Climate change effects every aspect of our health and there are unique health concerns for the residents of Martha's Vineyard. We will discuss those health concerns and the health benefits of climate mitigation and adaptation.
Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN is a professor and co-director the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (US Region 3 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit) at Villanova University’s Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. Her area of expertise is public health nursing with a focus on global and environmental health. Her teaching and research are related to the intersection of human health and the environment. She has published about incorporating climate change into nursing curricula, climate health impacts for older adults and children, and the health impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania. Her current research is examining climate change adaptation of community-based organizations. In 2018, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Finland where she worked with Finnish nurses to link climate change to health and address mitigation and adaptation strategies. She was the 2020 Charlotte Brody Award recipient for the nurse who exemplifies environmental nursing leadership, and the lead editor of the recently released Environmental Health in Nursing, 2nd ed. Ruth knows that climate change is our greatest public health threat AND our greatest public health opportunity.
Jeanne Leffers, PhD, RN, FAAN is professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth College of Nursing and Health Sciences where she taught in the nursing, sociology/anthropology sustainability programs. She was also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Rhode Island and Villanova University where her teaching focus was public health nursing particularly global and environmental health. Her publications include a focus upon environment and climate change with 2021 and 2022 publications that address Nursing’s Pivotal Role in Global Climate Action and Climate Change and the Health of Children: Our Borrowed Future. She was the lead editor of the first edition of Environmental Health in Nursing (2016) that received the ANA Book of the Year Award. She has served on the EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) Steering Committee and their environmental health education workgroup, and global climate change committee. Locally she serves on the Town of Warren, RI Conservation Commission where there is a focus upon sustainability and climate mitigation projects particularly in relation to the impacts of sea level rise in the community. Now retired and a grandmother her focus is to promote children’s health with a focus upon climate and environmental threats and help her local community to address climate change.