Health Care Without Harm Presents its 2013 Awards at CleanMed in Boston, MA

Award Winners Honored for Commitment to Environment and Health

Boston, MA — 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 development of sustainable health care. The awards are bestowed annually at CleanMed, a major health care sustainability conference co-hosted by Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenheath. This year’s event is taking place in Boston, MA.

“We have a particularly outstanding group of award winners this year,” stated Gary Cohen, president and co-founder of Health Care Without Harm. “It is heartening to see that we have not only people who have dedicated years to betterment of human health, but also we are recognizing many young people who are just beginning their work.”

Environmental Health Hero

Bill Ravanesi, MA, MPH, of Longmeadow, MA, has been named the recipient of the 2013 Environmental Health Hero Award, the highest award bestowed by HCWH. The Environmental Health Hero Award recognizes an individual whose professional accomplishments have significantly contributed to advances in environmental health science or policy. Ravanesi is Senior Director of HCWH’s Health Care Green Building and Energy Program, and has made significant contributions to human health in a long career of activism and achieving social change through action and the arts, including work to document the United Farm Workers California Farm Labor struggle. Ravanesi composed a photo documentary “Breath Taken: The Landscape and Biography of Asbestos”, to document, among others, his own father’s death from mesothelioma associated with asbestos exposure.

“Bill is one of the most selfless and devoted activists I have ever met” stated Cohen. “He epitomizes the work celebrated by the Health Care Without Harm’s Environmental Health Hero Award. He has been one of the critical anchors of the organization since its inception and has consistently created innovative programs that have moved across the country.”

Charlotte Brody Award

The Nurses Workgroup of HCWH, along with The Luminary Project, has named Patricia Butterfield, PhD, RN, of Seattle, WA, as the 2013 Recipient of the Charlotte Brody Award. This Award was created in 2006 by HCWH to honor Charlotte Brody, RN, one of the founders of HCWH and a lifelong advocate for social change. The Charlotte Brody Award winner must be a Nurse Luminary who has shared his or her story with The Luminary Project so that other nurses might be inspired to further accomplishments. 

Dr. Butterfield is currently the Dean of Nursing at Washington State University, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, the co-chair of the Environmental Health Expert panel for the Academy of Nursing, and a member of the American Public Health Association. She holds degrees from U of Colorado Health Sciences center and Oregon Health and Science University. Her post-doctoral work was completed at OHSU’s Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology. 

Dr. Butterfield has been published widely on topics ranging from social justice to mapping the future of environmental health nursing. Most notably, she authored the seminal article “Thinking Upstream,” which was published in Advances in Nursing Science and included concepts that were integrated and widely circulated in nursing textbooks. In 2002, she published “Upstream Reflections on Environmental Health,” advancing her initial discussions on public health to include the environment. She also created the “I PREPARE” mnemonic, used by practicing nurses for conducting environmental exposure assessments. 

In her role as the Dean of the Washington State University College of Nursing, she directs bachelor’s through PhD education for approximately 1000 students in the west. Even with a demanding career in academia, Dr. Butterfield maintains an active role in research and continues to publish regularly and inspire collaboration. She leads a performance site of the National Children’s Study in NE Washington, researching exposures to pesticides and other toxic chemicals in children of migrant farm workers.

“Dr. Butterfield is an example of how effective nurses can be when they go beyond their daily jobs to reach into the community to promote health,” stated Cohen. “Her work on children’s issues and the link between environment and health model the potential for every health care professional to make a positive impact on the health of their community.”

Hollie Shaner–McRae Nursing Student Essay Contest 

The winner of the 2013 contest is Nicole Makris, a student in the BSN-MSN Segue Program at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. 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”. Before pursuing a degree in nursing, Nicole spent several years working as a reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area, writing for community newspapers, Mother Jones, and’s Sustainable Food blog. She also worked in non-profit communications for the Independent Media Institute and the Breast Cancer Fund. Nicole holds a B.A. in Journalism and Environmental Science from Antioch College. She is currently a Research Assistant for the Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), a project of the Emory University Department of Pediatrics and Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC).

Stephanie Davis Waste Reduction Scholarship

Stephanie C. Davis worked tirelessly on health care 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 established this Award and Scholarship to recognize and support those in health care organizations who work to “green” health care.

The 2013 Stephanie Davis Waste Reduction Scholarship winners are Victoria Rice Bean, RN, CNOR, RNFA – University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA; Christine von Kolnitz Cooley – Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; and David Zajac – Evans Army Community Hospital, Ft. Carson, CO.

Victoria Rice Bean, RN, CNOR, RNFA, has been a nurse for thirteen years and specialized in surgery for almost her entire career. She has successfully “greened” two surgical departments: one in a California Community Hospital, and most recently, The University of Washington Medical Center, in Seattle.

Christine Cooley is the Sustainability Manager for the Medical University of South Carolina. Upon graduating with a BA from the College of Charleston in 1992, Christine worked as the Recycling Coordinator for the College and was instrumental in establishing the SC DHEC Collegiate Recycling Grant Program. In 2004, Mrs. Cooley co-wrote Recycling and Beyond: A College Campus Primer. She was appointed to the City of Charleston Green Committee in 2007 and served as the Chair of its Recycling and Solid Waste Subcommittee until May 2012. Mrs. Cooley is a Clemson Extension Master Waste Educator, the Treasurer for the College and University Recycling Coalition and for the Robert Lunz Group Sierra Club. 

Major David J. Zajac is presently the Chief of Logistics and the Chair of the Sustainability Committee at the Evans Army Community Hospital, Fort Carson, Colorado. He has led his committee toward annualized cost savings within 18 months exceeding $1 million within the following areas: energy and water conservation, green housekeeping, increased recycling, RMW reductions and Single Use Medical Devices (SUDs), streamlining biomedical service contracts, and a collection of other initiatives. His committee is only two years old and has been awarded two Practice Greenhealth awards: Making Medicine Mercury Free and the Partner for Change Award. He has an undergraduate engineering degree from Norwich University and a Master of Science degree from Cornell University.