The Science and Environmental Health Network


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Resilient earth, healthy people

Help SEHN start 2015 with strength!











Dear friend,

What makes an ecosystem resilient?

And what makes an ecosystem vulnerable to being disrupted – either by external or internal forces?

With the leadership of Dr. Ted Schettler, the Science and Environmental Health Network applies these questions about ecology to help make sense of complex human health challenges.

We invite you to learn more about our pathbreaking work on ecological medicine, and support SEHN as we actively advance this critical, future generations-protective framework in medical and public health research, policy, and practice.

The ecological framework of health recognizes the strong interdependence of the well-being of people, families, communities, and ecosystems.

And as we make decisions about how to grow, process, and distribute our food, build buildings, move around, manufacture and use consumer products, and use resources, we also design health or disease into every aspect of this nested set of relationships

SEHN works tirelessly to promote the ecological medicine framework. In 2014, we’ve made significant strides:

With the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, the CDC, CalEPA, and UCSF Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, we are contributing to “The Story of Health,” an online, interactive series of stories about people dealing with asthma, learning disabilities, and childhood leukemia, to be released in January. Stay tuned for updates!

Ted’s book, The Ecology of Breast Cancer: the Promise of Prevention and the Hope for Healing, continues to gain traction. The book argues that, like other complex diseases, breast cancer is a design problem that becomes more common in countries where people adopt industrialized lifestyles. Reducing breast cancer risk is not just a matter of changing personal behavior, but also requires sound public health and environmental policy.

Our work directly informs decision-making by the advisory council of the California Breast Cancer Research Program, which makes funding allocation decisions for about $8 million annually. The CBCRP research portfolio supports developing new complexity models for understanding the origins of breast cancer, and ways to intervene to prevent the disease, reduce disparities, and improve outcomes after diagnosis.

We manage the Cumulative Impacts Project website, in partnership with the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, to serve policy makers, journalists, students, and concerned citizens as a research and education tool to promote strong law and science around cumulative impacts.

As a Science Advisor to Health Care Without Harm, Ted produced a lauded white paper called “Environmental Nutrition: Redefining Healthy Food in the Health Care Sector,” showing that truly healthy food can only come from a just, sustainable food system. This paper is the starting point for additional resources, including webinars and conference presentations, now underway.

Perhaps most importantly, countless practitioners, advocates and organizations infuse their public health activism and policy-making with SEHN’s rigorous, evidence-based analyses and whole-systems wisdom.

We invite you to support SEHN this season, as we provide critical intellectual and scientific underpinnings for the movement for environmental health.

With your partnership, we can develop and disseminate new and refined understandings of the complex, nested relationship between the health of our bodies, our communities, and our planetary home.

Join us in working towards resilience at every level, so that future generations may take root and thrive.

With gratitude, Carolyn Raffensperger Executive Director, SEHN