lynn Goldman, MD, MPH, Joseph G. Courtney, PhD, David Kattari

·Environmental Justice / Air Toxics analysis for West Oakland: Combining GIS and spatial data analysis
Joshua Benjamin Fisher, BS

·Predictors for restaurant inspection score: Preliminary results from a study on food safety knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among restaurant workers in Los Angeles County
R. E. Guevara, MPH, H. Dela Cruz, REHS, HS, B. Tamjid, REHS, HS

·A framework for strengthening the role of public health at contaminated sites
Roni Neff, ScM, Thomas A. Burke, PhD, MPH, Kristen Chossek, MPH, Nga L. Tran, DrPH, MPH

·Nurses and environmental health: An approach to advocacy training
Pamela Ortner, BSN, RN, COHN-S, Brenda Afzal, MS, RN

·Ozone air pollution and stage of change status for alternative transportation: A behavioral theory approach
Lynn Ott, MS, Robin Rager, PhD

·A Theory-Based Evaluation of an Arsenic Well Testing Program
Dolores J. Severtson, MS, RN

·Potential for socio-economic confounding in environmental asthma studies
Tomas Tamulis, MSc, PhD student, Monroe James King, DO

·GIS Mapping of Atmospheric Ammonia Levels in Eastern North Carolina
Sacoby M. Wilson, MS, Marc L. Serre, PhD

·Interrelationship among interpersonal influences and community situational influences on the use of health promotion behaviors by urban women
Robin Toft Klar, DNSc

·Potential for socio-economic confounding in environmental asthma studies
Tomas Tamulis, MSc, PhD student, Monroe James King, DO

2003 Calver Lecture: Another Huge Success: Critical Message Delivered!!!
The Environment at Section's 34th Annual Homer N Calver Lecture was a great success this year. The function was attended by nearly 300 APHA meeting-goers and the standing-room-only audience heard the moving comments of this year's Calver Lecturer.

Dr. Michael Lerner presented his visionary lecture at APHA’s 2003 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Dr. Learner is the President and founder of Commonweal, a 30-year-old health and environmental research institute in Bolinas, Calif., and is president of the boards for the Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Jenifer Altman Foundation and the Barbara Smith Fund. In addition, he is a co-founder of several organizations including: the Collaborative on Health and the Environment; the Health and Environmental Funders Network; and Health Care Without Harm: The Campaign for Environmentally Responsible Health Care.

Dr. Lerner's presentation, entitled "The Ongoing Need for Collaboration Between Health and the Environment," examined the relationship that the mind and heart have on the health of the body, noting how environmental determinants can contribute negatively or positively toward human health and disease.

He emphasized the spiritual teachings related to Buddhist philosophy and focused on peace, the Golden Rule, and related wisdom teachings, speaking of the importance to heed compassionate, healthful and good environmental practices. In his comments, Dr. Learner cautioned, "It will take compassion and spirit to help the environment recover."

The Calver Lecturer reminded the Environment Section of its important role and responsibilities. The first objective has been accomplished: to become a powerful and influential force within and outside APHA. Two goals remain: to strengthen and maintain this leadership role and to consciously be connected with ‘wounded patients’ as we look to improve the environment.

Dr. Lerner challenged the Environment Section to assist APHA in becoming the Environmental Public Health Association.

Paul Locke Receives DSA Honor
Long-time and active member of the Environment Section, Paul A Locke, was the 2003 recipient of the Section's Distinguished Service Award (DSA). Paul Locke has served the Environment Section as Section Chair, Governing Councilor, Program Planner, and other Section offices. He spearheaded efforts to renew APHA’s sponsorship role of the Crumbine Award. In addition, Dr. Locke continues to hold influential positions within the APHA organizational structure. In acceptance of the award, Paul emphasized the need for the Section membership to continue its outstanding track record in the areas of leadership, education and new innovations with & for APHA.

Special Citations Presented
One privilege of the Environment Section Chair is to award leadership citations during the Section’s Annual Awards Event. Outgoing 2003 Section Chair Allen Dearry presented several special recognitions accordingly.

These included awards to the many who have strengthened the work of the Environment Section. And Dr. Dearry received one as well! Incoming Section Chair Nsedu Obot Witherspoon presented Allen with a well-deserved gavel plaque for his stewardship as the 2003 Environment Section.

