CHE's First Partnership Call

September 26, 2002
4:30 pm US Eastern Time

Call Notes

1. Welcome and Introduction: Michael Lerner

This is our first network-wide CHE call and we are delighted that such a diverse and interesting group of Partners has joined us.

2. Close-up with 3 CHE Partners

Jeanne Rizzo, Executive Director of The Breast Cancer Fund: The Breast Cancer Fund has long been interested in the environmental links to cancer. They co-authored The State of the Science, and were actively involved in the International Summit on Breast Cancer and the Environment, put on by UC Berkeley, Dept of Public Health and funded by the CDC. They will be putting on an upcoming hearing on October 23rd that will discuss the outcomes of the Summit. The Breast Cancer Fund is also actively working, along with other Partners, on developing a model body burden study using breast milk, as a way to identify toxins in our bodies.

Rob Tufel, Director of Patient Services and Research Grants, National Brain Tumor Foundation: This foundation has traditionally been focused on treatment research, but recently has shifted focus. Gina Solomon was the keynote speaker at their national conference and discussed the environmental links to brain tumors. Their focus will be on exploring more environmental factors going forward.

Jane Norbeck, RN, Dean Emeritus of UCSF School of Nursing: CHE has a relevance to the entire nursing community. Since the beginning, nurses have been aware of how the environment affects patient outcomes. CHE is a natural partner and Jane is reaching out to minority nursing organizations around the country to make these connections.

3. Science Working Group Update

Ted Schettler, from the Science and Environmental Health Network, is the coordinator for the Science Working Group. This group is actively working on three areas:

1) They are creating a Science Advisory Committee, which will be Chaired by Phil Landrigan Director of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

2) They are working on a science website that is being managed by Pete Myers of the United Nations Foundation. The site is due to launch in November.

3) The group is actively working on writing peer-reviewed science papers on the links between human health and environmental contaminants. There are seven disease-oriented papers to date.

4. Learning and Developmental Disabilities Working Group Update

Elise Miller, from the Institute for Children's Environmental Health, is the coordinator of the LDDI Working Group. This group has been focused on developing materials for LDD groups that may not be aware of environmental connections to developmental disabilities. They are also involved in extensive outreach efforts around the nation, including trainings that are modeled after In Harms Way.

5. California Collaborative

The California Collaborative was involved in the creation of a legislative hearing on children's environmental health in Sacramento on September 19th. CHE's role was to bring the science to the hearing. Phil Lee, CHE's Chair and Former Assistant Secretary of Health gave the leading testimony. Pete Myers of the United Nations Foundation provided the known science and Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group discussed how the legislators should talk to their constituents about these issues. Other speakers like Sonja Bentley and Jo Ann Behm represented health affected groups. Assemblywomen Wilma Chan and Fran Pavley sponsored the hearing, and many other organizations in California contributed to its success. The challenge will be how to integrate the legislative ideas that emerged after the hearing into a coherent plan for January.

6. Partner Discussion

CHE Several Partners spoke up about their work and how the network might help, track, and support their efforts. We heard from: Toni Temple, Charlotte Brody, Theo Colborn, Raymond Neutra, John Patterson, Deborah Steele, Lisa Bailey, Anita Nager, Neil Gendel, Wilma Subra, Lynn Castrodale and Claire Barnett.


1. Please consider reaching out to other groups who might be interested in joining CHE. Either send them to this website, or send them directly to Jeanette Meyers, Program Coordinator.

2. Contact Charlotte Brody if you are interested in educational outreach to state legislators. This includes raising the dialogue about environmental health without pushing a legislative agenda.

3. Contact your elected officials and let them know your concerns about environmental health. Partners repeatedly stated that policy makers need to hear from their constituents before they will take a strong stand.

4. October 1st there will be a U.S. Senate Hearing on children's environmental health. The details will be posted on the CHE website under Events, or you can contact Claire Barnett at the Healthy Schools Network in New York.

5. There was a request to make email addresses and contact information available to each other. We have been concerned about privacy, but do not want to limit the networking opportunities. If you would NOT like to have your information distributed to those on this call, please email Jeanette Meyers by October 3rd.

6. The next CHE Conference Call will be October 28th at 9:00am Pacific, 12:00 Eastern. Please RSVP to Jeanette Meyers.