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ANHE Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship

About the Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship Program

In 2019, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) launched the first-of-its-kind Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship program to train nurses to work with communities in tackling serious environmental health issues, with an emphasis on climate and health equity. The second cohort of nurse fellows will join a growing nationwide network of nurse leaders who work in partnership with communities to enhance mitigation of and adaptation to climate change and related environmental health challenges, while ensuring the health benefits of these efforts are realized in the communities.

Learn more about the 1st cohort of the ANHE Fellowship 2019 – 2020. 

Announcing the 2nd Cohort of the ANHE Fellowship 2022 – 2023

Nurses are ideally poised to be leaders in addressing climate change for a number of reasons: we’re the largest health profession by numbers in both the United States and the world, we’re highly trusted in the communities we serve, and we’re systems-oriented and holistic thinkers. These attributes make nurses ideal messengers and advocates for working toward healthier environments and climate. ANHE is excited to launch a second cohort of the Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship Program from June 1st 2022 – May 31st 2023. Applications for the program will opened on February 18th, 2022 and the submission deadline will be March 20th, 2022. Participants will be notified of acceptance by April 8th.

View the Nurse Fellows criteria and application here.

View the Nurse Mentors criteria and application here.

Program Requirements/Expectations

The Fellowship Program is a year-long program that will run from June 1st 2022 – May 31st 2023. Nurse fellows are paired with expert environmental health nurse mentors who will help guide their journey throughout the program. Additionally, you will join a team of 24 nurses around the country who will be part of the 2022 – 2023 cohort.

As part of the program, nurse fellows are expected to: 

  • Conduct projects in partnership with a community-based organization to address a community-identified environmental health concern aimed at promoting health equity and building climate resilience. 
  • Participate in monthly webinars on relevant environmental health topics with an emphasis on environmental justice and health equity, as well as skill building sessions to prepare fellows for their partnership work with community partners. 
  • Hold at least two educational sessions for fellow health professionals about work and learning in the program.
  • Attend two Fellowship convenings where participants build community, learn together, and expand partnerships with mentors and program staff. Fellowship convenings will be held in June 2022 and Spring 2023. The June 2022 convening will be virtual and the Spring 2023 convening will be in-person (dependent on COVID). If an in-person meeting is held, travel and accommodations will be covered by ANHE.  

We encourage nurses who are currently partnering with a community-based organization and/or have a potential connection to a partner organization to apply. This is not required as we can help connect you with a local organization. A community-based organization is an organization driven by community residents. Examples of community-based organizations include local school, civic organization, non-profit association (including environmental organizations), faith-based, environmental justice, labor, community development corporations, community-engagement programs of hospitals/health systems, etc. 

The Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship program is made possible through generous support from the Kresge Foundation. The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments values diversity and inclusion in the workplace and we encourage nurses from all backgrounds and experiences to apply. 

To see if this program is right for you, below are a few example projects from nurse fellows that participated in the 2019 – 2021 cohort.

ANHE Environmental Health Nurse Fellowship

Rachael De Souza is a hospital and community health nurse in Tacoma, Washington. Refinery explosions in the area resulted in negative health impacts in both refinery workers and the surrounding community.  Rachael partnered with a local steelworkers’ union and the Blue-Green Alliance to inform and enhance opportunities for the public and the workers to give input into state rulemaking governing refinery processes. The goal is to improve refinery safety for workers, reduce the refinery’s health impacts on the surrounding community, and help address climate change.  This advocacy work has shifted due to the pandemic, and Rachael remains involved.

Sarah Brown Blake is a professor of nursing in Chico, California. Sarah partnered with an organization supporting a community impacted by the Camp Fire of 2018, the most deadly and destructive wildfire in California history. Residents of this community are still grappling with damaged systems and basic infrastructure (with over half of the community’s population living without electricity and running water) as well as limited access to health care. Sarah’s fellowship work focused on assessing and enhancing community residents’ access to both safe/clean drinking water and mental health resources, thus improving their resilience to future climate-related disasters. Sarah continues her involvement in this work post-fellowship.

Meera Sotor is a nurse researcher in Chicago, IL. Meera partnered with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) to support the organizations’ initiatives that address health concerns resulting from heavy diesel traffic in the area. Throughout the fellowship she provided technical assistance and engaged in advocacy activities, including speaking at a press conference in support of LVEJO’s demands for elected officials to increase environmental health protections for the community. Meera continues her advocacy efforts with LVEJO to advance stricter regulations and enforcement on current industries and create the conditions for a just transition to promote more sustainable and environmentally sound industries in the community.

Felix Roman Hernandez is a nursing professor in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Felix partnered with a coalition of 8 communities surrounding the Caño Martin Peña channel, an area that has experienced significant challenges as a result of climate change, including residual damage from Hurricane Maria. Felix  provided education on air quality, asthma, and the connection to climate change for school aged children. His continued work beyond the Fellowship involves working with a local school to implement the EPA Air Quality Flag program with the aim of reducing asthma exacerbations and school absenteeism. Felix is working with various stakeholders, such as the University of Puerto Rico and government agencies to  build resilience.