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Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
773 Madison Avenue • Albany, NY 12208
T- 518.462.0632   •   T-202.543.7555   •   F- 518.462.0433

About Us

Founded in 1995, Healthy Schools Network is an award winning 501c3 that has fostered the national healthy school environments movement. It is widely recognized as the nation’s leading voice for children’s environmental health at school. As an EPA and CDC partner, its expertise is also recognized by Congress, NGOs, university centers, NGOs, and the media.

It promotes collaborative research and policy development, and advanced systemic reforms in three core areas defining children’s environmental health at school:

  1. Environmental public health services for children at risk or with suspected exposures at school.
  2. Child-safe policies for housekeeping and purchasing (targeting indoor air pollutants, mercury, pesticides and other toxics, and the use of green and healthy/safer products).
  3. Child-safe standards for school design, construction, and siting.

In 1996, to assist parents with health-impacted children, we developed the EPA-award-winning Healthy Schools/Healthy Kids Clearinghouse©, which offers dozens of fact sheets, guides, and peer-reviewed reports.

Since its founding, it has had an outsized impact, as well as identified persistent, unresolved policy gaps.

The Network has:

  • Created a movement for children’s environmental health at school, from the ground up.
  • Won $1.2 billion in federal funds for school repairs; won $125 million in a New York State Bond Act that replaced coal-fired boilers in New York City schools; and supported a $2 billion New York State Smart Schools Bond Act that will replace trailers and expand Pre-K spaces and add connectivity for schools statewide.
  • Created and convened the national Coalition for Healthier Schools, harnessing the power of more than 150 organizations and hundreds of advocates nationwide.
  • Fostered successful reform coalitions in scores of states and localities.
  • Created and coordinate National Healthy Schools Day annually to build public awareness and support: since 2006, the Day has inspired 65 federal, national, and state partners and spurred over 300 activities in 34 states.
  • Won new federal authorizations for US EPA and for Education to address school environments and child health with new federal guidelines and grants to states; EPA funded five states in 2012.
  • Created and operates the nation’s first information and referral service for parents of children at risk or with suspected exposures at school.
  • Led a national campaign on green cleaning products in schools. Today, 12 states require or promote the use of third party certified green cleaning products in schools. Championed New York State’s green procurement initiative, generating savings of over $100 million.
  • Championed a law requiring all public schools in New York City, the nation’s single largest k-12 system, to use green, high performance school design standards for all new construction and major renovations.
  • Won multiple laws in New York State impacting schools: eliminating mercury, pesticides, and arsenic-treated wood; requiring schools to have written policies on indoor air, pesticides, and preventive maintenance; requiring the protection of occupants in schools under renovation; requiring certified green cleaning products by all state agencies and all public and private schools.

To protect our voice for children, we do not endorse products or accept support from chemical companies or vendors.


Word Cloud ImageCurrent Federal and State Appointments
Member, National Coordinating Committee on School Health & Safety (convened by HRSA-MCH)
Member, New York State Health Advisory Committee on Sustainable Schools

Other Current Service
Steering Committee, National Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition
National Advisory Board, Collaborative for High Performance Schools
Asthma Advisory Committee, School District of Philadelphia (PA)
Team Member, US EPA School Health and Indoor Environments Leadership Development
National Advisory Board, Green SchoolsNational Network Conference


2017  William K. Reilly National Environmental Leadership Award (American University School of Public Affairs)
2017 US EPA Recognition, Indoor Air Champion
2014 Green Seal, Outstanding Partner Award
2008 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units: Recognition of Services, Friend of the PEHSU Program
2007 US EPA IAQ [indoor air quality] in Schools Program: Special Achievement Award
2007 Collaborative for High Performance Schools – Green Apple Award
2005 US EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection – Recognition Award
2001 US EPA Region 1 Environmental Quality Award


Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
Board of Directors
(organizational affiliations for identification purposes only)

Chip Halverson, ND

Chip Halverson, ND

Chip Halverson, ND is a primary care physician and Chief Medical Director at Selah Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Halverson has been active on issues relating to Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) for over 20 years and offers a unique experience and perspective as a parent, teacher, school administrator, local union president, volunteer lobbyist, researcher and physician specializing in environmental medicine. Dr. Halverson has been designated a School Mentor by the EPA’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) program and has served as a consultant to the National Education Association (NEA) and Washington State Board of Health in updating their IEQ resources. He is a founding member of the NEA Healthy Schools Caucus and founder of both the Washington Education Association (WEA) Healthy Schools Caucus and the NEA Healthy Schools Caucus Youth Activism Award

Linda Mendonca

Vice President
Linda Mendonҫa, RN, MSN, MEd, NCSN, APHN-BC

Linda has been a registered nurse for 35 years practicing school nursing for the past twenty-two. She has served as the director for Rhode Island on the National Association of School Nurse’s board and is a Past President of the RI Certified School Nurse Teachers Association. Ms. Mendonca has been involved and responsible for many prevention programs in her school and has been honored by a number of organizations. Ms. Mendonca was recently appointed as an Assistant Professor of Community Health Nursing at RI College beginning in the Fall 2016 semester and will be consulting part time with the RI Department of Health on school health issues. She currently serves on the RI Leadership and Northeast board for the American Lung Association, has been involved with the RI Department of Health’s Asthma in Schools Subcommittee (Asthma Coalition) for many years. She received her RN diploma from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing, Providence, BSN from Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, MEd in the field of school nursing from Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA and MSN in advanced public health nursing from Rush University, Chicago, IL.

