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Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship 2019 – 2020 Cohort

The first cohort of the ANHE Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship Program was a year-long program that ran from June 1st 2019 – May 31st 2020. Nurse fellows were paired with expert environmental health nurse mentors who helped guide their journey throughout the program. The first cohort consisted of a team of 30 nurse fellows and 10 nurse mentors around the country.

The program focused on health equity and environmental justice through addressing the disproportionate impacts of environmental exposures on communities of color, people living in poverty, the disabled and chronically ill, immigrants, and more.

Three Nurse Fellows paired with one Nurse Mentor were selected in each EPA region of the USA to participate in the program. Throughout the Fellowship experience:

  • Fellows and mentors built community and learned together about critical environmental health, environmental justice, and leadership development topics
  • Fellows partnered with communities to address a community-identified environmental health need and build support for community-driven solutions.
  • Fellows educated health professional colleagues about environmental health/justice and their Fellowship work, expanding knowledge and engagement of health professionals on critical environmental health issues

Meet the 2019-2020 Fellowship Cohort

Region 1: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT

Lisa M. Chan

Lisa M. Chan MSN, RN, RNC-OB has a master’s degree in Community and Public Health Nursing and currently works as a perinatal professional practice specialist at Women & Infants Hospital in Rhode Island. She is the creator of the Green Nursing Project, an environmental health literacy program designed to educate nurses and patients about health influences from environmental exposures and inspire them to take action to reduce the environmental impacts from hospitals to homes. Since 2014, she has taught environmental health literacy to hundreds of nurses and patients, published articles, and has received several grants to support her passion.

Mikki Meadows-Oliver

Mikki Meadows-Oliver, PhD, MPH, PNP-BC, RN has been a nurse since 1993 and a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) since 1998. In 1994, Mikki began working in an outpatient pediatric clinic in Brooklyn, NY caring for children in foster care. In 1998, she earned her MSN/MPH and began working as PNP in an outpatient clinic serving underserved, immigrant and refugee families. This same year, she became a faculty member at the Yale University School of Nursing. In 2001, Mikki narrowed her clinical focus and began working in a pediatric environmental health program—focusing on children with asthma and lead poisoning. She earned her PhD in nursing in 2006 from the University of Connecticut. In 2016, she began working clinically in a school-based health center while continuing her faculty role at the University of Connecticut then at Quinnipiac University School of Nursing.

Jason Kirchick

Jason Kirchick, MPH, RN is a researcher and graduate student at Sacred Heart University. His current areas of interest include utilizing the public health framework to address health issues in communities, exploring influenza vaccination attitudes in the United States, and the impacts of climate change on health. Jason came to the nursing profession following a near-death experience with H1N1 Influenza and spent several weeks in the Intensive-Care Unit fighting sepsis, acute respiratory distress, and multi-organ failure. Through his experience as a patient, he became a Patient-Family Advisor for the University of Vermont Medical Center and Patient Ambassador and Peer-Reviewer for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Jason is a critical care nurse and County Coordinator for the Medical Reserve Corp. Jason is part of the 2019 Student Think Tank for the American Journal of Public Health, is an active member of the American Public Health Association Public Health Nursing Section and serves on the Board of Advisors for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Vermont.

Linda Mendonca

Linda Mendonca, MSN, NCSN, PHNA-BC, FNASN has been a registered nurse for 38 years practicing school nursing for 23 years overseas and in five states as a military spouse. With the practice of school nursing in the arena of community health; Linda has had the opportunity to network and collaborate with many community partners here in Rhode Island. She has served on school nursing organization boards on the state and national level. She currently teaches community/public health nursing at RI College School of Nursing and consults part-time as a state school nurse consultant at the RI Department of Health. Linda is very passionate about environmental health and currently serves on the RI leadership and Northeast boards for the American Lung Association and the RI Asthma coalition. Other work includes her role as VP serving on the Healthy Schools Network board; a national organization advocating for a healthy school environment and is a member of the ANA-RI environmental health subcommittee. She resides in Providence and enjoys spending time at the beach.

