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Dr. Philip Lee, CHE's Chair, reflects on health and healthcare

Dr. Philip Lee is a living legend of American health policy, and has recently reflected on his decades of tireless work in a new article, "Battling for the Right Health Policy, Then and Now" published in Generations. But with respect to CHE, he has long been a mentor and adviser to some of CHE's co-founders, and readily agreed to serve as CHE's chairmain from the start of the organization over 10 years ago. His experience, wisdom, and good counsel--not to mention his prestige--has been invaluable. Now 90 years old, he reflects on some of his involvement in a number of crucial national health issues.

Steve Heilig, MPH, CHE Director of Public Health and Education, and Director of Public Health and Education, San Francisco Medical Society, wrote about Dr. Lee for the Huffington Post in 2013 in an article titled "Health Policy Gurus Gather: The UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at 40".

From the CHE blog: Your Health the Week of June 29th

In this week's post, we look at several news articles and studies published this week about summertime concerns: heat, skin cancer, outdoor recreation, and air quality. CHE is publishing this regular series that summarizes and highlights recent Your Health items and trends. Readers can follow CHE’s Your Health news feed or subscribe via RSS. 

A Story of Health

New multimedia eBook
receives high praise

4/23/15: Your health. The environment. What’s the story? CHE and partners have created A Story of Health multimedia eBook to investigate just that. How do different aspects of our environment interact with our genes to influence our health across the lifespan? Through the lives of fictional characters, the first three stories explore multiple factors that can contribute to childhood leukemia, asthma, and learning and developmental disabilities. You can download the entire book or individual chapters featuring research about disease origin and helpful facts about disease prevention. Stories on additional health endpoints are forthcoming. 

The eBook is usable by parents and individuals who have no formal training in science or medicine, but it also has layers of additional information and materials for physicians, nurses, and other clinicians who want to dig deeper. In fact, free continuing education credits are available for health professionals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

A Story of Health has received high praise from health leaders across the country. For example, Brian Linde, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, said, “This is a fantastic resource. It is compelling, educational, and engaging, and will absolutely make a difference.” Lawrence Rosen, MD, Founder of The Whole Child Center, added, “A Story of Health is the most engaging and compelling environmental health resource I’ve experienced. I recommend it for all who care our planet and the impact we have on its health—and vice versa.” Read more testimonials about the value of A Story of Health.

If you have not yet taken a look at A Story of Health we encourage you to do so now. Read it with your family, and share it with your friends and colleagues. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it draws from the latest research available. You can also listen to the CHE Partnership calls featuring Stephen's story/childhood leukemia and Brett's story/asthma.

A Story of Health was developed by ATSDR, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), the University of California, San Francisco, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (UCSF PEHSU), the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California EPA (OEHHA), and the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN).

CHE quarterly Top 10 environmental health stories now available

4/6/1515: CHE offers this selection of research, news and announcements that were of special significance during the first quarter of 2015. Items include research that made a noteworthy contribution to the field, news and announcements that took a conversation to a new level. and/or new audience and some welcome action. This quarter's selections include a discussion of the role of bad luck in cancer, the continuing saga of federal chemical policy reform, the costs of hormone-disrupting chemicals, a couple of success stories, and plenty of research on the impacts of several common toxics on health. Visit the CHE blog to see this quarter's list. We invite comment and feedback.

San Francisco Medical Society journal focuses on environmental health

11/10/14: San Francisco Medicine (SFM), which has been in continuous publication since 1927, is the official journal of the San Francisco Medical Society. Each issue of SFM focuses on a specific topic that affects physicians and their practices, including public health, social, political, economic, and lifestyle issues.The most recent edition of the journal focuses on environmental health and features an article titled The First 1000 Days: A Healthy Return on Investment co-authored by Elise Miller, MEd, CHE's Director, and Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, Science Director at SEHN and at CHE, as well as many other articles that will be of interest to CHE Partners. Visit the San Francisco Medical's Society website to read the full edition.


 
PARTNER SPOTLIGHT

CHE regularly highlights the work of our Partners here in our Partner Spotlight.

Vi Waghiyi is a St. Lawrence Island Yupik mother and grandmother, Native Village of Savoonga Tribal Member, and Environmental Health and Justice Program Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), which is also the organizational host of CHE's Alaska Working Group. In this CHE Partner Spotlight, Vi discusses her work addressing environmental contamination and its impact on human health in Alaska.

What inspired you to begin working in the field of environmental health, and in your current work in particular?

I am a Yupik mother of four boys and a grandmother from Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, located in the northern Bering Sea. Our people have maintained a traditional culture of reliance on traditional foods from the land and sea that provide physical, cultural, and spiritual sustenance.

I learned about the high levels of PCBs in our people in a news article in the Anchorage Daily News when I was a stay-at-home mom. This touched me personally because so many family members and friends from my community, including my parents, have suffered and died of cancer. I have had three miscarriages. I am inspired by this awareness and what I have come to learn about the contamination from military and distant sources and making the connection with the illnesses suffered by my people. I was brought up in a culture of caring where people work together. We were wronged by the US military and corporations that have contaminated my people without our consent. We are the victims of environmental violence. This goes against my culture and upbringing. I am inspired to hold the military and other polluters accountable and to achieve justice. I am inspired to work for the health and well-being of my people and our future generations.

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EHN News
3 Jul Justice Department reaches $18.7 billion agreement in principle with BP. BP reached a comprehensive $18.7 billion settlement with the Department of Justice and five states over environmental damage and human casualties caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Washington Post.

3 Jul Emergency response, evacuation in wake of Tennessee train derailment, caustic chemical fire. Emergency personnel were left working to contain and control a chemical fire Thursday afternoon following the derailment of a CSX train carrying hazardous chemicals. Maryville Daily Times.

3 Jul Conservation groups praise lawmakers after BP settlement, urge them to focus on Gulf restoration. Now that a final amount has been set for BP's penalties and settlements relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, many local and national conservation groups have praised lawmakers for reaching a settlement. Birmingham News.

3 Jul Health Canada adjusts asbestos risk description. Changes Health Canada has made to how the federal department's website describes the health risks of asbestos are being welcomed in Sarnia, a community hit hard by occupational diseases, including mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Sarnia Observer.

3 Jul Fires, smoke force 5,000 out of homes in northern Saskatchewan. Fifty-one towns, villages and reserves had been evacuated or partially-evacuated. Canadian Press.

3 Jul This desktop farm is like a 3-D printer for fresh, natural food. The Personal Food Computer is a tiny aeroponics system, a miniature farm that creates its own weather, and supplies nutrients to the plants' roots by misting them with water. Fast Company.

3 Jul From app design to farming: Training the next generation. The new Mendocino, California-based Grange Farm School hopes to replenish our diminishing pool of responsible farmers and, in the process, develop farming techniques that help replenish resources. Civil Eats.

3 Jul White House orders review of rules for genetically modified crops. The Obama administration said on Thursday that it would update the way the government regulated genetically modified crops and some other biotechnology products, saying that the nearly 30-year-old system had become outdated. New York Times.

3 Jul No need for new rules to protect butterflies from GM pollen: EU report. European food safety officials found there was no need to widen buffer zones around genetically modified crops even though research shows that pollen from GM maize, which can travel kilometres further than previously thought. Reuters.

3 Jul This dome in the Pacific houses tons of radioactive waste ? and it's leaking. The Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands is a hulking legacy of years of U.S. nuclear testing. The Guardian.

 

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