The Section’s Environmental Health Task Force (a collaborative PHN Section-Environment Section effort) received a 2005 mini-grant from Health Care Without Harm to develop environmental health principles and recommendations for public health nursing practice, education, research, and advocacy. With organizational endorsements and designated representatives on the Project Team, the Quad Council of PHN Organizations encouraged and supported this effort throughout 2005. They have encouraged continuation of this project and the Task Force is now seeking a 2006 mini-grant to develop a Greenprint for Action based on the principles and recommendations.

The Task Force developed a monograph for dissemination that includes an introduction by Lillian H. Mood, RN, MPH, IOM Study Committee chair and co-editor, Nursing Health and Environment, and PHN Section Representative to the APHA Science Board; a preamble, the 12 principles, and many recommendations. The Task Force views the recommendations portion of the document as an “open” document, with recommendations welcomed at all times.

Presented at a scientific session during the 2005 Annual Meeting, Quad Council representatives on the Task Force each provided organizational perspective on the principles and recommendations: Lillian Mood, PHN Section; Joy Reed, ASTDN, Laura Anderko, ACHNE, and Phil Greiner, ANA. The Project Team then led discussions with participants, seeking feedback and suggestions. These valuable contributions have been incorporated into the final document, which is now available electronically to the membership.

You may contact Task Force PHN Co-Chair Rita Lourie at Rlourie@temple.edu , or Task Force Environment Co-Chair Robyn Gilden  at rgilden@son.umaryland.edu , or PHN Section Chair Marjorie Buchanan at MarjorieOn@aol.com  for an electronic copy. They will also be presented at 2006 annual meetings of each of the Quad Council organizations.

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRINCIPLES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH NURSING

1.Safe and sustainable environments are essential conditions for the public’s health.

2.Environmental health is integral to the role and responsibilities of all public health nurses.

3.All public health nurses should possess environmental health knowledge and skills.

4.Environmental health decisions should be grounded in sound science.

5.The Precautionary Principle is a fundamental tenet for all environmental health endeavors.

6.Environmental justice is a right of all populations.

7.Public awareness and community involvement are essential in environmental health decision-making.

8.Communities have a right to relevant and timely information for decisions on environmental health.

9.Environmental health approaches should respect diverse values, beliefs, cultures, and circumstances.

10.Collaboration is essential to effectively protecting the health of all people from environmental harm.

11.Environmental health advocacy must be rooted in scientific integrity, honesty, respect for all persons, and social justice.

12.Environmental health research addressing the effectiveness and public health impact of nursing interventions should be conducted and disseminated.

The PHN and Environment Sections thank the Project Team for this valuable contribution to both public health nursing and the environment: Laura Anderko, Brenda Afzal, Elizabeth Blackburn, Marjorie Buchanan, Patricia Butterfield, Joanne Calvi, Robyn Gilden, Eileen Girling, Anna Gilmore-Hall, Phil Greiner, Colleen Hughes, Kay Kinsey, Rita Lourie, Jeanne Matthews, Lillian Mood, Barbara Sattler, Anne Turner-Henson, and Susan Wilburn.