Region 2: NY, NJ, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

Adrienne Wald

Adrienne Wald, EdD, MBA, RN, MCHES, CNE is an associate professor of nursing at the College of New Rochelle/Mercy College in New York teaching health promotion, research, and leadership. Her clinical background is in oncology nursing and she has served as a health services administrator at the American Red Cross (Greater New York).  A longtime tobacco control advocate, she works to advance health policy for disease prevention and wellness, and promote social justice. Dr. Wald’s research interests include weight management and physical activity epidemiology. She is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) currently serving as an evidence analyst for a position statement on exertional heat-related illness, is a member of the Exercise is Medicine™ Education Committee, and the Exercise is Medicine on Campus® initiative. She is a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Her research has been published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology NursingAmerican Journal of Health Promotion, and Journal of Nursing Scholarship and Nursing Economic$. She holds a Doctor of Education (EdD) from Teachers College Columbia University, MBA in healthcare management, and BSN from Boston University (1997). Adrienne has competed in a dozen marathons from NY to LA, including Marine Corps, Chicago and Philadelphia, qualifying for 6 Boston Marathons, and running it five times. She was head coach of the College of New Rochelle Blue Angels women’s country team for five years and has served as a medical race volunteer and  race director.

Felix J. Roman Hernandez

Felix J. Roman Hernandez DNP-PHNLs, MSN, RN is a faculty member at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus School of Nursing, where he teaches Health Physical Assessment, Adult Health and Community Health Nursing. During his past professional experience he has worked for hospital institutions and government programs such as the WIC federal program as a community nurse offering nutrition education, home safety environment, health education, case manager and clinical service to mothers, infants, and children. Felix is a DNP – Public Health Nurse Leader student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In his program, he has worked on community projects focused on the prevention of vector-borne diseases in partnership with government agencies and faith-based groups and utilization of photo-voice to educate community members on waste management in the rural area of Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.

Ruth Ruivivar

Ruth Ruivivar, BSN, RN, CCRN is a certified critical care nurse and has worked in the Surgical ICU for 8 years at LIJ-Northwell Health. In addition to critical care, she will start a new role as a home hospice nurse for Long Island Hospice Care Network. Ruth completed the Integrative Healing Arts Program for Holistic Nursing given by the American Holistic Nurses Association.  Through the program she has worked with nurse managers to promote self-care amongst staff. Ruth was featured in Northwell’s publication “Nurses of Northwell Health: A Sense of Purpose” where she wrote about Reiki and benefits to patients. She has volunteered to recover children after cleft lip and palate surgeries with Medical Missions for Children in Quito, Ecuador.

Lisa Whitfield-Harris

Lisa Whitfield-Harris, PhD, MBA, RN has over 20 years of experience in the nursing profession in both clinical and administrative roles. Currently, she is the Director of the Community Systems Administration program and an Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University College of Nursing. Her nursing background has spanned several disciplines including education, public health, neurosurgical intensive care unit, and operations management. She has held various positions including academic nursing advisor, diversity coordinator, public health nurse, operations manager, and staff nurse.  Dr. Whitfield-Harris completed her BSN at West Chester University, MSN and MBA at La Salle University, and PhD at Duquesne University. She also has certifications in Mindfulness, Nursing Education, and Mental Health First Aid. During her career, she has been a scholar for Sigma Theta Tau honor society, the Association of Black Nursing Faculty, National League for Nursing, and National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Association. Her interests include issues on diversity and inclusion, health equity, social justice, and healthcare quality and access for underserved populations. She completed publications on African-American nurse faculty experiences in predominantly White schools of nursing, nursing ethics, and patient-provider concordance. Dr. Whitfield-Harris enjoys mentoring students as well as working with diverse populations.

Region 3: PA, DE, DC, MD, VA, WV

Ruth McDermott-Levy

Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN is an associate professor at Villanova University’s M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing and Co-director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment. She has extensive community health nursing practice experience. Ruth served as the Director of the College of Nursing’s Center for Global and Public Health for 6 years. She has worked with Arab immigrant families in Philadelphia and families living in fracking communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania to study, educate, and reduce environmental health risks for each group. She is recognized as an expert in environmental health nursing education and has authored several publications regarding implementing environmental and climate health into the nursing curricula. She is an editor of the 2017 AJN awarded Book of the Year, Environmental Health in Nursing. In 2018 Ruth lived in Finland as a Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Health and Environmental Sciences Scholar where she conducted research and taught at the University of Eastern Finland. She has been an invited speaker at Global Climate & Health Summit, in conjunction with COP24, Katowice, Poland in 2018 and at International Nurses Day at the United Nations in 2019. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Charlotte Brody Award for environmental health nursing leadership and Sigma Theta Tau International, Alpha Nu Chapter Excellence in Nursing Leadership Award. Ruth is committed to assuring healthy environments for children and their families.

LaTiana Ridgell

LaTiana Ridgell, MPH, BSN, RN is a Public Health Nurse Home Visitor for Nurse Family Partnership. She works with clients who are low-income first-time mothers, enrolled in the program during their pregnancy conducting home visits and providing health, wellness, and social services until their child turns two. During this time, she screens children for developmental delays and provides parents with information to support their child meeting these developmental milestones. LaTiana serves on the policy committee at Nurse Family Partnership which examines system-wide issues that clients encounter. Most recently, she testified on behalf of children exposed to lead-based paint and contaminated dust to the Philadelphia City Council. LaTiana believes nurses have incredible insight into what happens on the ground whether that is in the homes, in the hospital or in community centers, which is why she encourages nurses to leverage their knowledge to impact policy legislation.

Sheila Stone

Sheila Stone, MSN, RN, CNE has been an environmental justice activist for over 40 years. She obtained her BSN at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California in 1985 and an online MSN (with an education focus) from Chamberlain University in 2018. Sheila is a certified trainer of Unlicensed Assistive Personnel, and has taught Home Health, CNA, and Medication Aide trainings for a variety of agencies, including Workforce Services at her local Community College. She currently serves on a state committee to rewrite the medication aid curriculum for behavioral health – licensed community agencies. Sheila initiated a task force in Nelson County to work on home care in her rural mountain area, and also convened a health professional task force to work against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Almost all of her career has been in community, public, and home health. Sheila has played and studied Appalachian music and dance for 40 years.

Christine Fasching Maphis

Christine Fasching Maphis, MSN, RN-BC, FNP-BC is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse, Family Nurse Practitioner and teaches psychiatric and mental health nursing and impact of chronic illness at the James Madison University School of Nursing. Christine is passionate about our planet and natural resources, as well as the huge impact that nurses can have in influencing population health through initiatives that mitigate and bring awareness to climate change.Through the ANHE fellowship program, Christine hopes to learn more about empowering nurses to engage personally and professionally in their communities to initiate and support sustainable solutions.

Region 4: GA, AL, FL, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN

Azita Amiri

Dr. Azita Amiri, PhD, RN is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, College of Nursing, and a Bloomberg Fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Amiri is a nurse scientist with an interest in Public Health and Environmental Justice. She reaches out to environmental justice communities and educates them about potential environmental exposures and ways to mitigate the exposure. Furthermore, she measures indoor air quality in residential and occupational settings and studies the common indoor air exposures, their concentrations and sources, and their impact on pregnancy outcomes, child health, and well-being of the elderly.

Monica Skoko-Rodriguez

Monica Skoko-Rodriguez, MPH, BSN, RN is a public health nurse in Miami where she works as a senior health educator with the Florida Department of Health and also focusing on social justice organizing in her community, including participating in Miami’s Next Leaders (a fellowship that prepares young talent for leadership) and CLEAR (a 10-week climate resilience training program). Monica holds a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University, where her capstone project was a health communication plan aimed at lowering meat consumption in the Miami area in order to mitigate climate change.

Hannah Noel-Bouchard


Hannah Noel-Bouchard, BSN, RN (she, her) is a public health nurse, Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) – Health Innovation and Leadership student, and the Nurse Operations Manager for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. She supports the organization’s staff and nurse members, who are working in communities across the nation to promote healthy environments. Hannah works in her community alongside two local, nonprofit organizations, Charleston County Public Library system and Neighbors Together Prior, to reimagine and redesign healthcare in the community setting to better meet the health and social needs of community members. Prior to joining ANHE, Hannah has worked in school nursing, cardiac/telemetry and research nursing. After participating in ANHE’s inaugural Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship program, Hannah continues to build relationships and work with local communities to better understand, prepare for, and mitigate the negative health effects of climate change and polluted air, soil, and water.

Tammy Davis

Tammy Davis, BS, RN currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama and has been a Registered Nurse for 12 years. She specializes in clinical research- electrophysiology, cardiovascular surgery and stroke. Tammy is currently the Regional Coordinating Center Manager for StrokeNet at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Tammy has a passion for community service. She is a Girl Scout Lifetime Member, a member of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association (BBNA) and a Health Coordinator for her Faith Family.  In BBNA she has served as the Continuing Education Coordinator and on the Heart Health Initiative with the American Heart Association. Tammy has also planned and organized two HIV education programs: one for college students and the other for Clergy. As several areas in Alabama are in environmental crisis, she is excited for the training the fellowship will provide so she can serve her community better.

Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI

Catherine Graeve

Catherine Graeve is an associate professor of nursing at St Catherine University in St Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches population-based nursing, global health, and mental health.  She leads clinicals at local public health departments, a community jail and environmental health-based projects such as lead abatement. She also works as a hospice nurse. She has a doctorate in environmental and occupational health nursing.  She studied chemotherapy safety for her dissertation and has served as a community liaison for a research project on environmental exposures during pregnancy and subsequent health outcomes on children. Prior to this, she worked as an oncology and bone marrow transplant nurse.

Meera Sotor

Meera Sotor, MPH, RN
 is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health, where she received an MPH with a concentration in Community Health Sciences. Meera has been a nurse for over 8 years, working primarily in adult medical/surgical nursing. Four of those eight years were spent working as a travel nurse in Arizona, Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Meera currently works for Advocate Health Care with a small team called the Transition Program in which she provides wellness visits to recently discharged patients in an effort to reduce readmission rates.

Paula Bizot

Paula Bizot, MS, RN
, is the research project manager for the Wisconsin Public Health Research Network located at the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing. She holds a master of science in environmental toxicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a bachelor of nursing science from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor of arts in chemistry-biology from Ripon College. Paula has 20 years of experience as an environmental scientist working on complex remediation and water quality-related projects for the federal government. She is a registered nurse with experience in geriatrics and primary care.

Rachel Schrank

Rachel Schrank, BSN, RN has been a nurse for almost 12 years, working primarily in adult intensive care. Rachel enjoys the ICU setting because of constant learning, teamwork and the satisfaction of making a difference.  After becoming a mother and moving into a more diverse community, Rachel became more aware of environmental health issues; she looks forward to learning more about environmental health in the ANHE fellowship program.

Region 6: AR, LA, NM, OK, TX

Adelita G. Cantu

Adeita G. Cantu, PhD, RN is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio School of Nursing. Dr. Cantu has extensive experience as a public health nurse working in the community through collaboration to ensure equitable health, particularly in minority, low income communities. Dr. Cantu’s environmental justice work involves teaching the next generation of health care professionals about climate change as a public health issue, as well as teaching low income youth about climate change and working with local policy makers to understand climate change and its inequitable burden to vulnerable, low income communities.

Antionella “Shelley” Upshaw

Antionella “Shelley” Upshaw, PhD, BS, RN
 is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. She focuses on teaching undergraduate and graduate students about community populations at risk and major issues affecting community health and community health nursing. Dr. Upshaw is constantly striving to prepare the next generation of nurses to advance the health of the nation’s changing multiethnic, aging population.

Aaron Salinas

 is an Assistant Professor and the BSN Program Coordinator at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg Texas. He has been in Academia for 7 years. In addition to his role with the School of Nursing . Dr. Salinas is a Nurse Practitioner with Board Certifications as a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. He is part of the UT Health Rio Grande Valley Team and sees patients at the University Health Center and does consultation work with a local psychiatrist and a pediatrician in the Rio Grande Valley. He is involved in many organizations at the local, state and national level where he serves on many of the organizations as a board member. 

Nancy Moran

Nancy Moran RN, MS, has worked in public health nursing in Tulsa, Oklahoma for over 22 years. She is an integrative nurse coach, yoga instructor, and collage artist, with a masters degree in integrative health and wellness and a focus on mind-body medicine. Nancy has served as a community volunteer is various capacities including founding the first transition living center for homeless people with chronic mental illness, leading the Tulsa Peace Fellowship, and most recently as the co-coordinator of Tulsa Ready for 100, which seeks to secure a just and equitable resolution from the Tulsa City Council to transition to 100% renewable energy. Nancy is now on focusing her energy on community organizing and engagement.

Region 7: IA, KS, MO, NE

Lynelle Phillips

Lynelle Phillips, RN, MPH has a nearly 30 year career studying and working in public health with an emphasis in infectious diseases and environmental health.  She has worked for CDC in various roles including environmental health scientist, nurse consultant and public health advisor. She is currently an Assistant Professor at University of Missouri and teaches Environmental Health, several Epidemiology courses and Health Ethics.  She also coordinates the MPH Internship Program and has lead several study abroad trips to Ghana.

