While a senior nursing student evaluates 20 pounds of trash, she imagines wide sweeping impact on healthcare
Marina Gallo couldn’t believe how much medical trash was thrown out at an area health care facility during her first clinical rotation as a sophomore. The Pittsburgh native relayed her shock to her faculty, who happened to be Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, RN, an assistant professor who has taken a lead role on environmental health issues at the state and national levels as well as on Villanova’s campus.
Marina, now a senior nursing student, is driven to create change and have an impact on waste and the environment. Dr. McDermott-Levy encouraged her to apply for the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee (PESC), a group comprised of faculty, staff, and students who share an interest in the issue. Marina completed the application in which she needed to explain why she was committed to sustainability at Villanova and describe a project that would promote sustainability on campus. She was selected to serve on the committee and is its first College of Nursing student representative.
“The way we currently live isn’t sustainable and I feel it’s my responsibility to help make a positive change in any way I can. I’ve always been interested in maintaining and promoting a healthy environment, but the unnecessary wastefulness I’d witnessed in hospitals was the impetus and inspiration for this project,” Marina explains.