Health Care Without Harm Presents its 2012 Awards at CleanMed in Denver, CO

May 1, 2012

Health Care Without Harm Press Release
Contact: Eileen Secrest  540-376-4495


Health Care Without Harm Presents its 2012 Awards at CleanMed in Denver, CO

Honors Individuals Who Excel in Promoting Sustainable Health Care


Denver, CO — Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) has honored six outstanding individuals with its annual awards, given in a variety of categories to persons who have contributed to the implementation of sustainable health care.


“I am tremendously happy to see this award go to Jackie. She has been a tireless environmental advocate, and her work on Parkinson’s disease has provided help for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and also contributed greatly to the understanding the link between environmental contamination and illness. Her work embodies what environmental heroes do. ”

— Gary Cohen
President and Founder
Health Care Without Harm


Jackie Hunt Christensen has been named the recipient of the 2012 Environmental Health Hero Award, the highest award bestowed by HCWH. Presented annually, the Environmental Health Hero Award recognizes an individual whose professional accomplishments have significantly contributed to advances in environmental health science or policy. Ms. Christensen is a founder of HCWH and served as one of three co-coordinators who ran the organization following its formation.

“I am tremendously happy to see this award go to Jackie,” stated Gary Cohen, president of HCWH. “Jackie has been a tireless environmental advocate, and her work on Parkinson’s disease has provided help for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and also contributed greatly to the understanding the link between environmental contamination and illness. Her work embodies what environmental heroes do. ”

The Nursing Workgroup of Health Care Without Harm along with The Luminary Project has named Dr. Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, APRN, PHCNS-BC, FAAOHN, as the 2012 Recipient of the Charlotte Brody Award. Dr. Chalupka is Professor of Public Health Nursing and Chair of the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing at Worcester State University and also holds an appointment as a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health, Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Charlotte Brody Award was created in 2006 by HCWH in honor of Charlotte Brody, one of the founders of HCWH. A lifelong advocate for social change, a registered nurse and activist, Ms. Brody has spent her life making the world a safer place for people around the world. The award recognizes a nurse’s endeavors towards “brilliantly lighting the way to a healthier environment and inspiring other nurses to do the same.” HCWH’s Nurses Workgroup sponsors The Luminary Project: Nurses Lighting the Way to Environmental Health. The Luminary Project encourages nurses to engage in environmental health and to tell their stories to inspire others to do the same.

“Dr. Chalupka’s life work embodies the spirit of the Charlotte Brody Award,” stated Kelli Barber, RN, MN, Co-chair of the Nurses Work Group for Health Care Without Harm. “Her work in the field of environmental health spans two decades and includes addressing sustainability in the healthcare setting, educating the public on hazardous environmental exposures, and integrating environmental health concepts into nursing education. The positive impacts of her work are far-reaching – influencing public health policy and promoting the role of nurses in the field of environmental health through the presentation of research. Dr. Chalupka is a phenomenal role model, empowering and leading the nursing commitment to improving environmental health.”

The Hollie Shaner –McRae Nursing Student Essay Contest winner is Morgan Lincoln, a nursing student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. The essay contest recognizes the environmental work of Hollie Shaner-McRae, DNP, RN, FAAN, Coordinator for Professional Nursing Practice at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT. Recipients are chosen through an essay contest in which entrants are asked to discuss how nursing students can encourage the “greening of health care.

Other winners honored today received the Stephanie Davis Waste Reduction Award and Scholarship. Stephanie C. Davis worked tirelessly on healthcare waste reduction and pollution prevention. With her death, the health care sustainability community lost a great and tireless champion. With the support of Health Care Without Harm, Stephanie’s colleagues, friends and family have established this Award and Scholarship - to recognize and support those in health care organizations who struggle to “green” healthcare. 2012 Recipients are Cristina DeVito, MS, of New Haven, CT; of Indianapolis, IN, Dawn Boys-Sibley Mark Racicot, P.E, CPE, CHFM, of Framingham, MA.

The awards were presented in Denver, CO, at CleanMed, the nation’s most important conference on sustainable health care.

(See award recipient biographies below)

Environmental Hero Award: Jackie Hunt Christensen
Ms. Christensen has been an activist since her freshman year in college, when she heard Dr. Helen Caldicott warn of the dangers of nuclear war to people and the planet. After a seven-year stint with Greenpeace, she began working at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) in Minneapolis, where she began work on dioxin pollution, which brought her in contact with like-minded individuals concerned about hospital contributions to dioxin pollution. After joining them to help start Health Care Without Harm, Jackie served with Gary Cohen and Charlotte Brody, RN, as a co-coordinator of the campaign while continuing her work as Food and Health Program Co-Director at IATP.

In 1998, Ms. Christensen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Eventually, her Parkinson’s disease symptoms forced her to leave HCWH and IATP. Christensen’s activism did not stop because of PD; it merely changed. Since her diagnosis, she has spoken at national press conferences and testified at Congressional hearings on embryonic stem cell research; planned at and spoken at several conferences; served on the board of National Parkinson Foundation Minnesota for 10 years; and been a state advocate for the Parkinson’s Action Network.

