The First Thousand Days: Chemical Exposure in Early Life and Beyond

December 2, 2014
09:00 am US Eastern Time

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On this call CHE hosted a multidisciplinary roster of contributors to a new CHE-themed San Francisco Medical Journal issue on environmental health, published by the San Francisco Medical Society--where CHE itself was born. The authors summarized their pieces on early life exposures, reproductive health issues, cancer and chemical mixtures, climate change and health, agriculture and the microbiome, and more. The brief presentations were followed by discussion amongst authors call participants.

Featured Speakers

Elise MillerElise Miller, MEd, is the Director of CHE, a major program of Commonweal. Ms. Miller has over 20 years of experience in the environmental health field directing and launching successful new nonprofits and programs, convening conferences and workshops, and writing various articles and blogs. Ms. Miller founded the national Institute for Children’s Environmental Health (ICEH) in 1999 and served as its Executive Director for 10 years. She then merged ICEH with Commonweal when she became Director of CHE. She currently serves on the boards of several non-profits in the environmental health field. From 2007–2011, she was a member of the US EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee. She was also the founding Executive Director of the Jenifer Altman Foundation from 1993-1999.

Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, is the Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. He also serves as science director of the Collaborative on Health and Environment. He has a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and a masters in public health from Harvard University. Schettler has addressed the connections between human health and the food, chemical, built, and social environments in numerous publications and presentations. He has served on advisory committees of the US EPA and National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Schettler is most recently the author of The Ecology of Breast Cancer: The Promise of Prevention and the Hope for Healing.

Tracey WoodruffTracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH, is a Professor and Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Woodruff's research interests are to advance scientific inquiry, professional training, public education and health policies that reduce the impacts of environmental contaminants on reproductive and developmental health.

William GoodsonWilliam Goodson, MD, is a senior scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, past president of the San Francisco Medical Society, and a private practitioner who has 30 years of experience in the diagnosis and care of breast diseases. He is a leader in breast care in San Francisco, California, and he was the only Northern California surgeon to participate in the original clinical trials that demonstrated that breast conservation, i.e. “lumpectomy,” is a safe and effective treatment for early breast cancer. His commitment to the best care possible means that he has conducted and published original peer-reviewed research on most aspects of breast diseases.

John BalbusJohn Balbus, MD, MPH, serves as a senior advisor to the Director on public health issues and as NIEHS liaison to its external constituencies, stakeholders, and advocacy groups. He also leads NIEHS efforts on climate change and human health. In this capacity he serves as HHS principal to the US Global Change Research Program, for which he also co-chairs the Interagency Cross-Cutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health. Dr. Balbus' background combines training and experience in clinical medicine with expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, and risk sciences. He has authored studies and lectures on global climate change and health, transportation-related air pollution, the toxic effects of chemicals, and regulatory approaches to protecting susceptible subpopulations.

Jeff RittermanJeff Ritterman, MD, trained for three years in Internal Medicine and then completed a two year fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases in Seattle, Washington. He began his career as Chief of Cardiology at the Kaiser Richmond Medical Center, where he worked to serve the Richmond community for 30 years. Dr. Ritterman retired from Kaiser in November of 2010. In the 1980s, he started the Committee for Health Rights in Central America to help provide medical relief to refugees from the civil war in El Salvador.  In the mid-1980s, Dr. Ritterman founded the Southern African Medical Aid Fund to help those suffering under apartheid. He has served on the Public and Environmental Health Advisory Board of Contra Costa County since 1990. He is on the steering committee of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR, and serves on the Richmond Mayor’s Task Force on Environmental Justice and Environmental Health).

Mark MillerMark Miller, MPH, MD, is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine (Division of Occupational and Environmental Health) at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is also the Director of the UCSF Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) and the director of the Children’s Environmental Health Program at California Environmental Protection Agency. He received his medical degree and completed a Pediatric residency at Michigan State University.

The call was moderated by Steve Heilig, MPH, CHE Director of Public Health & Education, and Director of Public Health & Education, San Francisco Medical Society.