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Welcome to PSR's Environmental Health Policy Institute, where we ask questions -- then we ask the experts to answer them. Join us as physicians, health professionals, and environmental health experts share their ideas, inspiration, and analysis about toxic chemicals and environmental health policy.


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Brenda M. Afzal, MS RN

Brenda M. Afzal, MS, RN is the U.S. Climate Policy Coordinator for Health Care Without Harm. She is engaged with several initiatives including environmental health education, advocacy and leadership development.   Ms. Afzal works at the local, state, and federal level to developing nurses’ capacity to effectively engage in the emerging area of environmental health.  She has helped to develop an effective network of state and national environmental and nursing organizations that have been engaging on common ground issues related to health and the environment.  Most recently she has led an initiative to develop a national environmental health nursing alliance, known as the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. 

Ms Afzal has had extensive advocacy and leadership training.  In 2007, she completed the League of Conservation Voter’s Leadership (LCV) ELI training and had previously completed LCV’s 2002 National Advocacy Academy in Washington, D.C.  In December of 2006, Afzal completed a year long fellowship in Maryland Non-Profit Advocacy Leadership Training program, and she also completed the Rockwood Leadership Training “The Art of Leadership” in September 2002.   

Ms. Afzal has a special interest in climate change, children’s environmental health, drinking water issues, and chemical policy.  She has effectively employed her environmental health expertise concerning drinking water issues while participating on national advisory committees to the National Safe Drinking Water Advisory Council to the U.S. EPA and as an alternate on the Children’s Environmental Advisory Council. She has served on the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures Policies and Practices Work Group, co-leading the committee on secondary prevention.  In addition, she is a member of the Executive Board of the Children’s Environmental Health Network and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.  Professionally, Ms Afzal is active in both the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and the American Public Health Association.  Ms Afzal is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Community/Public Health Nursing.


Nurses as Environmental Health Advocates: A Trusted Voice, July 28, 2011