The Environmental Health Project (EHP) is a nonprofit public health organization that assists and supports residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond who believe their health has been, or could be, impacted by unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD, or “fracking”).
EHP’s team includes medical professionals, community service professionals, and public health scientists who are available to assist individuals and communities in many ways:
- EHP’s onsite Nurse Practitioner is available for exams and consultations with people who think their health may be compromised by nearby UOGD activities. Clients can be seen by appointment in our local office or in their homes. Our Nurse Practitioner also provides referrals, helps clients navigate the health care system, and consults with environmental health specialists.
- EHP is also a resource center for information related to UOGD activities. Our staff is available by appointment in the office and by phone to address concerns residents have about their environmental conditions. We will answer questions, provide guidance, and steer people toward other resources when possible. EHP also provides limited air and water quality monitoring devices to qualified residents.
At EHP we are aware that the lack of objective, reliable data on the health effects of UOGD activities raises many questions about the origins of residents’ health problems and the scope of public health risks in communities. We do not, however, see this uncertainty as a cause for inaction. As public health professionals we know that the perception in the community of environmental dangers, along with plausible sources of hazardous substances, are reason enough to provide a public health response.
While governmental agencies and other institutions are beginning the extensive research required to help determine adverse health and environmental impacts on regions affected by UOGD, this type of research takes a long time to conduct. We know people need information and help now!
Raina Rippel, BA – Director
In 2011, Raina Rippel helped found the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP) in response to growing concerns associated with gas drilling activity and health impacts in Washington County, PA. Formerly Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine and the Center for Coalfield Justice, Rippel has on the job training in environmental public health, medical education and outreach, community organizing, strategic development and leadership.
Rippel heads up a team of fifteen staff and consultants and various interns with expertise in healthcare, public health research, toxicology, air and water quality, strategic development and community organizing, in conducting a targeted and timely public health response to unconventional shale development. EHP focuses their work on gathering data from residents of southwest PA and beyond on probable health impacts from oil and gas development, determining routes of exposures, and providing best-practice air and water monitoring tools and guidance, as well as accessible and effective interventions for individuals, households, and communities.
Jill Kriesky, MS, PhD – Associate Director
Jill Kriesky received her MS in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her PhD in Economics from the University of New Hampshire. She has spent more than twenty years in university-based community outreach on issues including labor relations, economic development and community health issues. As the director of West Virginia Campus Compact, the West Virginia University Office of Service Learning Programs, and Wheeling Jesuit University’s Service for Social Action Center and Clifford M. Lewis, SJ, Appalachian Institute, Kriesky developed and managed a series of community/academic partnerships with community-based organizations in West Virginia. In her most recent position at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Center for Healthy Environments and Communities, Kriesky’s outreach and collaboration efforts focused on the potential health impacts of natural gas extraction.
David R. Brown, ScD – Environmental Public Health Scientist
David Brown is the Public Health Toxicologist and Director of Public Health Toxicology for Environment and Human Health, Inc. He is the past Chief of Environmental Epidemiology and Occupational Health in Connecticut and was previously Associate Professor of Toxicology at Northeastern College of Pharmacy and Allied Health. He also served as Deputy Director of the Public Health Practice Group of Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Brown graduated from Cornell University in Biochemistry, received his MS from the University of California in Environmental Health, and his ScD from Harvard School of Public Health in Toxicology.
Jessa Chabeau, MSW – Case Manager
Jessa Chabeau received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh where she focused on Community Organizing and Social Administration, while also becoming certified in Human Services Management. While studying at the University of Pittsburgh, Jessa participated in a 9-month field placement at EHP, which led to her officially joining the organization after graduation.
Lydia H. Greiner, DrPH, APRN – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lydia Greiner has nearly 20 years of experience working with communities to implement health promotion initiatives. As the former Manager of Community Services for Fairfield University School of Nursing she successfully obtained grant funding to support programs to address lead poisoning in young children, cardiovascular health in older adults, and risky behaviors in adolescents in Bridgeport, CT. In 2008 she was instrumental in creating an academic-community partnership in Nicaragua. Over the past five years, this partnership has addressed community needs for HIV/AIDs education, cardiovascular health resources, and improved hand hygiene.
Ms. Greiner is a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who earned her Bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, her Master’s in nursing at Fairfield University, and her DrPh at Boston University School of Public Health. Ms. Greiner teaches public health nursing at Fairfield University and psychiatric nursing at California State University San Marcos and volunteers one day each week at a nurse-run clinic for the homeless in Ocean Beach, CA.
Debbie Harter – Office Manager
Debbie Harter is a native of Southwest Pennsylvania. She has a background in banking, mining, county government and community organizing. Previously, Debbie worked for the Center for Coalfield Justice as the Office Manager and Community Organizer.
Sujit Joginpally, MD, MPA, MBA, MAS – Project Manager
Sujit Joginpally received his medical education from Crimea State Medical University, Ukraine. He has experience working with patients in the United Kingdom and India. Sujit also received an MBA in healthcare & life sciences and an MPA in health care management from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. His past experience includes working in the Quality and Patient Safety department to address increased readmission rates of congestive heart failure patients. He is currently managing and consulting a 100-bed hospital in India since its inception in 2015. As Project Manager at the Connecticut EHP office, Sujit oversees the operations involved in data gathering from NY compressor sites.
