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Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy appointed inaugural mentor for first AHNE Environmental Health Nurse Fellows

Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy

With expertise in public health nursing, planetary health, research, interprofessional collaboration, and advocacy for the underserved, Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN has been appointed as an inaugural mentor for the first class of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship program. She is an associate professor and director of the Center for Global and Public Health at the Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing.

The fellowship – the first of its kind- was launched in June 2019 to “train nurses to work with communities in tackling serious environmental health threats, including toxic chemical pollution, water contamination, climate disruption and related health impacts, and more,” according to an AHNE post. The program is funded by the Kresge Foundation and includes 10 mentors for 30 fellows who are grouped by the 10 regions of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Notes ANHE, the “program has a particular focus on environmental health equity and justice and addressing the disproportionate impact of environmental exposures on vulnerable groups.

Dr. McDermott-Levy will be working with three fellows from the 2019-2020 cohort in region 3 on their community environmental health projects. “I am a mentor to support nurses’ greater engagement in addressing environmental justice at the community level,” she explains. “Nurses are able to easily interpret health information to community members and we are also able to use the environmental health data to advocate for communities.  This fellowship relies on the mentors' expertise of community health practice and environmental health to build capacity of other nurses to become skilled in this important work.”   Among her many accomplishments in the field, Dr. McDermott-Levy is a recent Fulbright scholar who studied climate change, health and nursing in Finland and is a co-author of ANHE’s groundbreaking textbook Environmental Health in Nursing which won the Book of the Year award from the American Journal of Nursing.

Read more about Dr. McDermott-Levy’s expertise and the fellows’ projects here: