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NHE 6-4 Dr Jean Bernhardt and Dr. Sarah Valentine – Insights on Climate, Environment, Health and Nursing

Nurses for Healthy Environments
Nurses for Healthy Environments
NHE 6-4 Dr Jean Bernhardt and Dr. Sarah Valentine - Insights on Climate, Environment, Health and Nursing

Jean M. Bernhardt PhD MSN CNP

Dr. Bernhardt is a family nurse practitioner and nurse executive who practices leadership in occupational health and community health settings.  She has responded to disasters around the world.  She is currently the Director of Occupation Health Enterprise Clinical Services at Mass General Brigham in Boston, MA.  She has published in the areas of nursing management, addictions nursing, and climate change.  Dr. Bernhardt has presented her research on nurse sensitive indicators in the care of patients with opioid use disorder nationally and has presented her leadership research internationally. She was selected as a 2023 Fellow of the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Environmental Health Research Institute for Nurse and Clinician Scientists.

Sarah K. Valentine, PhD, RN

Dr. Sarah Valentine is Arthur Imperatore Community Fellow and Assistant Professor at SUNY Empire University. She is a 2023 trainee in the NIH/NIEHS Environmental Health Research Institute. Her research interests include environmental justice; environmental health; community benefit policy; nursing environmental domain; nursing philosophy, and nursing education.

Co-hosts of the EHRI-CNS Series:

Heide Cygan, DNP, RN, PHNA-BC

Dr. Cygan  is an Associate Professor at the Rush University College of Nursing, in the Department of Community, Systems and Mental Health where she teaches public health nursing to graduate and doctoral students. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan and her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Advanced Public Health Nursing from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Cygan is a board certified advanced public health nurse. As a public health nurse, a main tenant of Dr. Cygan’s practice is understanding the reciprocal relationship between humans and their environment. Much of Dr. Cygan’s current scholarship is dedicated to advancing planetary health through nurses and other health professionals. She specifically focuses on innovative teaching strategies that develop nursing students as planetary health leaders.


Heidi Honegger Rogers, DNP, FNP C, APHN BC, FNAP

Dr. Honegger Rogers is a clinician educator – associate professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) College of Nursing. She is the Director of Interprofessional Education for the UNM Health Sciences Center. Her advocacy and scholarship centers in climate change and health, equity and justice, nature connection, wellbeing, and planetary health.  She leads the Planetary Health Task Force for the American Holistic Nurses Association, and she works with Nurses for Planetary Health, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, the Global Consortium for Climate Change and Health Education Nurses Working Group, and  the Planetary Health Alliance. She is a facilitator with the Work That Reconnects and a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide. She is dedicated to bringing a Planetary Health Lens into our work as nurses and health professionals.   Pronoun preferences: she/her/hers.


About the Focus on EHRI-NCS Series

The NIEHS funded EHRI-NCS grant (PI Jessica Castner, PhD, RN, FAAN) offers research, educational, and career-building opportunities for nurse environmental health scientists. In this series, two participants, Dr. Heide Cygan and Dr. Heidi Honegger Rogers interview other fellows about their studies and experiences.  Join us for a fascinating journey of ideas!

About the Nurses for Healthy Environments Podcast

Since 2017, Beth and other hosts have interviewed dozens of nurses across the globe, all of whom are working at the intersection of health and environment. The goals of the podcast are to spread the word about the fabulous work of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments – so we’re glad you found us! And, to highlight and share the amazing and leading work nurses around the world are doing to help protect our natural world in order to support health and healing.

Again and again, nurses are spearheading social change, climate action, environmental justice, and improving health for vulnerable populations, while using their valuable clinical skills, teaching, and caring.  Nurses’ work can seem overlooked or taken for granted, and we are here to tell their important stories. We hope you enjoy meeting the nurses in the Nurses for Healthy Environments podcast!

Beth Schenk, Nurses for Healthy Environments Podcast Host

Elizabeth Schenk, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a leader of environmental stewardship in healthcare, where she has been working to reduce pollution from healthcare for 3 decades. Schenk is a former board member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, and serves on the boards of Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate and Climate Smart Missoula.