Edward (Ned) Ketyer, MD, F.A.A.P. – Medical Advisor
Ned Ketyer earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed his residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. As one of the founding physicians of Pediatric Alliance, PC, Dr. Ketyer served as its president from 1997-2004. He has worked at Pediatric Alliance since 1990 and is the editor of the popular pediatric blog, The PediaBlog.
Dr. Ketyer is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health. He is also a board member for Physicians for Social Responsibility -- Philadelphia.
Debbie Larson – Medical Outreach Coordinator
Debbie Larson received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied economics and mathematics. She worked for many years as an economic analyst and as a network and computer support specialist. More recently, she worked as an outreach educator for RiverQuest. She is a member of the Shale and Public Health Committee of the League of Women Voters.
Celia Lewis, MS.ED, PhD – Research and Communications Specialist
Celia Lewis received her MS from Bank Street College of Education and her PhD in Environmental Studies from Antioch University. Dr. Lewis has extensive experience in environmental conservation, education and public health. She has served as Assistant Head of Public Education at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, conducted research for Environment and Human Health, Inc., the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale School Forests. Recent research also focuses on the public health implications of air and water contamination from energy sources.
Carole Perry, MPH, PhD – Nurse Educator
Carole Perry received her MPH with a concentration in Health Services Administration and Public Health Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. She also has a PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Perry has experience in public health nursing, teaching, and facilitating community/academic partnerships for clinical education of health profession students. She has provided consultation to non-profit organization in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention.
Nathan Ribar, MS – Environmental Health Educator
Nathan Ribar graduated from Waynesburg University in 2016, dual majoring in Environmental Science and Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He then continued his education at Duquesne University, earning a MS degree in Environmental Science and Management.
Scott Smith, MA, MFA – Communications Coordinator
Scott holds a Masters in English from Pennsylvania State University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. Scott Smith has worked in the communications field for more than 20 years. Most recently, he was employed as a communications specialist and public relations coordinator at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, where he worked extensively on promoting affordable housing programs.
Leslie Walleigh MD, MPH – Medical and Occupational Health Consultant
Leslie Walleigh is a graduate of Brown University and Stanford Medical School. She originally completed a residency and became board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, practicing in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. While still practicing OB/GYN, she completed a Masters in Public Health in Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health. During her public health studies, she also became interested in occupational health and subsequently completed a residency in occupational medicine at the Harvard School of Public Health. She later also became board certified in occupational medicine. She practiced occupational medicine from 1995 through 2009 at Maine General Medical Center. In 2004, Dr. Walleigh began working one day a week for the Environmental and Occupational Health Programs of the Maine CDC, consulting with the staff on medical conditions related to environmental and occupational exposures. In 2009 she accepted a full-time position with the Maine CDC and currently serves as a Public Health Physician within the Environmental and Occupational Health Programs. Dr. Walleigh continues to practice occupational medicine one day a week with Employee Health and Wellness of Maine Medical Center.
Beth Weinberger, MPH, PhD – Research and Communications Specialist
Beth Weinberger received her Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Political Science from Yale University. She began her career in direct service maternal-child health but has since focused primarily on research and consulting. Ms. Weinberger was a research associate at Yale University’s Institution for Social & Policy Studies where her research focused on civic engagement. She has also provided research consulting and freelance writing services for non-profit and other organizations including Environmental and Human Health, Inc., the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and Farnam Associates. Along with Celia Lewis she has formed the environmental health consulting firm, Thimble Creek Research.
Interns, Graduate Assistants, Fellows
Sarah Paolino, BA – MSW Intern
Sarah Paolino is pursuing her MSW from the California University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate assistant for the Social Work department. Sarah also serves as the vice president of the Graduate Student Social Work Association. Sarah received a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2011.
ehp Board members, february 2017
Illah Nourbakhsh, PhD, MS - Chair
Professor of Robotics, the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Mike Kane - Treasurer
Executive Director, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies
Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN - Secretary
Director, Center for Global & Public Health, Villanova University
Norman Anderson, MPH - Scientific Advisory Committee Chair
Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis - Community Advisory Committee Chair
Executive Director, Women for a Healthy Environment
Scientific Advisory Committee Members, MAY 2017
Laura Anderko, PhD RN, Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (MACCHE)
Ronald Bishop, Phd, CHO, SUNY Onenota
Kathryn Brasier, PhD, Penn State
Richard Clapp, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Alan Ducatman, MD, West Virginia University
Don Fugler, consultant, Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS)
Susan Nagel, PhD, University of Missouri
Eduardo Jay Olaguer, PhD
Sharyle Patton, Commonweal
Bruce Pitt, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Randy Sargent, Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab
Community Advisory Committee Members, June 2017
David Ball, Peters Township Council Member
Helen Boylan, PhD, Westminster College
Lois Bjornson, Scenery Hill PA resident, Clean Air Council
Deborah Gentile, MD, Pediatric Alliance
Gillian Graber, Protect Our Children
Julie Huntsman, DVM
Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis, Women for a Healthy Environment
Nadia Steinzor, EarthWorks
Patrice Tomcik, Mom’s Clean Air Force
Linda Wigington, Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces
EHP’s work is supported by foundations and individual donors. Click here to donate now.
2017-2018 Funding Sources (listed alphabetically):
- 11th Hour Project
- The Claneil Foundation
- Cornell Douglas Foundation
- Pittsburgh Foundation
- The Heinz Endowments
- Individual donors