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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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What is unique about the health professional advocate? How can health professionals effectively engage in environmental health advocacy?

Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on July 28, 2011

PSR’s mission is to protect human life from the gravest threats to health and survival. The principles of public health prevention expressed in this mission do not get implemented through one-on-one clinical medicine; they get implemented instead through education and advocacy -- the act of speaking out for a cause. PSR therefore works to motivate, inspire, and support health professionals to educate their communities at the local, state, and national level and to combine that education with science-based, health-focused advocacy.

There are many forms of advocacy in support of environmental health. Advocacy includes arranging for a Grand Rounds at your university; writing a letter to the editor; serving on your city council; getting a resolution passed by your professional association; working for a public health agency at the state level; meeting with your Senator, and more.

PSR has been lucky to work with many dedicated health professionals who have invested enormous amounts of time and talent in speaking out on the issues that matter to them. We are also always interested in bringing new health professionals into this work as well. This month, instead of addressing a specific topic in environmental health, the Environmental Health Policy Institute talks with some of these seasoned health professional advocates about their advocacy: why and how they do what they do.

We hope that by learning about their paths to advocacy, as well as some of the nuts and bolts of how you can do such work, you will be inspired to get involved as well. We welcome you to advocate for health at any level, and are eager to share with you the challenges and rewards of speaking out for our shared cause.


The views expressed in these essays are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Physicians for Social Responsibility.


Nurses as Environmental Health Advocates: A Trusted Voice
Brenda Afzal, MS RN

“A Professional Responsibility”: Advocacy and the Healthcare Professional
Richard Clapp, DSc MPH

Be a Translator of the Science

Robert Gould, MD

More than the Patient in the Office

Alan Lockwood, MD

Special Expertise, Special Concern

Peter Orris, MD MPH

The World Would Change Tomorrow

Jeff Ritterman, MD

The Importance of the Personal

Gina Solomon, MD MPH


William Blackley, MD said ..

Ron Saff, William Sammons and I are gathering signatures from Physician organizations who have written resoulutions or letter concerned about the health risks from emission released by burning biomass. We have the NC Academy of Family Practice, American Academy of Family Practice, Mass and Fla Medical Societies. You know about the American Lung Association and American Heart Association. Can you combine what we are doing with what these groups, you and we are doing? Best, Bill

August 3, 2011

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