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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

Healthy Schools Network, Inc., is the leading national voice for children's environmental health at school and a national-award-winning 501(c)3 not-for-profit environmental health organization. Founded in 1995, we launched the national healthy schools movement with comprehensive state policies and a model coalition that have been shared and replicated widely since 1997. As EPA and CDC Partners, our expertise is also recognized by Congress, university centers, NGOs, and the media. To protect our voice for children, we do not endorse products or accept support from chemical companies or vendors.

Our policy campaigns address three core facets of environmental health at school: 1) child-safe standards for school design, construction, and siting; 2) child-safe policies for housekeeping and purchasing (targeting indoor air pollutants, mercury, pesticides and other toxics, and the use of safer substitutes); and 3) environmental public health services for children in harm's way. 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. Its first two parent guides (indoor air, green cleaning) have been nationally distributed since 1999.

In 2000, we convened the now-1,000-strong national Coalition for Healthier Schools, which has won $1.2 billion for schools repairs (2001) and two federal laws authorizing Education (2002) and EPA (2007) to address school environments by partnering with the states. The Coalition provides "the platform and the forum for environmental health" through regular conference calls and annual meetings. In 2009 it issued Sick Schools 2009, its second national collaborative report with state-by-state data and policy profiles.

Based on multiple technical panel discussions (2004-2006) and landmark policy wins in New York, Coalition activists formed the National Collaborative on Green Cleaning and Chemical Policy Reform in Schools in 1996. The Collaborative has shared resources, strengthened certification standards for cleaning products, developed an "industry-free" and open-source online training Toolkit tested in ten states, and won several state laws, and it continues to work daily to defeat chemical industry's false marketing claims, all through providing free information and technical comments to policy reformers, NGOs, and schools and their communities.

Since 2009, we have successfully worked for restoring a federal executive order on risks to children's environmental health (2009), the President's Inter Agency Task Force on Risks to Children's Health (2009), and igniting new interagency work to address environmental risks in K-12 schools (2010) through a new EPA Healthy Schools Initiative that will offer grants to states.

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

Laura holds the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values Based Health Care at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies. She is a nurse, scholar, and educator in the fields of epidemiology, public health and environmental health. A Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow, Dr. Anderko earned her Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Illinois, an MS from Northern Illinois University, and a BSN from University of Illinois, Chicago. Early in her career, Dr. Anderko was a public health nurse that worked in school health and continues to focus on the health of children, especially how the environment impacts growth, development, and learning.

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.


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