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Environmental health chief in Milwaukee to hear citizen concerns

MILWAUKEE The director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will visit Milwaukee to preside over a "Town Hall Meeting" in which the public can discuss with local, state and federal authorities how the physical environment underlies many of the health problems in Milwaukee.

The event will be held Thursday, Oct. 1, 6-8 p.m. at Centennial Hall at the Milwaukee Public Library, 733 N. 8th Street.

Featuring Dr. Linda Birnbaum and other public health experts, the event is one part of a three-day conference sponsored by the Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center based at the University of WisconsinMilwaukee (UWM) and the Children's Research Institute of Children's Hospital and Health System.

The Oct. 1 event is the first time a NIEHS director has visited Milwaukee and it gives ordinary citizens a chance to voice their concerns about the link between where they live and work, and their health.

Other speakers include Bevan Baker, City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner; Dr. Henry Anderson, Chief Medical Officer, Wisconsin Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health; UWM Scientist Michael Carvan III, Great Lakes WATER Institute; and Dr. Alfonso Martinez, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Areas of the city where the environment is low-quality often contribute to health problems such as lead poisoning, asthma, infant mortality and cancer, says David Petering, director of the Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center and a UWM Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

NIEHS is the organization within the National Institutes of Health that focuses on disease prevention and understanding the environmental factors that contribute to disease. It funds more than 20 Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Core Centers across the country.

This year, NIEHS added an EHS in Milwaukee when it awarded UWM a grant to support the Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center.

In addition to the Town Hall Meeting, the conference includes a NIEHS Center Directors Meeting that will introduce Milwaukee's new children's environmental health center to the national scene, and a scholarly conference. Both will be at the Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave.

The Center Directors Meeting will include the core of the nation's environmental health community, including NIEHS Core Centers at Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt University and others.


Contact: David Petering
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

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