The problem is complex and far-reaching – of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, all are related to the environment, McDermott-Levy said – but the assistant professor and students noted they are optimistic that they can tackle the issue. For example, Dr. McDermott-Levy said Villanova students have been working with immigrant communities and others on how to use safer products in their home, as well as with people on campus on how to avoid pesticides.
Additionally, Gallo worked on an independent project to implement recycling bins in Driscoll Hall’s nursing labs, reduce waste and generally mimic what other hospitals – like Abington Memorial Hospital or Main Line Health – are doing so the College could become a leader in waste reduction.
Barrow also stressed the importance of public green space and the impact it has on people’s health – which he studied during Dr. McDermott-Levy’s public health course. For example, he noted the correlation between a lack of green space in North Philadelphia and the tendency for people to shut themselves in their apartments.
“A lack of green space causes someone to isolate themselves from their environment and their neighbors,” Barrow said.