UPDATE: Phipps is now open for your visit. All tickets must be purchased in advance, and new safety protocols are required. Learn more about how you can join us!

2020 One Health One Planet™ Symposium
One Health and the Air We Breathe

Oct. 19 – 23; noon – 2 p.m. daily
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Pittsburgh, PA

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Jamil Bey, Ph.D.

President and CEO, UrbanKind Institute

Jamil is the founder and president of the UrbanKind Institute, a think-and-do consultancy committed to providing direction to improve policies, programs, and practices that are kind to urban people and environments; the root of sustainability. Under Dr. Bey’s leadership and direction, the UrbanKind Institute has become one of the region’s premier public policy consultancies. Prized for our ability to do the complicated tasks of bringing people from all sectors and with often competing interests together to create actionable solutions. Jamil is a human geographer with 8 years of post-doctoral research and analysis of policy and practices that improve efficiency and outcomes in human experiences. As a researcher, analyst, and consultant he specializes in challenging common assumptions about ordinary concerns while bringing alternative perspectives for consideration. Trained as both a professional geographer and as an educator, Dr. Bey excels in spatial analysis and synthesis, pedagogy, and instruction. His primary focus is on spatial, and location analysis. His integrated-systems view of the world provides highly contextualized conclusions, and recommendations that consider the interconnectivity of economics, politics, history, culture, health, social movements, and the environment in his analyses.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Neil Donahue, Ph.D.

Thomas Lord Professor; Director of Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, Carnegie Mellon University

Neil Donahue is the founding director of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at Carnegie Mellon University and a Pittsburgh native. He is the Lord University Professor of Chemistry with appointments in both Science (in Chemistry) and Engineering (in Chemical Engineering as well as Engineering and Public Policy). He is now the director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, which represents all environmental scholarship at CMU. Donahue has an undergraduate degree in Physics from Brown University and a doctorate in Meteorology at MIT. Before coming to CMU in 2000, he spent a decade in the laboratory of James Anderson at Harvard. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for Aerosol Research and has received the Pittsburgh and Esselen Awards from the American Chemical Society. He has published more than 240 peer-reviewed journal articles, many very highly cited. 

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

James P. Fabisiak, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health; Director of the Center of Healthy Environments and Communities, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Dr. Fabisiak attended Syracuse University (BS) and Cornell University (MS) prior to receiving his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine. He did post-doctoral training at the University of Vermont and was the recipient of a Parker B. Francis Fellowship in Pulmonary Biology and Respiratory Medicine. He is currently Associate Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health and Director of the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at the University of Pittsburgh. Being a mechanistic toxicologist for much of his career, he studied the cellular and molecular responses of injury, inflammation, repair and pathologic changes following environmental insult. He has received funding from the NIH, EPA and other sources and contributed to over 50 peer-reviewed publications. More recently, he has “expanded his portfolio” to studying public and community health risks associated with air pollution, oil and gas development, and marine oil spills. He is an author of several PRETA reports examining air quality issues in Southwest PA.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Ned Ketyer, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Retired Pediatrician, Pediatric Alliance; member, American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health Project; board member, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Dr. Ned Ketyer is a Pittsburgh-area pediatrician with special interests in developmental pediatrics, preventative medicine, and environmental health. After completing his pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Dr. Ketyer practiced general pediatrics for 26 years before retiring from patient care in 2017. He writes and edits his practice’s popular blog, The PediaBlog, and remains a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health. Dr. Ketyer is a consultant for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project bringing attention to the health impacts of shale gas development in the Marcellus Shale gas patch, a board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility - Pennsylvania, and a Climate Reality Project Leader.

In all these roles, Dr. Ketyer connects the vast petrochemical “clusterfrack” underway in SW Pennsylvania with local and regional health impacts, and the global ecological and public health catastrophes resulting from plastic pollution and climate change that threaten the health and well-being of all passengers on this shining ball of blue.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Matthew M. Mehalik, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Breathe Project

Matt serves as Executive Director of the Breathe Project, a coalition of local residents, environmental advocates, public health professionals and academics advocating for healthier air for the Pittsburgh region. From 2007 – 2016, he served as Program Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh, where he created Champions for Sustainability. Matt teaches environmental policy and community resiliency courses at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University since 2008. He has written multiple peer-reviewed publications in sustainability, design, and education and has co-authored Ethical and Environmental Challenges to Engineering with Michael E. Gorman and Patricia Werhane. Matt’s Ph.D. is in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. He serves on the boards of Conservation Consultants International (CCI), Pine Richland School District, and Phipps Conservatory and chairs the Green Sanctuary Team at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Camila Rivera-Tinsley

Director of Education, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Camila Rivera-Tinsley is the director of education for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. She leads the conservancy’s growing slate of all-ages, environmental education programming and helms the Frick Environmental Center, the first publicly owned Living Building in the United States. Before serving in her current role, she attended The Pennsylvania State University and subsequently secured a position at The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, where she worked for 14 years, stewarding programming and mentoring hundreds of students and early career professionals. It was at the Schuylkill Center that she began to realize that urban environmental education, and ensuring the diversity of the field, was her true life’s passion. She helped to start a small environmental non-profit focused on people color and continues to use her voice to highlight the concerns of underserved populations. With an extensive background in environmental education, horticulture, permaculture, and urban agriculture, Rivera-Tinsley serves on the Environmental Education Advisory Council for the state of PA. Camila’s 17-year history of serving her community through her profession, volunteer work, and as an adviser to environmental organizations of color have formed and cemented her passion for providing opportunities to connect all peoples to green spaces in their community. Her true motivation lies in creating a more verdant and inclusive future for her 14year-old daughter.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Debra J. Romberger, M.D.

Henry J. Lehnhoff Professor and Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Debra Romberger is Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and a pulmonary/critical care physician. She graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine and pulmonary/critical care clinical fellowship at Kansas University Medical Center. She subsequently completed a pulmonary research fellowship at UNMC. She joined the faculty at UNMC and has advanced to the rank of Professor. Her research interests focus on airway inflammation especially related to agricultural-related dusts. Her work has been funded by NIOSH and the VA R&D. She is the PI of the outreach program for the Central States Center for Agriculture Safety and Health at UNMC.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Meghan Scanlon, WELL AP

Wellness and Sustainability Specailist, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Meghan Scanlon, Phipps' wellness and sustainability specialist, acts as a change agent for the Conservatory, facilitating new ways to connect human and environmental health within Phipps and other organizations. Her expertise in developing and implementing targeted sustainable wellness practice standards enhances Phipps’ mission. In Studio Phipps, she inspires others by sharing the knowledge Phipps has gathered about sustainability and health through our design projects and operations. Meghan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and public policy, and she has over 10 years of environmental impact documentation, land conservation and green infrastructure design experience.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Sally E. Wenzel, M.D.

Professor of Medicine; Chair, Department of Occcupational and Environmental Health, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Sally Wenzel completed her MD degree at the University of Florida and spent 19 years at National Jewish and the University of Colorado before moving to the University of Pittsburgh. She received numerous awards from the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society. She is currently Director of the University of Pittsburgh Asthma and Environmental Lung Health Institute at UPMC, and Chair for the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wenzel has a passion for improving the understanding of asthma, in particular severe asthma, where both genetic and environmental factors are likely to be playing a role. She has promoted severe asthma as a complex disease and her studies of asthma phenotypes are internationally recognized.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Linda Wigington

ROCIS Team Leader, ROCIS Pittsburgh

Linda Wigington provides indoor air quality and residential energy consulting services through her firm, Linda Wigington & Associates. She brings 30 years of building performance experience to her role as leader of the Pittsburgh, PA-based ROCIS (Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces) initiative, funded by The Heinz Endowments. Her focus is on low cost monitoring of air quality, and refining interventions that substantially reduce particle counts, whether they are from outdoor or indoor sources. To date, 42 cohorts have engaged 300 people in monitoring particles (0.5+ and 2.5+ um), CO2, CO, and radon in their homes or workplaces for a three-week period. Over 40 homes have participated in longer term monitoring to gain insight on the impact of filtration strategies, kitchen exhaust hoods, and radon mitigation. Linda received her master’s degree from WVU’s Program for the Study of Technology. Her focus of study was community education and residential energy efficiency.

Speaker Bios and Abstracts

Nsedu Witherspoon, MPH

Executive Director, Children's Environmental Health Network

Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH, serves at the Executive Director for the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), where her responsibilities include successfully organizing, leading, and managing policy, education/training, and science-related programs. For the past 20 years, she has served as a key spokesperson for children’s vulnerabilities and the need for their protection, conducting presentations and lectures across the country.

She is a leader in the field of children’s environmental health, serving as a member of the NIH Council of Councils, on the External Science Board for the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) NIH Research and is a leader in the Cancer-Free Economy Network. Ms. Witherspoon is also a Board member for the Pesticide Action Network of North America, the Environmental Integrity Project, and serves on the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Advisory Council.

Ms. Witherspoon has held past appointments on the Science Advisory Board for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee for the Environmental Protection Agency. She is a past member of the National Association of Environmental Health Sciences Council and the Institute of Medicine’s Environmental Health Sciences Roundtable. Ms. Witherspoon has a variety of publications and has the distinct honor of having one of CEHN’s leadership awards, the Nsedu Obot Witherspoon (NOW) Youth Leadership Award, named in her honor. She is also the recent recipient of the William R. Reilly Award in Environmental Leadership from the Center for Environmental Policy at American University.

Ms. Witherspoon has a B.S. in Biology Pre Med from Siena College and a M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health from The George Washington University, School of Public Health and Health Services. She is a proud mom to 4 children!

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