Kiley Petersmith

Kiley Petersmith, MSN, RN, CPEN, CPN
 is the lead program coordinator and assistant professor in undergraduate nursing at Nebraska Methodist College in Omaha, NE. As the lead program coordinator, Kiley partners with Douglas County Health Department in developing a program to implement point of care testing for lead toxicity in vulnerable child populations in Omaha, NE (which has been federally mandated as a superfund site).  Kiley is also pursuing a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in public health policy, where she focuses on creating a continuously improving standard of care that eliminates health disparities and promotes socially-just health policies.

Atenas Mena

Atenas Mena has been a nurse for five years and holds a certification in pediatric nursing. Atenas holds a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Avila University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nursing leadership at Missouri Western State University with a planned graduation date of December 2019. Atenas currently works as a nurse environmental health coordinator at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

David Buchheit

David Buchheit is a nurse with special interests in environmental stewardship and public health and looks forward to working in the fellowship to developing a project to promote environmental health.  David’s current nursing position is on an ICU stepdown unit where he cares for a diverse patient population. David enjoys digging in his garden, tinkering with his house, going on roadtrips, and attending plays featuring his wife/partner in life.

Region 8: CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY

Elizabeth Schenk

Elizabeth Schenk, PhD, RN, FAAN is the Executive Director of Environmental Stewardship for Providence, a health system with over 50 hospitals and 1000 clinics. She is instrumental in helping advance the organization toward its goal of becoming carbon negative by 2030, through the conservation of resources, education, and research.

Beth is assistant research professor at Washington State University College of Nursing. She led the development of CHANT: Climate and Health Tool, measuring health professionals’ awareness and engagement with climate change and health. CHANT has been translated to several languages and used in over 30 nations. She developed the WE ACT Framework (Waste, Energy/water, Agriculture/food, Chemicals, Transportation) to organize the extensive range of environmental stewardship, while motivating action.

As a board member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, she hosts the Nurses for Healthy Environments podcast. She is on the boards of Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate and Climate Smart Missoula.

Beth has been honored with the Charlotte Brody Award, as a distinguished alumnus from the University of Montana, and as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Jo Ann G. Kim

Jo Ann G. Kim (also known as “Jo”) grew up in rural Northeast Nebraska and currently resides in South Dakota.  She has worked as an acute care and outpatient RN in various subspecialties, as well as in home-care nursing, occupational health nursing, community health nursing, and as a nurse educator.  Jo is currently pursuing MSN degree in the family nurse practitioner track at Mount Marty College. She has become involved with ANHE in the interest of helping to improve the health of her community, which is impacted by environmental challenges including heavy pesticide usage on farms as well as weather extremes in a changing climate.

Stephanie Burkholder

Stephanie Burkholder was born and raised in Helena, Montana.  Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Carroll College in Helena and teaches several nursing courses to undergraduates.  Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and Master of Nursing (family nurse practitioner program) from Montana State University.  Prior to her current role in academia, her nursing career included pediatric inpatient care, public health nursing, and nurse case management. When she is not teaching, Stephanie enjoys hiking, backpacking, and exploring with her husband and two children.

Kathy Reiner

Kathy Reiner is currently a School Nurse Specialist with the Colorado Department of Education. Previously, she worked as a public health professional in environmental and communicable disease epidemiology. Ms. Reiner is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of School Nurses, where she leads the Healthy Communities Strategic Committee, working to achieve the organization’s vision that all students will be healthy, safe and ready to learn. Ms. Riener believes that working for climate justice can help to realize this vision.

Region 9: AZ, CA HI, NV, American. Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands

Barbara Sattler

Dr. Sattler is a Professor at the University of San Francisco (USF) and an international leader in environmental health and nursing. She is a founding and active member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.   

At USF, she teaches environmental health in the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Public Health Programs.  Prior to her position at USF, Dr. Sattler was at the University of Maryland for 25 years where she directed the Environmental Health Education Center in the School of Nursing.   Over the years, Dr. Sattler has lead projects on lead poisoning prevention, greening hospitals, sustainable agriculture, climate change, children’s environmental health, and faculty development programs in environmental health.

