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Health Care Without Harm Announces 2012 Nurses Award Winners

Honor Work to Advance Environmental Sustainability Among Nurses

Denver, CO — The Health Care Without Harm Nurses Work Group in conjunction with The Luminary Project has named Dr. Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, APRN, PHCNS-BC, FAAOHN, as the 2012 Recipient of the Charlotte Brody Award. Dr. Chalupka is Professor of Public Health Nursing and Chair of the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing at Worcester State University and also holds an appointment as a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health, Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program at the Harvard School of Public Health. HCWH also named Morgan Lincoln as the winner of the Hollie Shaner-McRae Nursing Student Essay Contest.

“Dr. Chalupka’s life work embodies the spirit of the Charlotte Brody Award,” stated Kelli Barber, RN, MN, Co-chair of the Nurses Work Group for Health Care Without Harm. “Her work in the field of environmental health spans two decades and includes addressing sustainability in the healthcare setting, educating the public on hazardous environmental exposures, and integrating environmental health concepts into nursing education. The positive impacts of her work are far-reaching – influencing public health policy and promoting the role of nurses in the field of environmental health through the presentation of research. Dr. Chalupka is a phenomenal role model, empowering and leading the nursing commitment to improving environmental health.”

The Charlotte Brody Award was created in 1996 by HCWH in honor of Charlotte Brody, one of the founders of HCWH. A lifelong advocate for social change, a registered nurse and activist, Ms. Brody has spent her life making the world a safer place for people around the world. The award recognizes a nurse’s endeavors towards “brilliantly lighting the way to a healthier environment and inspiring other nurses to do the same.” HCWH’s Nurses Workgroup sponsors The Luminary Project: Nurses Lighting the Way to Environmental Health. The Luminary Project encourages nurses to engage in environmental health and to tell their stories to inspire others to do the same.

For more than two decades, Dr. Chalupka has worked to reduce and prevent harmful exposures and health risks to children and underserved, disproportionately impacted low income, minority, and tribal communities. As a member of UMass Lowell Sustainable Hospitals Program research team, Dr. Chalupka was instrumental in the development of information that has been recognized as an important resource for those working to reduce the impact of hospitals on the environment. Dr. Chalupka is currently engaged in a four-year project providing assessment, remediation and education for low income, immigrant, and refugee families living in homes with environmental hazards.

Dr. Chalupka has been successful in integrating environmental health into all levels of nursing education. She developed the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses’ Core Curriculum in Environmental Health for Nurses. She incorporated environmental health content into all MS courses into the Community & Public Health and the Nurse Educator programs at Worcester State University. This is the first university in the country to require an environmental health education course in these programs.

Dr. Chalupka has authored numerous publications in environmental and occupational health. She has presented hundreds of papers on environmental health at national and international nursing, occupational health, and public health conferences, raising the profile of nursing in the world of environmental health science.

Recently, Dr. Chalupka served as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) National Conversation on Public Health & hemical Exposures. She is a member of the Senior Advisory Council of Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production’s Toward Tomorrow Advisory Board; and the National Environmental Education Foundation’s Health and Environment Advisory Committee.

Hollie Shaner–McRae Nursing Student Essay Contest Winner

Morgan Lincoln, a nursing student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, has been named the winner of the Hollie Shaner-McRae Nursing Student Essay Contest. Ms. Lincoln is a member of the Executive Committee of Ontario Nurses for the Environment Interest Group (ONEIG). The essay contest recognizes the environmental work of Hollie Shaner-McRae, DNP, RN, FAAN, Coordinator for Professional Nursing Practice at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT. Recipients are chosen through an essay contest in which entrants are asked to discuss “How Nursing Students Can Foster Environmentally Sustainable Practices in Their Schools of Nursing, Health Care Facilities or Communities”.

Read Morgan Lincoln's winning essay: Change is Possible: A Reflection on Environmental Health Advocacy in Nursing (pdf)

Ms. Lincoln has experience in using social media, particularly Facebook, to better inform RNAO membership about environmental health issues and events, and has written articles on the topic of campus sustainability. She became President-Elect of ONEIG in January 2012. Most recently, she co-represented ONEIG at RNAO’s annual “Queen’s Park Day,” which gives nurses and nursing students the opportunity to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to discuss health-related policy matters.

Ms. Lincoln is currently completing her community nursing placement at Toronto Environmental Alliance, or TEA, a grassroots advocacy group that focuses on urban environmental issues). TEA’s outreach efforts seek to build a greener and more socially equitable Toronto (TEA, 2008). Her project for the term has revolved around the implementation of light-rail transit in Toronto.

Both awards will be presented at CleanMed 2012, in Denver, CO, on May 1.




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