Home  •  Who We Are  •  What You Can Do  •  News  • Join/Support  •  en Español
      Online donation system by ClickandPledge

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
Member, New York State Education Task Force on Safe 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


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

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.

Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
Board of Directors & Board Committees
(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 Anderko

Vice President
Laura Anderko PhD, RN,
is a Professor and holder of the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies. Dr. Anderko is also the Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment at Georgetown University; a CDC funded Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit for Region 3. She is a scholar and educator in the fields of epidemiology, public health and environmental health. Dr. Anderko earned her PhD in public health from the University of Illinois, an MS from Northern Illinois University, and a BSN from University of Illinois. She previously served on the Environmental Protection Agency's federal advisory committee, the Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC) and the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee Research Workgroup. Dr. Anderko, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, serves as a Co-Chair of the National Environmental Health Partnership Council (CDC, APHA), Research Co-Chair for the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment, Chair for the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health Advisory Board (Maternal Child Health Bureau, HRSA), and as Vice President of the Healthy Schools Network board. 

In 2013, she was named a White House Champion of Change for her leadership in raising awareness about climate-related health effects.

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. 

Secretary, Vernice Miller-TravisSecretary
Vernice Miller-Travis is a Senior Associate in the Community Planning and Design Group of Skeo Solutions.  She provides technical expertise for collaborative planning and design services in area-wide brownfields revitalization, community sustainability and environmental justice. Vernice is sought after for her expertise in brownfields redevelopment and community revitalization, collaborative problem solving, multi-stakeholder design and planning and environmental justice.

Prior to joining Skeo Solutions, Ms. Miller-Travis served as the Director of the Environmental Justice Initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, Executive Director of Groundwork USA, and co-founder of We ACT for Environmental Justice. She also serves on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to EPA, and as Vice-Chair of the Maryland Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities.

Lloyd J. Kolbe, PHD
Senior Adviser to the President 
Lloyd J. Kolbe is Professor Emeritus at Indiana University and former Professor and Associate Dean for Global & Community Health at Indiana University; former and founding Director, Division of Adolescent & School Health at U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. 
Chair - New York City Task Force , Neal Tepel Neal Tepel is the Assistant to the Executive Director of AFSCME District Council 1707 for Intergovernmental Affairs. This union represents members in childcare, early education, and health facilities. Through the years, Neal has worked with many labor organizations in strategic planning and public relations. As a current board member of Healthy Schools Network and chair of the New York City Committee, he has developed collaborations to foster healthy and energy efficient schools. Neal is also the founding board member to New York City Apollo and vice president of the Civil Service Merit Council.
Hillary Brown, AIAJoellen Lawson, MS
Joellen Lawson holds a bachelor's degree in Special Education and master's degrees in Counseling and School Health Education. Prior to her disability retirement in 2001, her twenty-three year career as an educator/consultant included working as a founding member of the Attention Deficit Disorders Institute, seminar leader for the Institute for Creative Education, and as a special education teacher for several public school systems in Connecticut. In 2002, she founded the Connecticut Foundation for Environmentally Safe Schools.
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.
Hillary Brown, AIAJanet 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.
Linda Mendonca

Linda Mendonҫa, MSN, MEd, NCSN, APHN-BC
Linda is the Chair of the Rhode Island Leadership Board and an ALANE Board of Director member.  Linda’s volunteer work for the ALA began in 2008.  Linda has been a school nurse for 19 years and is currently at an urban Jr. High School in RI.  Linda’s passion is helping clean up the school environment through her work with asthmatic children.  Linda has been the recipient of many honors and awards which includes Pawtucket Prevention Coalition Academy Award, Governor’s Wellness Citation for morning physical activity program, Johnson and Johnson School Nurse Fellowship program and RI School Nurse –Teacher of the Year.


Coalition    •    New York Program    •    Clearinghouse    •    Kids    •   NHS Day    •    Links

site developed by CKWebsites