Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment

Four children playing outside


This website is only for residents of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Virginia. If you are not a resident of these states, contact Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU)


The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (MACCHE) provides consultation and education to families and health providers about kids and environmental hazards.

The Center’s clinicians specialize in children’s and reproductive environmental health. Our team includes certified nurse midwife, family nurse practitioner, medical toxicologist, nurse, and pediatrician.

Contact us if you are pregnant and concerned about environmental exposures or if you suspect a child is experiencing health problems from exposure to environmental pollutants such as

  • Indoor air pollution – mold, formaldehyde-laden building materials, asbestos, sick building issues, and asthma triggers
  • Outdoor air pollution – asthma triggers and air pollutants including:air borne toxins, chemical waste, exhaust and fumes, carbon monoxide
  • Water pollution – toxic bacteria, lead, PFAS
  • Farming and lawn pollutants – fertilizers, pesticides
  • Work-related exposure (for parents and employed teens) – solvents, chemicals, lead, sick building issues
  • Other toxic exposures – mercury, lead, arsenic, solvents, hazardous waste
The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (MACCHE) is one of ten Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) in the US, serving residents in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. MACCHE is the Region 3 PEHSU and is supported by the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University.

Making a Visible Difference

The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment works within our communities to make a visible difference. Click here for more information regarding the work done in your communities.

News & Events

July 28: MACCHE’s Dr. Laura Anderko Co-authors NASEM Report on PFAS Exposure, Testing and Clinical Follow-up

MACCHE Leadership

Female smiling and wearing glasses

Co-director, Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment;
Professor, Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing


An expert in environmental health, global health, and public health nursing, Dr. McDermott-Levy has taught and conducted research in Philadelphia’s Arab-American and immigrant communities, with community health workers in Nicaragua, and in the Marcellus Shale region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Based on the evidence, she has provided health protective educational materials to  those who live in oil and gas development communities.


With nurse colleagues around the U.S., Dr. McDermott-Levy has developed recommendations and teaching strategies to incorporate environmental health and climate change into the nursing curricula. Dr. McDermott-Levy is a co-editor of an open-access environmental health textbook for nurses, Environmental Health in Nursing. In 2018, she received the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Health and Environmental Sciences Award for Teaching and Research where she used this grant to research the health impact of climate changes in Finland. She is the 2020 recipient of the Charlotte Brody award from Health Care Without Harm. Her current research is the examination of climate change adaptation of community-based organizations to meet the needs of their clients.


Female smiling with blonde hair and glasses

Co-director, Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment

Laura Anderko, PhD, RN is Co-Director of the Region 3 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment at Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. She is an educator and scholar in public health, nursing and environmental health. Over the past 7 years, Dr. Anderko has educated communities and health providers about potential health impacts and risk reduction strategies for perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). She has published extensively on PFAS, focusing on clinicians' role in addressing health impacts and strategies for reducing risks. In 2020, she participated in the NASEM Planning Meeting on Children's Health and Climate Change. Dr. Anderko received her MS in Nursing from Northern Illinois University and her PhD in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Senior Associate Director

Emma Pennea has served as MACCHE senior associate director for 5 years. She earned a BA from New York University in Medieval Studies and a Master of Science in Global Health from Georgetown University in 2018. She has co-authored several articles about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their risk to children’s health. 

Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment

EMERGENCY: If you believe you may be experiencing a medical emergency please call your doctor or dial 911 immediately. This page and website should not be used to report an emergency or substitute for emergency care. Do not delay in seeking qualified medical help.

If you need to monitor an incident of poisoning or have a question about a potential source of poisoning, please call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222.

This website was supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and funded (in part) by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the PEHSUs by providing partial funding to CDC/ATSDR through an Inter-Agency Agreement. The findings and conclusions presented have not been formally disseminated by CDC/ATSDR or EPA and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy. Use of trade names that may be mentioned is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the CDC/ATSDR or EPA.