Fireside Chat: Forsythia’s Dr. Shelley Hearne on Environment and Health in the Trump Administration

February 21, 2017
2:00 pm US Eastern Time

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Shelley Hearne at Forsythia

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What do you think the 2016 US Presidential election results mean for environmental health over the coming four years? What might be the impact on research funding and priorities? Chemical regulation? Children’s health? Community health?

On this call Michael Lerner, PhD, President of Commonweal, and Shelley Hearne, DrPH, Executive Director of Forsythia, discussed the implications of the recent US election results for the field of environmental health, including both challenges and opportunities. Following the discussion between Michael and Dr. Hearne, we discussed several participant questions.

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Shelley Hearne, DrPH, MPH, is Forsythia Foundation’s executive director, a visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the senior advisor to the Big Cities Health Coalition, which represents the leaders of America’s largest urban health departments. Dr. Hearne is also the PI of the CityHealth.

Prior to joining the foundation, Dr. Hearne served as the managing director of the Pew Health Group of the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she oversaw its food safety, medical safety, research, and biomedical programs. Dr. Hearne served as founding executive director of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a national health advocacy organization dedicated to preventing epidemics. Earlier in her career, Dr. Hearne worked as the executive director of the Pew Environmental Health Commission, the acting director of the Office of Pollution Prevention in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. While at the Commission and TFAH, Shelley led the effort to create a nationwide environmental health tracking system.

Dr. Hearne currently serves on the board of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Japan and recently served on the congressionally mandated study by the National Academies of Science on lessons of the Fukushima nuclear accident. Additionally, Dr. Hearne was the chair of the American Public Health Association’s Executive Board and the vice president of the Council on Education for Public Health, the accreditation body for public health schools.

Dr. Hearne has authored many national health reports on topics ranging from bioterrorism to obesity and testified before the US Congress on bioterrorism, pandemic preparedness, and environmental health tracking. Dr. Hearne has conducted numerous public-health school accreditations around the world, and has overseen the accreditation site visits of Harvard University and Yale University. Dr. Hearne received her doctorate in environmental health sciences from Columbia University’s School of Public Health.

The call was moderated by Michael Lerner, PhD, President of Commonweal and Vice-Chair of CHE. The call lasted 60 min and was recorded for archival purposes.

This call is part of a new series "Fireside Chat". In this series, we explore challenges and opportunities for environmental health under the new Trump Administration. Our focus will be a conversation between CHE leaders, environmental health science and policy experts and call participants.