Children's Environmental Protection Alliance Community Forums

 Community Forums

Children's Environmental Protection Alliance Community Forumswill host programs on varied topics to protect children from environmental and chemical hazards.  The public and those who are responsible for child health and safety are encouraged to attend, including: child-care providers, child-recreation leaders, disaster-relief volunteer coordinators, educators, healthcare providers, school officials, lawmakers and community and government decision-makers.  Admission is free.

June, 11, 2011, Children's EPA Community Forum: Protecting Schoolchildren From Environmental and Chemical Hazards. will be held in Semmes, Alabama (near Mobile) from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., in the meeting room of Semmes Branch of the Mobile Public Library.  Health impact from natural disasters and disaster clean-up on children will be discussed, including the BP Oil Spill disaster, Hurricane Katrina will be included. Discussion and Q & A are encouraged. Refreshments will be provided.

June 11, 2011 Guest speakers:
  • Claire Barnett will speak about the ABC’s of environmental problems in schools (“Asthma, Bugs, and Chemicals”) and highlight the simple prevention steps that schools can take to reduce risks and reduce costs. Over the years, Healthy Schools Network has assisted parents, personnel and schools in all the states, and some have gone on to win their own awards from EPA. Ms. Barnetts own son She encourages questions about schools in other areas are doing and welcomes questions on what parents and personnel should look for and what they can do to address environmental barriers to children’s attendance and achievement.will speak about improving environmental and indoor air quality and reducing chemical hazards in private and public schools.
Claire Barnett, whose younger son was pesticide-injured at school while she served on a New York State Governor’s commission, has a BA from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA and a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.  She is founder and Executive Director of the Healthy Schools Network, Inc. a national award-winning environmental health not for profit research, education, and advocacy organization, and the Coordinator of the national Coalition for Healthier Schools, convened by the Network and its national advisers. The Healthy Schools Network has challenged the nation with a call to action to ensure that schools are environmentally responsible to children, to personnel, and to communities. She convened the fledgling Network in 1995 as a New York statewide coalition; it has won new funds and multiple laws on school environments in the nation’s third largest educational system (New York State) and the nation’s single largest school district (New York City). She also fostered successful replications of the Network’s agenda in over a dozen states. Under her leadership, the national Coalition has won two federal laws and funds for schools, including US EPA Healthy Schools Initiative which will issue federal environmental health guidelines and state grants to advance healthy environments for children. The Network is an EPA partner in environmental health and coordinates National Healthy Schools Day annually.
  • Dr. Anne Turner-Henson will give a presentation on the impact on child-health from exposure to poor environmental conditions and hazardous chemicals and address need for prevention in K-12 schools, Head Start programs, preschools, and for special needs children. 
Dr. Turner-Henson is a Professor at the University of Alabama School Of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She holds joint adjunct faculty appointments in the UAB Schools of Medicine (General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) and Public Health (Maternal Child Health Division).  Dr. Turner-Henson has dedicated herself to providing visionary leadership in research, policy development (local, state, national), and community empowerment in the areas of child health, environmental health, and children with special needs. She has conducted interdisciplinary research to test innovative models of care (e.g., asthma, secondhand smoke reduction, household chemicals), resulting in adoption of these programs in various Alabama communities in local school districts, child care programs (Head Start) and community-based organizations.  She serves on multiple state and national committees as an advocate for child health.  Dr. Turner-Henson is a member of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee. 

Dr. Turner-Henson is project director of the Leadership Education in Child-Health Nursing program (LECHN), funded by the Maternal Child Health Bureau, DHHS.  The aim of the LECHN program is to prepare the next generation of nursing faculty leaders in child-health nursing education who conduct biobehavioral research.  Empowering communities through building grassroots initiatives to reduce children’s environmental risk and promote healthy communities is a key focus of her work.

