Proyecto Luminarias Launched

May 6, 2009
Health Care Without Harm Press Release
Contact: Eileen Secrest  540-376-4495

Proyecto Luminarias Launched

Highlights Nurses' Stories of Reducing Environmental Impacts of Health Care in Spanish-Speaking Countries

Washington, DC — Health Care Without Harm and The Luminary Project are pleased to announce the launch of Proyecto Luminarias, a Spanish language version of The Luminary Project which highlights the stories of nurses in Spanish speaking countries who are addressing environmental concerns in health care.

"This project ... highlights the fact that nurses are often at the vanguard of sustainability efforts in health care"
— Anna Gilmore Hall
Co-Executive Director

"The Luminary Project: Nurses Lighting the Way to Environmental Health" is an effort to capture the illuminating stories of nurses' activities to improve human health by improving the health of the environment. Stories are posted online. The release of the new Proyecto Luminarias website is timed to commemorate National Nurses Week 2009. It was developed by the Latin American Region of Health Care Without Harm (Salud sin Daño-America Latina).

The Luminary Project (, was launched by HCWH in 2004 as an international initiative to spotlight the many activities of nurses making an environmental difference. Proyecto Luminarias (, features the stories of three nurses, Magdalena Franco and Alba Meza, both of Mexico, and Carlos Marinozzi of Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina, and includes translated stories of nurse environmentalists from The Luminary Project. Both websites also provide numerous tools and resources to assist nurses in their environmental work and cross links with translation are currently available or planned.

"We are very proud of this project, which really highlights the fact that nurses are often at the vanguard of sustainability efforts in health care," stated Anna Gilmore Hall, co-executive director of Health Care Without Harm. "It also is a testament to the work being done internationally to reduce the environmental footprint of health care."

The Guiding Lights is a constellation of Nurse Luminaries who support nurses in their practice and advocacy roles by shaping the direction and development of The Luminary Project. Nursing, nursing specialties, and other organizations that have agreed to illuminate and support this endeavor may join the project as Beacons.

Nurses, whose stories are highlighted on Proyecto Luminarias, are strategically addressing environmental problems and illuminating the way toward safer hospitals and clinics, communities with cleaner air, land and water, and children born without toxic chemicals in their bodies.

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6 (National Nurses Day) ending on May 12 (International Nurses Day), the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale was an environmental advocate, and was among the first to work toward lessening the negative impacts of health care practices. Nightingale's attention to air quality represented some of the first modern thinking about the relationship of environmental conditions to human health status. Florence Nightingale's book, Notes on Nursing (1946), first published in 1860, offers specific information on how environmental factors impact health. Air quality, water quality, noise, light, and nutrition were her priorities. Nightingale was so adamant about the importance of indoor air quality and ventilation that she prioritized it in Notes as the "first cannon of nursing."

The Luminary Project is the collaboration of the Nurses Workgroup of Health Care Without Harm, a 501c3 organization, and the nurses and nursing organizations who are the Guiding Lights and Beacons for this Project. The Beldon Fund has provided initial financial support for The Luminary Project: Nurses Lighting the Way to Environmental Health.


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.