She has been an advisor to the US EPA’s Office of Child Health Protection and the National Library of Medicine for informational needs of health professionals on environmental health.  Dr. Sattler has been the PI on a host of grants from NIEHS, HUD, and the EPA.   She helped to found Health Care Without Harm, a national organization focused on greening the health care sector.   She is the author of Environmental Health and Nursing, and many peer-reviewed articles.    Dr. Sattler is a Registered Nurse with an MPH and DrPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.  She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Sarah Brown Blake

Sarah Brown Blake, PhD, RN, PHN
 is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at California State University, Chico. She coordinates the graduate program and teaches public health nursing. Her research focuses on equitable access to clean and affordable drinking water in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Michelle Bergen

Michelle Bergen
 has been a nurse for 25 years and worked primarily in oncology nursing.  As of 2017, Ms. Bergen holds an MSN degree from California State University-Fresno and is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She is currently pursuing a DNP degree at the University of San Francisco with a major in population health leadership, where her focus is on prevention and education around coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever. She hopes to implement a program in the Central Valley where primary care providers are educated on coccidioidomycosis prevention, pathophysiology, and mandatory screening and early treatment in high-risk groups.

Region 10: AK, ID, OR, WA

Nancy Chaney

Nancy Chaney has a diverse nursing background that includes hospital, clinical, and private duty services. She holds an MS in environmental science and served two terms as mayor of Moscow, Idaho.  During her tenure as mayor, she also served in associated state, national, and international leadership roles. Nancy currently volunteers for various organizations, including the One Health Advisory Board, which links human, animal, and environmental health. She lives in North Idaho, where she and her husband own a veterinary specialty business.

Soohyun Kim

Soohyun Kim is a public health nurse with State of Alaska, and is currently a regional nurse manager for Southeast Alaska. She holds MSN and MPH degrees from Johns Hopkins University, and she has served in a number of past roles related to public and community health, refugee health, and data analysis.  Ms. Kim is deeply interested in advocating for environmental health issues at a local level and in translating environmental health research into actionable, culturally relevant information.

Rachael De Souza

Rachael De Souza
 works as a bedside nurse at a large hospital in Tacoma, WA. In her free time, she focuses on local climate justice and labor advocacy.  Rachael is very interested in engaging underrepresented groups (such as low-wage workers, laborers in construction trades, and black and brown folks) in environmental advocacy. Through the ANHE fellowship program, Rachael hopes to find support in climate justice work and to learn about how to motivate other nurses to become climate justice leaders, including seeking elected offices.

Kelly McCarthy

Kelly McCarthy holds a Master’s of Science in Nursing Education and is pursuing a post-graduate certificate in Healthcare Simulation. She has been a nurse since 2005, and she has experience in acute care and nursing education from a staff development perspective. She currently works as the supervisor of a new hospital-based Simulation Center and manages the online learning system.  She lives on a farmstead, where she grows food and cares for a variety of animals; she is also a beekeeper and has a passion for self-sustainable living.

Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship 2019 – 2020 Cohort

Fellowship Program Convening Events

Throughout the Fellowship experience, ANHE hosted two convening events as a way to build community and strengthen relationships between participants and engage in dialogue with environmental justice and community leaders. The convening events additionally provided an opportunity for the participants to explore their process for transformation and to expand their capacity to respond to environmental health threats in partnership with communities.

Experiences from ANHE Nurse Fellows

As part of their Fellowship experience, Nurse Fellows partnered with community-based organizations to address a community-identified environmental health need and build support for community-driven solutions. Learn more about their experiences below.

Ruth Esa (region 2) explored CBO’s throughout Queens, New York, building connections throughout the borough. Ruth supported the Green Team at a high school focused on preparing students for careers in the health professions in Cambria Heights, Queens. The Green Team’s goal was to promote food justice and autonomy in promoting food choices and practices that improve health while mitigating climate change. She helped them apply for a citizen’s grant that would support the school in providing fresh, school-grown produce to the community, composting food scraps, and install native permaculture gardens to enhance green space on school grounds. This grant is now being utilized in COVID-19 relief efforts for those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and economic crisis.  She has become a “Compost Master” and has advocated to promote composting amongst the students, work colleagues and voiced her testimony to the NYC Council Committee on Sanitation & Solid Waste Management to #SaveOurCompost. 

Chris Fasching Maphis (region 3) assisted efforts to form the 50by25 campaign in Harrisburg, Virginia. The campaign advocated for the city council to commit to 50% renewable energy in the electric grid by 2025. The campaign also called for a 25% increase in energy efficiency in municipal and school buildings by 2020, along with the promotion of equitable pricing and creation of programs that incentivize weatherization and energy efficiency in residential and commercial properties, lowering energy costs and making housing more affordable. Chris worked with the campaign to submit a $500,000 grant to enhance equitable interventions around the health impacts of climate change. In response to campaign advocacy efforts; the Harrisonburg city council unanimously passed a resolution committing to 100% clean and renewable electricity by 2035, and across all energy sectors by 2050. This makes her community one of 10 cities in Virginia and one of 166 U.S. cities to adopt 100% clean energy commitments. Her efforts to engage other health professionals around this important work has included providing education and advocacy for sustainable and equitable energy transitions to local health and social service providers and her undergraduate nursing students, helping to organize a continuing education conference with the University of Virginia, and submitting a resolution on climate change for the American Nurses Association (ANA).

Hannah Noel-Bouchard (region 4) developed and led an ecoClub after school program for elementary students in North Charleston, South Carolina with the assistance of her community-based organization partner, the Charleston Promise Neighborhood, focused on the effects of air quality on asthma and environmental justice. The ecoClub engaged students on activities to increase understanding of environmental health, cultivate community engagement, and allow students to showcase their work in an Earth Day celebration. Unfortunately, the ecoClub was put on hold due to the pandemic, however Hannah has continued discussions with the Charleston Promise Neighborhood into how the program could be continued after the pandemic,  how we may be able to implement environmental justice solutions into summer programs, and what an ‘Environmental Club’ program might look like in coming years.

Hannah also helped to bridge connections between her partner community-based organization and various community organizations, promoting collaboration on important efforts such as air monitoring and revitalization of green spaces in the North Charleston area. In one collaborative project, Hannah worked with a local organization to utilize grant funding to purchase air quality monitoring for area affected by poor air quality.

Meera Sotor (region 5) partnered with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) utilizing her voice to support the fight for a healthier community in Little Village, Chicago, Illinois and beyond. Meera testified and submitted a public comment in support of a strong permitting and regulatory process that holds corporations and polluters in the community accountable. Along with her vocal activism she created a painting to showcase the Little Village’s fight for clean air and assisted with a press conference highlighting the Little Village community’s continued efforts to reduce the burden of pollution, to improve health outcomes, and for a just transition to clean and renewable development in the area.

Aaron Salinas (region 6) a nurse practitioner in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas near the border with Mexico, hosted educational sessions for the community (via the local Kiwanis club in Edinburg, Texas) about particular environmental health issues affecting the area.  These topics included flooding, pollution, air/water quality, safe food accessibility, safe home environments, and lead contamination.

Nancy Moran (region 6) monitored air pollution/air quality, surveyed her community on health impacts related to air pollution, and shared the community’s air quality concerns with city and state officials. She also worked with Tulsa city officials and community organizations to update Tulsa’s energy efficiency scorecard to help reduce its contribution to climate change.

Kiley Petersmith (region 7) designed and implemented a risk assessment tool for common health concerns related to poor housing/living conditions, including lead poisoning, which will be implemented in local schools in Omaha, Nebraska. This risk assessment tool will flag those that are “at risk” and refer them to the Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance which provides resources to assess, diagnose, and mitigate harmful environmental issues in the home.

Kathy Reinier (region 8) removed real and perceived barriers to access to these resources in Lone Tree, Colorado with the goal of increasing birdwatching participation and high quality time in nature amongst people with mobility impairments.  She helped in assessing challenges faced by people with mobility impairments on the trails, and then she facilitated interventions which addressed these challenges.  Ultimately, people with disabilities in Kathy’s community have improved access to birdwatching and time in nature as a result of Kathy’s work.

Sarah Brown-Blake (region 9) assessed for water insecurity and facilitated a program to increase access to mental health services in a community struggling to recover from severe and long-lasting impacts from wildfires near Davis, California.  Many basic services, including health care and potable tap water, are still not readily available in this community in the wake of the devastating Camp Fire of 2018.

Soohyun Kim (region 10) assisted with various community outreach projects of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH) Lab at the University of Maryland-College Park. She helped develop educational materials and plan for community workshops on different environmental justice issues, including park access equity and air quality.