Nurses Stethoscope, The

Nurses Stethoscope, The


“Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, Healthy Environments: A Nurse’s Role in Assessing and Addressing the Health Risks to Mothers and Babies from Environmental Exposures.” More than 150 nurses and nursing students attended the Health Care Without Harm conference in Washington, D.C. September 17 at The Catholic University of America. There were great presenters including Novella Jackson, Barb Sattler, Anna Gilmore Hall, Cecilia DeLoach; Environmental Working Group’s, Jane Houlihan; Debbie Spunt, the director of the clinical labs at the University of Maryland Nursing School talking about eliminating mercury from clinical labs; a Catholic University Professor of Nursing who spoke about pesticides and Integrated Pest Management; the legislative director of the Association of Women’s Health and Obstetrics Nursing; a midwife and the deputy director of JHPIEGO, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins; and a nurse educator at Inova talking on PVC and phthalates. The American Nurses Association, Virginia Nurses Association, Maryland Nurses Association, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and Howard University School of Nursing, and the D.C. Chapter of National Black Nurses Association, among others, co-sponsored the conference.

Attendees learned how mercury, PVC, and indoor air quality can negatively impact patient and staff health, and what nurses can do to reduce or eliminate these problems in their facilities. The focus of the day was providing practical take-home steps that nurses can take to improve their work environment, and at the same time make health care facilities healthier places for vulnerable populations like expectant mothers and babies. Free CE hours were offered for attending this conference through the Maryland Nurses Association. Health Care Without Harm designed the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, Healthy Environments conference as a template to be replicated locally by others interested in educating nurses about environmental health issues. For more information about this conference and the topics covered, please visit the conference website at, or contact Kelly Heekin at 202-234-0091 or kheekin@hcwh. org. Congratulations to all who worked so hard on this project!


Charlotte Brody will be speaking in the “Human Biomarkers of Exposure” session on the topic of body burden at the Sixth National Environmental Public Health Conference: “Preparing for the Environmental Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century” December 3-5, 2003 in Atlanta, GA.

Contact the DC Health Care Without Harm office at 202-234-0091 or for additional information.

Reprinted with permission from The Nurses Stethoscope, October 2003.

Copyright Georgia Nurses Association Nov 2003

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