Chair- Science Committee, Dr. David CarpenterTreasurer
Dr. David Carpenter, MD is the Director of the Institute for Health and Environment at the University of Albany. He has served on various national and international committees and was the founding Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Albany until he left the position in 1998. His research areas include environmental exposures to toxins, public health education, and neurotoxicology. 
Hillary Brown, AIASecretary
Janet Phoenix, MD, MPH

Janet Phoenix, MD, MPH, is Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. She is Executive Director of a national non profit organization, the Coalition for Environmentally Safe Communities. She was the recipient of a 2008 Health Policy Fellowship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Susan Goekler
As Executive Director and CEO of two professional associations ­­ the Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE) and the American School Health Association (ASHA), Susan Goekler (formerly, Susan Wooley) oversaw operations and represented the associations, their members and the field. She first became engaged in issues with the physical environment of schools when that was the theme for ASHA’s annual conference in 2004. She has co­ authored/co­-edited several school health ­relevant publications. Her publications include a chapter on family engagement that supports student success, a journal article on the relationship between school health councils and school health policies and programs in US schools that reported SHPPS data, and the book Health Is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs. She received her bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from Case Western Reserve University, a master’s degree in health education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in health education from Temple University. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES). She is currently living in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and enjoying retirement from full time work while taking on projects of interest.
Hillary Brown, AIACarolyn Smith Evans, MS
Carolyn Smith-Evans is a teacher in the Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon. She graduated from Oregon State with a B.S. in Social Sciences and received a master's degree in Psychology. She became active in the area of environmentally healthy schools when her son was chemically injured at school. She began her work as a parent activist and then worked with her local union association on these issues. Eventually she worked at the national level within NEA to create awareness and training opportunities for NEA's members. She was one of the 3 co-founders of the NEA Healthy Schools Caucus and has served in a leadership position within the caucus since its inception.

Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
National Advisers
(organizational affiliations for identification purposes only)

Angelo J. Bellomo, REHS, QEP
Deputy Director for Health Protection
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health


Tobie Bernstein
Senior Attorney and Director, Indoor Environments and Green Buildings Program


Veronika Carella
Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Coalition, Legislative Director


Leslie Fields
Environmental Justice Director, Sierra Club


Tolle Graham
Labor-Environment Coordinator, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health

Lloyd J. Kolbe, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Applied Health Science, Indiana University School of Public Health—Bloomington

Mark A. Mitchell M.D., MPH
Co-Chair, Commission on Environmental Health, National Medical Association


Virginia Mott
Legislative Chair and Past-President, Maine PTA


Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, MPH
Executive Director, Children’s Environmental Health Network


Erik D. Olson
Director, Health & Environment Program, Natural Resources Defense Council


Maureen Swanson, MPA
Director, Healthy Children Project
Co-Director, Project TENDR
Learning Disabilities Association of America


Kimberly Voss
Parent Advocate, Oklahoma

Healthy Schools Network, Inc, 
Selected Events

June 2016 Conference Reception at the
George Washington University/Marvin Center 

Pictured left to right: pediatrician and 2014 Healthy Schools Hero Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP; Claire Barnett, MBA, Executive Director HS Network; Mary Filardo, founder and Executive Director, 21st Century Schools Fund, 2016 Hero; Chip Halverson, ND, HS Network Board President and 2010 Hero; Carolyn Smith-Evans, MS, HS Network Board Member and 2010 Hero; David Carpenter, MD, HS Network Board Member and 2008 Hero.  Not pictured: 2016 Hero Angelo Bellomo, REHS, QEP, Los Angeles County (CA) Department of Public Health. Bellomo received his award via teleconference during the June conference.
December 2014 Healthy Hero Awards Reception
Held at the American Academy of Pediatrics in Washington, DC, (L-R): Network Board Members Linda Mendonҫa, and Carolyn Smith-Evans; Network Executive Director Claire Barnett; Paulson; Network Board President Chip Halverson, ND; Network Board Members Lloyd Kolbe, PhD, and David Carpenter, MD

