Environmental Health and Complexity: Exploring the Ecological Model of Health

December 11, 2015
09:00 am US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources

Speaker presentation slides:

Dr. Schettler: Ecologic Models of Health

Additional resources of interest:

Environmental Health Perspectives: Interweaving Knowledge Resources to Address Complex Environmental Health Challenges

NAS: Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment

Ecologic models of health and disease: Visit our background webpage

A Story of Health: Visit the webpage and download the eBook

CHE Cafe call: The Ecology of Breast Cancer with Ted Schettler, MD, MPH (Dec 2013) - Listen to the MP3 recording

The Ecology of Breast Cancer (full text) - Download the PDF

Introduction - Download the PDF

Chapter 1 - Download the PDF

Chapter 2 - Download the PDF

Chapter 3 - Download the PDF

Chapter 4 - Download the PDF

Chapter 5 - Download the PDF

Chapter 6 - Download the PDF

Chapter 7 - Download the PDF

Chapter 8 - Download the PDF

Appendix - Download the PDF

Listen to Recording

The origins of many common diseases and disorders are complex. Asthma, various kinds of cancer, cognitive decline and dementia, diabetes, and neurodevelopmental disorders are good examples. In populations, their incidence and patterns are attributable to a heterogeneous mix of multi-level gene-environment interactions. This is often true at the individual level as well. Variability in the manifestations of these disorders adds to the complexity. An ecologic or eco-social framework provides a model that can accommodate this complexity. It recognizes that individuals are progressively nested within families, communities, ecosystems, and societies. Rich interactions among variables at each of these levels establish conditions that strongly influence health and disease patterns. This framework is not only useful as an aid to understanding the origins of complex diseases but also helps point the way toward treatment and prevention. On this call, Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, Science Director for both CHE and the Science and Environmental Health Network, and Michael Lerner, PhD, President of Commonweal, explored the implications of the ecological framework of health as it relates to several diseases that are common in our families and communities today.

Featured speaker

Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, is Science Director of both the Science and Environmental Health Network and the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. He received his MD from Case-Western Reserve University and a masters degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He practiced medicine for many years in New England. Dr. Schettler has worked extensively with community groups, NGOs, and collaborations throughout the US and internationally, addressing many aspects of human health and the environment. He has served on advisory committees of the US EPA and National Academy of Sciences. He is co-author of Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the EnvironmentIn Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, and A Story of Health. He is also the author of The Ecology of Breast Cancer.