Related Files:

2004 Crumbine Award Process

Named for one of America’s most renowned health officers and health educators, Samuel J. Crumbine, MD (1862-1954) – the Award recognizes outstanding food protection programs offered by local health public & environmental health agencies. Applications for the Award must be submitted not later than March 15, 2004. For information about the Crumbine Award, including the 2004 award criteria, go to FPI's Web site at <www.fpe.org> (check in the “Awards Programs” section), or contact Lynn Rosseth at FYI, (703) 538-2800, e-lrosseth@fpi.org>.

New Book

Provided by Stacy Smith, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Phytoremediation: Transformation and Control of Contaminants (Wiley; September 2003; $115.00; Cloth; 0-471-39435-1;<http://www.wiley.com/go/phytoremediation>) provides an authoritative account of the history and most recent developments of this exciting, emerging field. Written by 82 experts, including most of the productive interdisciplinary research and development teams involved in the field, this book defines the current state of the science of phytoremediation and points the way to many future engineering applications.

About Steven C. McCutcheon:
An internationally known expert on ecological engineering and phytoremediation, water quality, watershed hydrology, hydrodynamics, sediment transport, cleanup of toxic organic chemicals and metals, and environmental planning, Steven C. McCutcheon, PhD, is with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Exposure Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga. In addition to winning numerous awards from the EPA, the American Chemical Society, and other organizations, he authored "Water Quality Modeling, Vol. I," co-authored "Hydrodynamics and Transport for Water Quality Modeling," previously served as editor of the Journal of Environmental Engineering, and is now the co-editor of the international journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research.


Call for 2004 Environment Section Award Nominations
Nominations for Section Awards are now 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>.

HEI's Winter 2004 Research Agenda available
The Health Effects Institute/HEI, <http://www.healtheffects.org>, is an independent, nonprofit corporation chartered in 1980 to provide high-quality, impartial, and relevant science on the health effects of pollutants from motor vehicles and from other sources in the environment. Supported jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry, HEI has funded over 230 studies and published over 140 Research Reports, and several Special Reports, providing important research findings on the health effects of a variety of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, several air toxics (e.g., benzene, 7,3-butadiene, aldehydes), nitrogen oxides, diesel exhaust, ozone, and particulate air pollution.

The Health Effects Institute’s request for applications (RFA) to conduct studies is designed to:
evaluate the health effects of regulatory or other actions taken at the local, regional or national level to improve air quality, and promote the development of analytic methods required for, and specifically suited to, conducting such evaluations.

The Winter 2004 Research Agenda contains three Requests for Applications:
RFA 04-1: Measuring the Health Impacts of Actions Taken to Improve Air Quality;
RFA 04-2: Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award; and
RFPA 04-3: Health Effects of Air Pollution.

RFA 04-1 is the next major step in HEI’s Accountability initiative and seeks proposals to pursue the key research needs identified in the recent HEI Communication 11, Assessing the Health Impact of Air Quality Regulations: Concepts and Methods for Accountability Research. Please visit <http://www.healtheffects.org/RFA/RFA2004.htm> to find more information on the Research Agenda and to download the 2004 RFA booklet and application forms.

Please see the HEI's recently published Monograph: Assessing Health Impact of Air Quality Regulations: Concepts and Methods for Accountability Research. Visit <http://www.healtheffects.org/accountability.htm>.

Trust for America’s Health
"President, Congress Urged to Make Health Funding a Priority"
More than 370 groups advocate for more discretionary spending for public health
Press release: <http://healthyamericans.org/newsroom/releases/release012904a.pdf>.

Reports <http://healthyamericans.org/reports/tfah/>
-Poll Report on America's Top Health Concerns
-Ready or Not? Protecting the Public's Health in the Age of Bioterrorism
-Improving Cancer Tracking Today Saves Lives Tomorrow: Do States Make the Grade?
-Animal-Borne Epidemics Out of Control
-Public Health Laboratories: Unprepared and Overwhelmed
-SARS and Its Implications for U.S. Public Health Policy – "We've Been Lucky"
-Birth Defects Tracking and Prevention: Too Many States Are Not Making the Grade

Disclosure in Regulatory Science - From K. Armenti, OH Section Newsletter Editor
A message from David Michaels*, PhD, MPH: In a recent issue of Science magazine, <http://www.sciencemag.org/>, published Dec. 19, 2003, Wendy Wagner and I identify a serious gap related to the integrity of regulatory science. We argue that while the leading biomedical journals won't publish a study unless the authors certify that the research was done under a contract which permitted them the unfettered right to publish, federal regulatory agencies, charged with protecting the public's health and environment, have no similar (or any) protections against conflict-of-interest in research.

*Research Professor
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
2100 M St. NW, Suite 203
Washington DC, 20052