Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN is the 2020 recipient of the Charlotte Brody Award for her for exemplary environmental nursing leadership. The award was presented to her by two organizations, Health Care Without Harm and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, June 29 at an ANHE webinar sponsored by Sigma. She is associate professor and director of the Center for Global and Public Health at the Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing.
The organizations noted, “From educating nursing students to civil disobedience at the nation’s capitol, McDermott-Levy’s bold environmental and climate advocacy epitomizes the ways nurses can lead in the face of the climate crisis.” Of her selection, Dr. McDermott-Levy notes: “I am deeply humbled to join the ranks of Charlotte Brody Award recipients. I have such respect for all of those leaders, and they're doing such great work.”
Over the course of her career, Dr. McDermott-Levy has seen environmental nursing shift from a focus on personal exposures in the workplace to nurses engaging in climate change leadership. One of McDermott-Levy’s proudest moments includes her arrest with Jane Fonda and Charlotte Brody herself in October 2019 protesting complacency in climate action. Climate change, she says, “is important enough to get arrested for.”
Dr. McDermott-Levy has been a leader in this area of nursing, co-editing ANHE’s groundbreaking textbook Environmental Health in Nursing, researching climate change and health and teaching the subject here and abroad- including as a Fulbright scholar in Finland, - giving testimony about health and the environment, educating the public through media interviews, and mentoring ANHE Environmental Health Nurse Fellows. She was also recognized as a nurse with global impact at a ceremony at the United Nations in 2018.