Elise Miller, MEd
We are pleased to announce that CHE will start hosting a new working group later this month — namely, the Initiative on Children’s Environmental Health. As many of you know, I served as Executive Director of the Institute for Children’s Environmental Health (ICEH) for 10 years before becoming Director of CHE this past January. After a great deal of discussion and reflection, ICEH’s staff and board decided that the most useful way ICEH could continue to contribute its decade of national leadership and expertise in this field would be to merge with Commonweal, CHE’s fiscal sponsor, and become a CHE Working Group. ICEH, in this new iteration, will use the same acronym, but become the Initiative on Children’s Environmental Health.
With an emphasis on science and precaution, CHE already focuses on the impact of environmental factors from conception through adolescence. Emerging science on environmental factors and children’s health, including the fetal origin of some adult diseases and disabilities, is evident in CHE’s array of white papers, consensus statements, workshops, working groups and calls. Having a specific working group focused on children, however, will augment the resources we provide you in this area and help ensure children’s health is prioritized in all of our efforts to promote public health research and policy.
As a CHE working group, ICEH plans to launch its newly revamped website, including its rich database of searchable articles and other resources, under CHE’s website later this month (look for the official announcement). ICEH will also continue to offer biweekly ebulletins and will soon feature web-based materials on climate change and children’s health. In addition, ICEH will feature the remarkable work of so many of your institutions and organizations — nationally and internationally — already dedicated to children’s health. We are in the process of considering other opportunities and activities that would be value-added in this field and welcome your suggestions.
Along these lines, I would like to bring your attention to an outstanding new report, “Towards Tomorrow: A Common Agenda for Health and the Environment,” published earlier this week by the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, a CHE organizational Partner, in collaboration with over 100 leaders representing diverse sectors, including many other CHE Partners. This report emphasizes generational goal-setting and prioritizes action steps — steps I would recommend we all consider taking to ensure the health and well-being of current and future generations.