She has written two books on Parkinson’s disease—“The First Year---Parkinson's Disease: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed”, and “Life With a Battery-Operated Brain - A Patient's Guide to Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery for Parkinson's Disease.” She is also the author of “Living With Parkinson's Disease: Let Me Speak for Myself”, published in the Washington Post.

Charlotte Brody Award: Dr. Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, APRN, PHCNS-BS, FAAOHN
For more than two decades, Dr. Chalupka has worked to reduce and prevent harmful exposures and health risks to children and underserved, disproportionately impacted low income, minority, and tribal communities. As a member of UMass Lowell Sustainable Hospitals Program research team, Dr. Chalupka was instrumental in the development of information that has been recognized as an important resource for those working to reduce the impact of hospitals on the environment. Dr. Chalupka is currently engaged in a four-year project providing assessment, remediation and education for low income, immigrant, and refugee families living in homes with environmental hazards.

Dr. Chalupka has been successful in integrating environmental health into all levels of nursing education. She developed the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses’ Core Curriculum in Environmental Health for Nurses. She incorporated environmental health content into all MS courses into the Community & Public Health and the Nurse Educator programs at Worcester State University. This is the first university in the country to require an environmental health education course in these programs.

Dr. Chalupka has authored numerous publications in environmental and occupational health. She has presented hundreds of papers on environmental health at national and international nursing, occupational health, and public health conferences, raising the profile of nursing in the world of environmental health science.

Recently, Dr. Chalupka served as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) National Conversation on Public Health & hemical Exposures. She is a member of the Senior Advisory Council of Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production’s Toward Tomorrow Advisory Board; and the National Environmental Education Foundation’s Health and Environment Advisory Committee.

Hollie Shaner –McRae Nursing Student Essay Contest Winner: Morgan Lincoln
Morgan Lincoln, a nursing student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, has been named the winner of the Hollie Shaner-McRae Nursing Student Essay Contest. Ms. Lincoln is a member of the Executive Committee of Ontario Nurses for the Environment Interest Group (ONEIG).

Ms. Lincoln has experience in using social media, particularly Facebook, to better inform RNAO membership about environmental health issues and events, and has written articles on the topic of campus sustainability. She became President-Elect of ONEIG in January 2012. Most recently, she co-represented ONEIG at RNAO’s annual “Queen’s Park Day,” which gives nurses and nursing students the opportunity to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to discuss health-related policy matters. Ms. Lincoln is currently completing her community nursing placement at Toronto Environmental Alliance, a grassroots advocacy group that focuses on urban environmental issues. TEA’s outreach efforts seek to build a greener and more socially equitable Toronto (TEA, 2008). Her project for the term has revolved around the implementation of light-rail transit in Toronto.

Stephanie Davis Waste Reduction Award and Scholarship
Cristina DeVito, MS, serves as the Sustainability Coordinator for Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. Cristina has helped to create and maintain the sustainability program by implementing sustainable operations throughout the 900+ bed facility and increasing environmental awareness. Cristina acts as one of the leads for the WorkSMART Committee, an innovative, employee-driven program to remove conceived waste, streamline processes and improve efficiency. Cristina began her career through an operations internship within administration after graduating from Georgetown University with her Master’s in Health Systems Administration. She is also a member of the Connecticut Green Building Council and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Dawn Boys-Sibley has been a staff nurse in the Operating Room at Riley Hospital for Children (part of Indiana University Health) in Indianapolis for 16 years. Three years ago she formed the Riley OR Green Team to look at the ways we could reduce the amount of waste the operating room contributes to the waste stream. She spent a year hoping to implement recycling in the OR. After attending CleanMed 2010 we realized there was so much more than recycling. Ms. Boys-Sibley has been a member of the IU Health Environmental Stewardship Council, her system wide “Green Team” for one year. She has had the honor to present to a Board of IU Health to share our vision. We are excited to embark on this journey of incorporating environmental sustainability into our system at IU Health.

Mark Racicot, P.E, CPE, CHFM, is the Senior Director of Support Services at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. This two-campus hospital system is owned by Vanguard Health Systems. In his role, Mark is responsible for Facilities and Plant Operations, including energy management. He is also in charge of Environmental Services, including waste management, recycling, and cleaning procedures. Mark is responsible for Food & Nutrition, a department that has been particularly innovative at MetroWest with initiatives underway to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages, and to increase sustainable menu options. MetroWest Medical Center is one of this year's award-winning hospitals.


Heath Care without Harm, an international coalition of more than 500 organizations in 53 countries, is working to transform the health care sector, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. To learn more about HCWH's work, visit our website at, our YouTube channel at HCwithoutharm, and our twitter feed at hcwithoutharm.