Worthy Work

July 22, 2013

This post was authored by Lauren Linville, HEFN's Communications Associate.

It is nice to see work in the field getting recognized for making people and planet healthier. Some recent awards caught our eye, not just because of who was honored, but because of who did the honors.  The White House and National Environmental Health Association just recognized environmental health work embedding climate action in healthcare and children’s environmental health in daycare. These groups’ awards for innovative environmental health and justice work signals to us a growing understanding of environmental influences on health. Also of note is a HEFN member’s recent “Sparkplug” award for enlightened public service. Here’s a brief summary of these recent awards to worthy work:

White House Champions of Change, Climate and Health

Awarded to: Gary Cohen, President and Founder of Health Care Without Harm

The White House Champions of Change program awards individuals for innovative ideas in categories ranging from crowdfunding to strengthening food security. In early July, public health leader and philanthropic advisor Gary Cohen was named a White House Champion of Change in the category of climate and health. Cohen was honored for the work of Health Care Without Harm in reducing the health sector’s contribution to climate change and preparing communities for health threats related to climate change.   This high-profile national award is an important recognition, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness of environmental health concerns related to climate change.

National Environmental Health Association’s First Environmental Health Innovation Award

Awarded to: Children’s Environmental Health Network

The Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) received the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)’s first-ever Environmental Health Innovation Award on July 9, 2013. The award recognizes individuals or groups for “creating a new idea, practice, or produce that has had a positive impact on improving environmental public health and the quality of life.” CEHN won the inaugural award for its EcoHealthy Child Care© program, which supports child care providers in creating environmentally healthy child care places. The award demonstrates environmental health professionals’ understanding of the importance of healthier indoor conditions for better health outcomes.   This area of work has also been a focal point for HEFN members and funders in the Healthy Housing Funders Forum.

The John Merck Fund’s 2013 Recipient of the Frank Hatch Award for Enlightened Public Service

Awarded to: Pete Myers, Founder and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences

Pete Myers, Founder and chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences This year the John Merck Fund gave its seventh Frank Hatch Award for Enlightened Public Service, in memory of the Fund’s board leader. In June, the John Merck Fund awarded Pete Myers the 2013 Frank Hatch “Sparkplug” Award for his work with Environmental Health Sciences to incorporate scientific understanding of endocrine disrupting chemicals in toxicology. The annual award is presented to a JMF grantee whose work exemplifies, “extraordinary creativity, dedication, and foresight.” Our hats off to these honorees  and to the organizations helping shine a spotlight on their worthy work.

From our Blog

Phyllis Omido, 2015 Goldman Prize Winner
Blog posted on July 16, 2015
This blog highlights recent awards recognizing innovative environmental health and justice contributions and champions.

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