With the support of the John Merck Fund, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), formerly AAMR, launched an environmental health initiative that brings together the developmental disabilities network with the environmental health community to collaborate on issues of mutual concern. The overall goal is to build a diverse and educated constituency of parents, service providers, professionals, and advocates who will work in support of expanded research, progressive policy, and exemplary services, while educating others about the complex connections between toxic substances and developmental disabilities.
The initiative began in July 2003 when AAIDD convened a National Summit where leaders from academia, the environmental health field, the developmental disabilities community, and others - framed a National Action Blueprint designed to achieve the goal of effective collaboration. The Blueprint includes recommendations ranging from local to international levels in the areas of education, outreach, training, legislation, policy, and research.
AAIDD's Environmental Health Initiative thanks our board members whose leadership and expertise on intellectual and developmental disabilities and in environmental health, have contributed greatly to our successes.
Sharon Davis, PhD - Dr. Davis is the former director of professional and family services for The Arc of the United States in Silver Spring, MD. Before retirement, she directed the operation of The Arc's grant funded projects and manages several of The Arc's programs including the convention workshop program. Prior to joining The Arc in 1984, Dr. Davis worked for several agencies in the Washington, D.C. area including the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities, The Council for Exceptional Children and Rehab Group, Inc. where she directed federally funded projects focusing on concerns of people with disabilities. Dr. Davis received her Ph.D. in Education from Cornell University. She is the parent of an adult daughter with an intellectual disability.
Steven G. Gilbert, Ph.D., D.A.B.T. - Director and Founder of the
Jerry J. Heindel, Ph.D - SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR, DIVISION OF EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH & TRAINING, CELLULAR, ORGAN & SYSTEMS PATHOBIOLOGY BRANCH, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCIENCES, NIH Jerrold (Jerry) J. Heindel, Ph.D. is a scientific program administrator at The National
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, in Research Triangle Park, North
Carolina. For the past 10 years he has been the coordinator and director of the
NIEHS Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer
grant and contract program. In addition, he is the scientific program administrator for the NIEHS Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology/Disease, Endocrine
Toxicology/Disease (including endocrine disruptors) and Development of
Alternative Toxicity Testing Assays research programs
Joyce Martin, JD, Director of Health Policy for AAIDD's EHI - Ms. Martin is currently the Director of Health Policy for AAIDD's EHI, and works with the Learning and Developmental Disability community and with environmental health organizations on both federal and state policy initiatives. Before coming to AAIDD in 2009, she served as the Director of the Office of Science Policy at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
Ms. Martin grew up in
Elise Miller, MEd - Ms. Miller is founder and executive director of the National Institute for Children's Environmental Health based in Freeland, Washington. The Institute's primary mission is to foster collaborative initiatives to reduce environmental exposures that can undermine the health of current and future generations. Prior to directing the Institute, she was the founding executive director of the Jenifer Altman Foundation, a private foundation in northern California with interests in sustainable development, mind-body health, environmental health, and issues affecting disadvantaged children. She recently completed a three year Fetzer Institute Fellowship and currently serves on the board of directors of the Children's Environmental Health network and the Whidbey Institute as well as several national advisory boards. Ms. Miller received her Masters degree in Education from Harvard University in 1992 and her Bachelor's degree with high honors from Dartmouth College in 1985.
Joseph P. Meadours - Self Advocate, and Executive Director of Peoples First of California, Inc. Joe Meadours has been an advocate in the disability movement since 1992. In 1998, he was selected by the President's Committee on Mental Retardation to be the recipient of the Elizabeth Monroe Boggs award for Young Leadership. Mr. Meadours has worked in several States, including Oklahoma, where he is Past- President of Oklahoma People First. He has also worked in Tennessee and Illinois and in Alabama as Director of Consumer Empowerment, State of Alabama, Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. He has served on numerous boards in many States. He is a firm believer that "We should fund people and not programs. Everybody can live a Self Determined life with support, if they need it." Mr. Meadours was born in Selma, Alabama. He enjoys all sports especially going to baseball games and riding his bicycle. His goal in life is to go to law school and to become a State Representative in Oklahoma.
Wendy Nehring, PhD - Dr. Nehring is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Graduate Programs, and Associate Professor at the College of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She joined the faculty at Rutgers in July 2003. Dr. Nehring is nationally known in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and human patient simulation. She wrote the only nursing history book on nursing in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and she and her colleagues are revising the Scope and Standards of Practice in the specialty. Dr. Nehring is the editor of an upcoming book on a core curriculum for nurses and health professionals specializing in the field of developmental disabilities. She has written and presented widely on this nursing specialty.
Rick Rader, MD - Dr. Rader is the director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center at the Orange Grove Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Orange Grove is a nonprofit community-based agency providing a full spectrum of services for people with complex intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Rader is responsible for the conception, implementation, and evaluation of programs designed to address the biopsychosocial health of individuals aging with developmental disabilities. He is also editor-in-chief of EP Magazine (Exceptional Parent magazine), the nationally respected magazine for parents and professionals supporting individuals with disabilities. Dr. Rader is also the president of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry as well as a board member of the American Association on Health and Disability. He has been a consultant to three Surgeon Generals in the area of health and disability and serves as a consultant to the Healthy Athletes Program at Special Olympics. He is an adjunct professor of Human Development at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Dr. Rader is the director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center at the Orange Grove Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Orange Grove is a nonprofit community-based agency providing a full spectrum of services for people with complex intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Rader is responsible for the conception, implementation, and evaluation of programs designed to address the biopsychosocial health of individuals aging with developmental disabilities. He is also editor-in-chief of EP Magazine (Exceptional Parent magazine), the nationally respected magazine for parents and professionals supporting individuals with disabilities. Dr. Rader is also the president of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry as well as a board member of the American Association on Health and Disability. He has been a consultant to three Surgeon Generals in the area of health and disability and serves as a consultant to the Healthy Athletes Program at Special Olympics. He is an adjunct professor of Human Development at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Ted Schettler, MD, MPH - Dr. Ted Schettler is the science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN), and science advisor to Health Care Without Harm. He also heads the science work group for the Collaborative on Health and Environment (CHE) and he works with colleagues from other organizations and maintains an intensive public speaking schedule, giving frequent talks on environmental health, ecological health, and the precautionary principle. He has worked extensively with community groups and non-governmental organizations throughout the
Sheryl White Scott, MD, FACP - Sheryl White-Scott is currently an independent consultant in health care services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Dr. White Scott was previously the Director of the St. Charles Developmental Disabilities Program at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers of New York. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, New York Medical College. Dr. White-Scott completed her undergraduate work at Johns Hopkins University and was awarded her medical degree by SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. She is board certified in internal medicine with additional fellowship training in developmental disabilities. She specializes in clinical services for adults with developmental disabilities, and has worked extensively with this population and has a special interest in health care delivery for women with developmental disabilities and individuals with developmental disabilities from minority populations. She has done numerous presentations on primary health care, prevention, aging, women’s health and training medical professional in the delivery of health services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Dr. White-Scott resides in New York City with her husband and two children.