eastern pA

Place based environmental health is critical to keeping communities in Pennsylvania free of exposures to hazards such as lead, radon, pesticides, PFAS, and more. Awareness of these hazards is essential, especially for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens
Philadelphia is a diverse city. Approximately 49% of its residents identify as people of color, 42% of the population speaks Spanish, and 45% of the population has an average household income of less than $50,000 (24% below $25,000). There is a direct correlation between negative health outcomes and race, income level, and other social determinants of health correlated with these areas. 
As of 2021, WHE has begun providing its programs and services offered in Southwestern Pennsylvania – where our programs protect citizens from exposure to lead in their environment, reduce asthma triggers, and mitigate the health impacts of a hotter and wetter Pennsylvania – to the eastern Pennsylvania region through our office in Philadelphia.

Lorna Rosenberg, healthy buildings manager

Eastern PA Staff

Lorna is recently retired from 36 years at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Mid-Atlantic Philadelphia Office, having focused on Superfund, Strategic Planning, Green and Healthy Buildings and Children’s Health during her long career. From 2003-2006 she was “on-loan” from the EPA to the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (a 501c3) when she served as their founding Executive Director before returning to the EPA. Prior to her time at the USEPA, Lorna was an Environmental Manager at Browning Ferris Industries and an Industrial Hygiene Specialist at the Allied Chemical Corporation.  Lorna is a LEED Green Associate and has a Master of Science in Environmental Health from Drexel University.

impact

Since 2021 Women for a Healthy Environment has worked with Montgomery County Headstart to create cleaning and infection control procedures to mitigate COVID for teachers and students returning to the classroom. This included the selection of effective cleaning supplies which eliminate the virus with a short dwell time but are non-toxic to users with proper protocols.

WHE has also worked with more than 60 childcare centers through the Public Health Maintenance Corporation, to provide webinars and technical support on environmental exposures and compliance, such as lead dust and water testing, radon testing, integrated pest management, mold etc. Green Cleaning Starter kits were distributed to over 50 of the centers along with fact sheets and user information.

Support and Resources for Eastern Pennsylvanians

Women for a Healthy Environment expanded into the Eastern Pennsylvania region with hopes to reach a broader audience with our programs and resources, while also providing geographically-curated recommendations and best practices to individuals, schools and early learning centers. Visit the Support and Resources page below for more information on eco-healthy best practices for those living in eastern Pennsylvania.

Eastern PA’s AJ Early Learning Center earned the highest distinction of being an Eco Healthy Childcare Center in June 2022.

Eco-Healthy® Endorsement Program

For nearly five years, WHE has partnered with Children’s Environmental Health Network to provide a tangible set of goals for early learning centers to benchmark their progress on reaching eco-health standards. These benchmarks that prioritize environmental health in centers are broken down into multiple categories, including but not limited to pesticides, lead, drinking water and air quality, material quality, and groundskeeping. While only a small number of centers receive the Eco Healthy distinction, many of the goals are easily achieveable and/or already included in PA’s early learning center licensing standards – meaning any center can easily take the steps to earn the Endorsement and make their commitment to keeping children healthy and safe known to their communities.

air Quality Monitoring Program

Airthinx is an indoor air quality monitoring and improvement technology company that provides diverse solutions to poor air quality in the built environment. Not only does Airthinx work to decrease toxins in the built environment through advanced filtration systems, but they also provide specific solutions to decrease the risk of COVID-19 in indoor spaces. 

Preparing for Extreme Weather - Flooding and Heat

In response to the continued threat of climate change-related extreme weather events, WHE strives to provide resources that will help equip early learning centers throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania with tools to keep children safe. Thus, WHE asks early learning center administrators to fill out a form signifying centers’ current level of preparation and tools to better prepare for extreme flooding and heat.

Healthy Childcare Champions Certification

WHE collaborates with a statewide network of organizations to provide Healthy Childcare Champion certifications. Our certification highlights the hard work being done at early learning centers to become healthier, more environmentally sustainable and more prepared for climate change impacts. Our certification helps centers showcase their shared commitment to keeping children healthy and safe from environmental toxins, establishes a network of support for Centers that similarly prioritize environmental health, and encourages others to become Champions themselves.

Want to become a Childcare Champion? WHE certified Healthy Childcare Champions must:

  • Receive six hours of technical assistance through WHE, including: 
    • Two hour initial walk-through and consultation 
    • 1 hour of other type of assistance 
    • (3 hour) CEHN Eco-Healthy training 
  • Be able to produce proof of program promotion, including advertising the program on a:
    • Email signature
    • Newsletter
    • Website shout-out
    • Social media post
    • etc. 
 
Are you located in the Philadelphia area and interested in becoming certified? Email Healthy Buildings Manager Lorna Rosenberg at Lorna@WomenforAHealthyEnvironment.org.
Join us for the:

2022 Healthy Schools PA Summit

Where and When? December 9, 2022 Virtual

8:30am– Welcome from Phil Johnson, Heinz Foundation on the Healthy Schools PA State of the Schools Report 

9:00-10:00am: First Keynote speaker: former Climate Advisor to the Obama Administration and Activist, Molly Kawahata

10:00-11:00am Panel — Teaching Hope to the Next Generation of Climate Leaders in the School Environment  

11:00-11:15am: Break 

11:15-12:15pm – Second Keynote Speaker: Research Scientist and Deputy Indoor Environment Group Leader in Energy Analysis and Environmental Impact Division at Lawrence: Dr. Rengie Chan

12:15 – 12:45 pm: Break for lunch 

12:45– 1:15 pm: Expert presentation on what it takes to promote and protect healthy school environments across PA

1:15 – 2:30 pm – Learning from Experts and Innovators’ Award-Winning Initiatives in School Environmental Health featuring PA Green Ribbon Schools.

2:30pm– Close with final remarks from Healthy Schools PA Program Manager, Shannon Meyers 

Join Us!

Together, we can ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children and those who devote their lives to shaping them into the next generation of leaders. Join engaging panel discussions among community leaders, policymakers, advocates, scientists and families from across our region, state and nation for the Healthy Schools Pennsylvania Summit on December 9, 2022.

Register for this free, virtual event using the link below: