For Immediate Release: Mon., March 9

Contact: Joe Reed | Director of Marketing and Communications
412-622-6915, ext. 3801 | jreed@phipps.conservatory.org


Phipps Conservatory's One Health One Planet Symposium Addresses Air Quality
Fourth Annual Symposium Brings Together Experts from Across Fields to Discuss Critical Issue

Phipps Conservatory's One Health One Planet Symposium Addresses Air Quality


Pittsburgh, PAPhipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is pleased to announce the 2020 One Health One Planet Symposium, “One Health and the Air We Breathe,” will be held on April 14 – 15. Pittsburgh's air quality ranks in the dirtiest 8 percent of U.S. cities, contributing to higher rates of heart and lung disease and other serious issues; at this cross-disciplinary gathering, attendees and experts will come together in Phipps' Special Events Hall to discuss this critical issue and ways to address it.

The event begins on Tues., April 14 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. with an opening reception and keynote presentation. The full symposium takes place Wed., April 15 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: Heather McTeer Toney
Heather McTeer Toney serves as the National Field Director for Moms Clean Air Force, an organization of over 1 million moms and dads committed to fighting air pollution and protections against climate change. Prior to coming to Moms, Heather served as the first African-American, first female and youngest mayor of Greenville, MS. In 2014, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Regional Administrator for Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Southeast Region. She has appeared on news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Democracy Now!; and has written for and been featured in numerous papers including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

The four sessions of the symposium will seek to explore the following topics related to air quality:

Climate Change and Air Quality – Morning Keynote

  • Neil Donahue, Ph.D. – Thomas Lord Professor; Director of Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, Carnegie Mellon University

Session 1: Outdoor Air Quality and Health

  • Myron Aronowitt – State Director for Pennsylvania, Clean Water Action
  • Sally Wenzel, M.D. – Professor of Medicine; Chair, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Pittsburgh
  • Jack Harkema, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl ACVP – University Distinguished Professor of Pathobiology & Diagnostic Investigation, Michigan State University
  • Matt Mehalik, Ph.D. – Executive Director, Breathe Project

Session 2: Indoor Air Quality and Health

  • Nsedu Witherspoon, MPH – Executive Director, Children's Environmental Health Network
  • Linda Wigington – ROCIS Team Leader, ROCIS Pittsburgh
  • Meghan Scanlon, WELL AP – Wellness and Sustainability Specialist, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
  • Debra J. Romberger, M.D. – Henry J. Lehnhoff Professor and Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Session 3: Environmental Racism

  • Jamil Bey, Ph.D. – President and CEO, UrbanKind Institute
  • Camila River-Tinsley – Director of Education, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • Gretchen Goldman, Ph.D. – Research Director at the Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists

Session 4: Fracking, Cracker Plant and Policy

  • John Stolz, Ph.D. – Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education, Environmental Microbiology Professor, Duquesne University
  • Jim 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
  • Ned Ketyer, M.D., F.A.A.P. – Retired Pediatric Physician, University of Pittsburgh Climate and Global Change Center

Lightning Talks
The symposium also features five-minute talks by local leaders in air quality improvement, including CREATE Lab (The Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab), GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution), Grounded Strategies, Phipps Conservatory high school interns, PennFuture (Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future), students from Carnegie Mellon University's Masters of Urban Design course, and Women for a Healthy Environment.

Tickets are available for purchase online now at phipps.conservatory.org/OneHealth. General registration tickets for the symposium and reception are $99. Guests can register for the symposium only for $74 and the reception only for $25. Students with a current student ID can register at a discounted price. Symposium registration includes both lunch and light refreshments. Visit phipps.conservatory.org/OneHealth for speaker bios, abstracts and more information.


About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA is a globally recognized green leader with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Encompassing 15 acres including a historic 14-room glasshouse, 23 distinct indoor and outdoor gardens and industry-leading sustainable architecture and operations, Phipps attracts more than half a million visitors annually from around the world. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org.

Watch TEDx: What We Can Learn From an Old Glasshouse: A look at the evolving way we connect people to nature at Phipps, demonstrate how human and environmental health are inextricably connected, and show that to age gracefully, we must continually reinvent ourselves to evolve with the rest of the world.