In 2010, Professor Turner Henson, gave a one day workshop for nurses at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Nurses & Environmental Health: Health Consequences of the Gulf Oil Spill   The workshop informed nurses and health professionals about the environmental health consequences of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and taught health risk communication strategies.  Continuing education credit was offered without cost to attendees of the workshop, which was sponsored by the University of South Alabama College of Nursing, University of Alabama, Birmingham, School of Nursing, Leadership Education in Child-Health Nursing (LECHN) Program, and University of Maryland Environmental Health Education Center.

Nancy Swan, founder and director of Children's Environmental Protection Alliance and host of Children's EPA Community Forum, will make a presentation about her chemical exposure and injury, and injuries to more than two dozen schoolchildren during a roofing renovation project at the school where she was teaching school.  She will introduce Children's EPA mission to promote federal and state disaster plans to include specific Disaster Plans for children and schools.  Nancy Swan will moderate Q and A, include submitted Q and A, commentary, suggestions.

Mrs. Swan hosted three CDC/ATSDR Community Conversations in Mobile, Alabama in 2010 as part of the CDC/ATSDR National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposure.  She submitted the results of the Community Conversation and participated in review of CDC/ATSDR policy changes.

Nancy Swan earned a BA in Home Economics and Theater and attended graduate school at San Jose State University of California and the University of Southern Mississippi.   While teaching public school for ten years, Mrs. Swan earning a masters level education through the University of Southern Mississippi, wrote and illustrated Threads and Stuff, a textbook/workbook for to teach basic learning skills through practical application, and directed and designed lighting for dozens of community, church, and school musicals and plays.

From 2009-2011, Nancy Swan initiated the signing of six National Healthy Schools Day governor's proclamations: three consecutive Alabama National Healthy Schools Day Proclamations, including two from Governor Bob Riley and one this year from Governor Robert Bentley.  Mrs Swan also secured two NHSD proclamations from Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and one from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.  She met with Alabama Governors Bob Riley in 2010 and Robert Bentley and Tennessee Governor Haslam in 2011 and requested their support for healthier schools.  On April 29, 2011, Pat Greenwood, news anchor for WPMI  Local 15 TV, interviewed Nancy Swan about her experience and her soon to be completed book, Toxic Justice.  

Mrs. Swan will moderate questions, provide resources for additional information, and suggest opportunities and programs available for community members, school officials, and government support to improve environmental and chemical protection for schoolchildren.
Children's Environmental Protection Alliance will continue to sponsor Children's EPA Community Forums to
  • improve school environmental and chemical quality and to commend improvements,
  • introduce and discuss environmental and chemical hazards affecting children in the U.S.A. and internationally,
  • provide information resources,
  • provide opportunities to resolve, propose, endorse, participate, and or action to reduce or prevent environmental and chemicals hazards to children wherever they live, play, and learn.
  • promote Federal and State Disaster response plans to include age appropriate plans for children
    • to include pre-disaster plans, disaster response plans, post disaster plans, and clean-up regulations for groups responding. 
    • it include required training and certification, for those responsible for children safety.
    • Development of Disaster Plans to posted in all preschool, daycare centers, and all private, public, and home schools.
    • Plans should include biannual public announcement and written and email notification to parents and responsible adults.
Free admission.  Preregistration is not necessary, but is encouraged.  Attendees may email questions and concerns in advance.  Please email Nancy Swan at
Please provide the following information:
  • First and Last name and title (Ms., Mrs., Miss, Mr., Dr., RN, etc.)
  • Mailing address, including zip code,
  • Email and or telephone number, for confirmation and updates,
  • Organization, if applicable,
  • Website, if applicable, and
  • Questions, comments, concerns, and other additional information that may be helpful to providers of Children's EPA Community Forums and for preparation by guest speakers.  Please indicate by writing "anon" after you question or comment, if you do not want to be identified.
To subscribe to the mailing list for future Children's Environmental Protection Alliance Community Forums or to sponsor or request a Children's EPA Community Forum in your area, please email your request and contact information to Nancy Swan at