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Board of Directors

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Susan Goekler, PhD
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 or 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 PhD. 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.

Vice President
Mansel A. Nelson, MS
Mansel Nelson’s formal education includes a BS in Chemistry and graduate studies in Chemical Engineering.  For twenty-six (26) years Mansel has served with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) located at Northern Arizona University.  Prior to working with ITEP, he served in the US Army Chemical Corps and taught community-based high school chemistry on the  Navajo Nation.  As a Program Manager, he prepares Native American students for careers applying science and engineering to environmental issues impacting tribal communities.  He also conducts training for Tribal Environmental Staff on maintaining Healthy Tribal Homes and Healthy Tribal Schools, with an emphasis on protecting children’s health.  During the pandemic, he has been seeking approaches for creating COVID Ready schools through application of air quality principles and a variety of air quality sensors.  Protecting the health of children is protecting our legacy.  Mansel has six grandchildren including four that are members of the Navajo Nation. Mansel can be reached by e-mail at

David Carpenter, MD
Dr. David Carpenter 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.

Kathy Reiner, MPH, RN, FNASN
Kathy Reiner, MPH, BA, BSN. RN is a School Nurse Consultant with 24 years of school nurse experience and 10 additional years as a public health professional. She is a past member of the National Association of School Nurses, (NASN) Board of Directors and chaired the Healthy Communities Strategic Committee. Kathy is a 2019-20 Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, (ANHE) Fellow and represents NASN on ANHE’s Nursing Collaborative for Climate Change and Health, Nursing Collaborative on Environment, Maternal-Child and Women’s Health, and serves on the Climate Change and Advocacy work groups. She has a passion for policy and advocacy and believes that working for healthy communities, including healthy school environments, and climate justice will help us ensure that all students will be healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

Chip Halverson, ND
Dr. Chip Halverson is a primary care physician and Chief Medical Director at Selah Natural Medicine and founder of the Northwest Center for Biological 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 and health optimization by treating the root cause of illness. 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.

Carolyn Smith Evans, MS
Carolyn Smith-Evans is a teacher in the Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon. She graduated from Oregon State with a BS 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 three co-founders of the NEA Healthy Schools Caucus and has served in a leadership position within the caucus since its inception.

Pamela Pugh, PhD, MS (On Leave)
Dr. Pamela Pugh has spent her career seeking to improve the education and health of children and the environments in which they live, learn and play. She was elected to an eight-year term on the Michigan State Board of Education in 2014 and currently serves as the board’s vice president. Dr. Pugh is the co-founder of Regeneration LLC, a consultancy that serves as a catalyst for economically sustainable and healthy urban communities, helping agencies, organizations and businesses build capacity through effective operations and partnerships. She served as the Chief Public Health Advisor for the City of Flint from October 2016 to November 2019, where she worked alongside Flint Mayor Dr. Karen Williams Weaver to implement a “Health Equity in All Policy” approach to decision-making during the Flint Water Crisis. As Michigan schools grappled to develop reopening plans amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Pugh teamed up with Claire Barnett of Healthy Schools Network to express concerns about exposure risks related to building infrastructure, exacerbated by disparities in underfunded communities. Dr. Pugh also served as a member of University of Michigan School Siting Task Force Steering committee. She currently serves as both the Michigan State Conference of NAACP Health and Education Chair and is a two-time recipient of the national NAACP’s Dr. Montague Cobb Award for special achievement in social justice, health justice, health education and promotion, fund-raising and research. Dr. Pugh organized Women’s Health and Education Issues Conferences as the former 2nd Vice President of the National Federation of Democratic Women and immediate past Chair of the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus and also co-chaired the first Climate, Energy and Environment Roundtable at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She holds a Doctor of Public Health and Master of Science from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Florida A&M University. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

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