About Us

We are part of a network across North America dedicated to providing expertise on the connection between children’s health and the environment.

Children are uniquely vulnerable to environmental contaminants because they are still developing and their behavior can expose them more hazards. Georgetown University's Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment aims to reduce these risks by educating health providers and the general public about how the environment can impact children's health, as well as offering consultations to health providers, families and communities about potential health issues arising from environmental exposures.

This site connects information and resources inlcuding the latest research and recommendations on a variety of environmental health topics and describes current activities of Georgetown's Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment.

Region 3 – Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment Serving Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania

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

Laura Anderko

Laura Anderko, PhD, RN

Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values Based Health Care

Director, Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment

Laura Anderko, RN, PhD, serves as the Director and Principal Investigator for the Mid-Atlantic Center. Dr. Anderko is a registered nurse with a PhD in public health, and over 30 years experience in the area of children's health. She has published widely in the field of environment health. Dr. Anderko was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for her work in climate change and public health.

 

Jerry Paulson

Jerome A Paulson, MD, FAAP

Medical Director, PEHSU East, American Academy of Pediatrics

Pediatrician Consultant

Dr. Jerome Paulson serves as a consultant to the Mid-Atlantic Center by providing his expertise in pediatrics and environmental health. Dr. Paulson will be responsible for responding to queries received by the Mid-Atlantic Center on pediatric environmental health, as well as conducting educational programming through conducting grand rounds, speaking at health professional society conferences and other requests for educational programming.

 

Maryann Mazer-Amirshahi, MD, PharmD, MPH

Toxicologist Consultant

Maryann Mazer-Amirshahi, MD, PharmD, MPH, provides expertise in toxicology and pharmacology by assisting in responding to consultations received on children’s environmental health. Dr. Mazer-Amirshahi has experience in emergency medicine and toxicology, as well as experience working with the National Capital Poison Control Center.

 

Katie Huffling, RN, CNM

Reproductive Health Consultant

Katie Huffling, Registered Nurse and Certified Nurse Midwife, and Director of the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment, provides consultation on reproductive health issues at the Mid-Atlantic Center. In addition, Ms. Huffling will develop and review educational programming and materials developed regarding reproductive environmental health.

 

Lois Wessel, RN, FNP

FNP Consultant

Lois Wessel, Registered Nurse and Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, has many years experience in community health, environmental health, and outreach. She is bi-lingual in English and Spanish as well as a certified medical interpreter. Ms. Wessel uses her clinical background to assist in responding to consultations received to the Mid-Atlantic as well as conducting educational programming. Ms. Wessel currently teaches in the FNP program in topics such as health disparities and primary health care.

 

Stephanie Chalupka

Visiting Scientist

Dr. Stephanie M. Chalupka EdD, RN, PHCNS-BC, FAAOHN, Associate Dean for Nursing at Worcester State University serves as a Visiting Scientist at the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment. She will be working on publications related to health impacts on reproductive and children’s health from climate changes. Her scholarship has focused on the reduction and prevention of harmful exposures and health risks to children and the underserved, disproportionately impacted, low income, minority, and tribal communities, and the ways to support community efforts to build healthy, sustainable green neighborhoods.

 

Bhavna Shamasunder

Visiting Scientist

Dr. Bhavna Shamasunder PhD, Assistant Professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles in the Urban and Environmental Policy Department, serves as a Visiting Scientist a the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment. She will be working to develop materials and training related to ethical report back of testing for community residents who participate in bio-monitoring as related to water contamination.

 

Emma Pennea

Center Manager

After managing international training programs, Emma Pennea became the Center Manager for Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment. Her past experience in research consulting and her studies at NYU and University of Chicago give her unique perspective on public health. As Center Manager, Ms. Pennea will raise awareness of environmental impacts while promoting the Center. She looks forward to advocating for environmental justice, especially for youth.

 

Leyla Erk McCurdy

Environmental Education Expert

Leyla Erk McCurdy, MPhil has over twenty-five years of experience in public health and the environment. Currently she is a senior advisor to Children’s Environmental Health Network, adjunct instructor at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, member of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee and an environmental education expert for MACCHE.