Board of Directors Officers 2014

Green Seal Gala October 2014
Left to right:  Healthy Schools Network Board members Vernice Miller-Travis, Laura Anderko; ED Claire Barnett; Green Seal ED Arthur Weissman; and guest host Rachelle Carson-Begley 

Under its founder and Executive Director, Claire Barnett, the Healthy Schools Network was instrumental in getting New York State to pass a law in 2005 requiring all State schools (K-12), public and private, to use green cleaning products meeting Green Seal’s standard (GS-37) or equivalent.  The Network then spearheaded passage of similar laws in ten other states.  HSN has also been a staunch advocate for the use of bona fide certification programs like Green Seal in institutional purchasing.  Overall, the Healthy Schools Network under Claire Barnett and the Coalition for Healthier Schools she assembled have been unflagging advocates for using the best science and tools to make schools healthier, instigating many State and local laws and policies.  Green Seal thanks Healthy Schools Network for this outstanding achievement and is pleased to give it an Outstanding Partner Award. 

Board of Directors Officers 2014


Board of Director Officers  June 2014 
(left to right) Lloyd Kolbe, Claire Barnett,
Chip Halverson, Laura Anderko, David Carpenter 
(Not pictured: Vernice Miller-Travis)

Staff 2014


Lunch with staff and former interns  June 2014 
Staff Jeff Jones, Christine Dobbins, Adam Pisarkiewicz,
Lauren Jesmer and Interns Lacey (interior design),
Nnena (social media) and Tori (emergency planing) 

2013 Healthy Hero Awards


2013 Healthy Hero Awards 
(left to right) David Carpenter, Bill WaIsh, Arthur Weissman,
Tolle Graham, John Shaw, Claire Barnett 

2010 Healthy Hero Awards 
2010 Healthy Hero Awards 

(left to right) Claire Barnett, Bob Axelrad, Jennie Young,
Chip Halverson, Carolyn Smith Evans, Kenneth Olden,
Denise Bowles, Vernice Miller-Travis, Shirley Schantz,
Tom Anapolis, Peter Grevatt 



Children & Environment: The White House
Council on Environmental Quality

On the Steps of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (April 30). Susan Wooley, Executive Director, American School Health Association; Vernice Miller-Travis, Healthy Schools Network Board Officer; Ramona Trovato, Children’s Environmental Health Network Board Chair. Not pictured, Claire Barnett, Coordinator, Coalition for Healthier Schools.

2008 Hero Awards at the New York Times Center

2008 Hero Awards at the New York Times Center 
Row 1- Ramona Trovato, Board Member 
Row 2- Jen Sentar (staff); Michelle Paterson
(NYS First Lady); Claire Barnett (staff); Panelists
and Honorees Frederica Perera, PhD, David Carpenter, MD,
Phil Landrigan, MD; Annie Murphy (GMA, moderator);
John Shaw, Board Member 
Row 3- Intern; Peter Lehner, NRDC panelist;
Stephen Boese (staff) 

Awards and Benefit Reception

October 2006

New York, NY: (left to right) John Shaw, HSN Board President; Peggy Shepard, WE ACT for Environmental Justice/Award Presenter; Jeff Jones, HSN Board Member; Stephen Boese, HSN NYS Director; Vernice Miller-Travis, HSN Board Member; Claire Barnett, HSN Executive Director; Neal Tepel, HSN Board Member; Joyce Bove, NY Community Trust/Award Presenter; Richard Iannuzzi, NYSUT/Honoree; Marcia Bystryn, NY LCV/Honoree; Robert Jackson, NYC Council/Honoree; Denis M. Hughes, NYS AFL-CIO/Award Presenter; James Naughton, Program Host.

Summit on Green Cleaning

April 2006

NY, NY: New York State and New York City organizations meet with NYS Department of Health and Office of General Services to discuss draft standards for new state law requiring all schools to use green cleaning products.

New York City Council
National Healthy Schools Day Proclamation

April 2006

(left to right) Peggy Shepard, WE ACT for Environmental Justice; John Shaw, Healthy Schools Network Board President; Claire Barnett, HSN Executive Director; Robert Jackson, NYC Council; Stephen Boese, HSN New York State Director; Gale Brewer, NYC Council; other parents and advocates from NYC.

Back to School Breakfast

September 2005

Washington, DC: (left to right) Tom Anapolis, Healthy Schools Network Board Member; Governor Parris N. Glendening, Smart Growth Leadership Institute; Claire Barnett, HSN Executive Director; Ramona Trovato, Healthy Schools Network Board Member; Stephen Boese, Healthy Schools Network
New York State Director.

Awards and Benefit Reception

October 2004

New York, NY: (left to right) Leyla Erk McCurdy, Healthy Schools Network Board President; Charles Szuberla, New York State Education Department; Claire Barnett, Healthy Schools Network Executive Director; Peter R. Smith,
NYSERDA; Katherine Kennedy.

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