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Children's Health Protection

2007 Children's Environmental Health Excellence Awards


2007 Children’s 
Environmental Health Awards Logo

See the 2008 Children's Environmental Health Champions!

The Children's Environmental Health Awards aim to increase awareness and stimulate activity by recognizing efforts that protect children from environmental health risks at the local, regional, national, and international level.

Children's Environmental Health Champion
Excellence Award Winners



Children's Environmental Health Champion

Photo of Dr. Ruth Etzel

The Children's Environmental Health Champion is an honorary award presented to individuals in recognition of their outstanding efforts and commitment to advancing children’s environmental health issues. The 2007 Children's Environmental Health Champion award is presented to Dr. Ruth Etzel. Dr. Etzel is an internationally known epidemiologist, pediatrician, and environmental health specialist. She is being recognized for 20 years of work and for driving the effort to emphasize the critical importance of children’s environmental health for health professionals.

Dr. Etzel is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. She worked for 12 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she founded and directed the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch. She was a major contributor to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) widely-used Problem Based Training Exercises for Environmental Epidemiology (1992) and has taught environmental epidemiology workshops for WHO in many countries.

Dr. Etzel is Board-certified in both Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine. She founded the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Epidemiology and chaired it from 1988 to 1992. She served on the AAP Committee on Environmental Health from 1986 to 1995 and was the Chair of that committee from 1995 to 1999. She founded and served as editor of the first (1999) and second (2003) editions of the AAP Pediatric Environmental Health. For the past 20 years, her research has focused on the effects of environmental pollutants on children’s health. She has received numerous research awards, including the prestigious Arthur S. Fleming Award, presented annually to 10 outstanding individuals in the Federal Government, and the United States Public Health Service Professional Association’s Clinical Society Award.

Working with the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, Dr. Etzel helped launch the first Pediatric Environmental Health Fellowships in the United States in 2001. The fellowships provide three years of post-graduate training to pediatricians interested in careers in pediatric environmental health. Dr. Etzel serves on the national fellowship oversight committee and wrote the competencies used in the pediatric environmental health fellowship programs.

Most recently, Dr. Etzel has worked with the International Pediatric Association (IPA), with support from EPA, to launch a virtual International Pediatric Environmental Health Leadership Institute. The institute could eventually reach up to 500,000 pediatricians about children’s environmental health. IPA, WHO, and the United Nations Environment Programme held workshops in Nairobi, New Delhi, and Port-au-Prince that attracted 67 medical professionals from 21 African countries, 44 professionals from India, and 70 professionals from Haiti. The workshops used the WHO Training Modules on Children’s Environmental Health, which were developed with EPA support. The leadership institute will evaluate its training by administering a pediatric environmental health examination to those who attended the workshops. Pediatricians will become diplomats of the institute and will help teach workshops, serve as resources for information requests, provide clinical consultation upon request, and advise policymakers. Ultimately, the institute will improve participants’ expertise and leadership in recognizing, diagnosing, preventing, and managing pediatric diseases linked to environmental factors, and will enable them to be champions of healthy environments for children.

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Excellence Award Winners


Photo of 2007 Excellence 
Award Winners

Excellence Awards are presented to groups or individuals who exemplify invaluable leadership in the protection of children from environmental health risks. The 2007 Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Award winners are listed below.

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