About EHP

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 Public Health Nurse 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 Public Health Nurse 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!

Our Team

Raina Rippel, BA – Director
rrippel [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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
jkriesky [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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
dbrown [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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
jchabeau [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

Jessa Chabeau received her BA in Sociology from The Pennsylvania State University and her Master's in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. For her Master's in Social Work, Jessa 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 internship at EHP, which led to her officially joining the organization after graduation.

 

Lydia H. Greiner, DrPH, APRN – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
lgreiner [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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
dharter [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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.

 

Edward (Ned) Ketyer, MD, F.A.A.P. – Medical Advisor
eketyer [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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, BA – Medical Outreach Coordinator
dlarson [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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
clewis [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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.

 

Sarah Rankin, MPH, BSN, OCN – Public Health Nurse
srankin [at] environmentalhealthproject.org 

Sarah Rankin received a BA from Penn State University before completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She worked as an oncology nurse and nurse manager at UPMC Shadyside and Hillman Cancer Center for nine years before completing her Master’s in Public Health through the University of Florida. Concentrating on epidemiology and environmental health during her graduate studies, Sarah completed an internship with EHP during the spring of 2018.

 

Nathan Ribar, MS – Environmental Health Educator
nribar [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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
ssmith [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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.

 

Beth Weinberger, MPH, PhD – Research and Communications Specialist
bweinberger [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

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

Hannah Blinn, MSUS – Environmental Health Fellow
hblinn [at] environmentalhealthproject.org

Hannah Blinn received a BA in Environmental Studies, with a focus in global health and food studies, from Allegheny College and her Master's of Sustainability from Chatham University. During her time at Chatham, Hannah completed a semester-long internship and a year-long thesis project with EHP focused on assessing exposure measures and their ability to predict symptom reporting in individuals living near shale gas development. Her work through the fellowship involves conducting Health Impact Assessments with communities living near these developments as well as working on the Environmental Health Channel's data delivery tools. 

 

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

 

Scientific and Community Advisory Committee Members, 2019

David Ball, Peters Township Council Member

Ronald Bishop, Phd, CHO, SUNY Onenota

Lois Bjornson, Scenery Hill PA resident, Clean Air Council

Kathryn Brasier, PhD, Penn State

Helen Boylan, PhD, Westminster College

Richard Clapp, DSc, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Don Fugler, consultant, Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS)

Deborah Gentile, MD, Pediatric Alliance

Gillian Graber, Protect Penn Trafford

Julie Huntsman, DVM

Susan Nagel, PhD, University of Missouri

Kathleen Nolan, MD, MSL, Senior Research Director, Catskill Mountainkeeper 

Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer, PhD, Assistant Division Director for Air Quality at Michigan DEQ

Sharyle Patton, Commonweal

Bruce Pitt, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Randy Sargent, Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab

Nadia Steinzor, EarthWorks

Patrice Tomcik, Mom’s Clean Air Force

Julie Weatherington-Rice, PhD, Bennett & Williams Environmental Consultants 

Linda Wigington, Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS)

 

Funding Support

EHP’s work is supported by foundations and individual donors. Click here to donate now.

2018-2019 Funding Sources (listed alphabetically):