2017 Child Health Advocate Awardees



Carol Stroebel Health Policy Award
Jerome Paulson, MD
Jerome A. "Jerry" Paulson, MD, FAAP is the principal of EnviroHealthDoctor, LLC, a national consulting firm focused on children's environmental health.

As a consultant, Jerry is the Medical Director for the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit-East program at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the AAP's Climate Change Initiative.

He is also Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and Emeritus Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health.

With the exception of learning about lead poisoning while a resident in Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospitals and Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, MD and also during his first faculty appointment at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, Jerry's start in children's environmental health came from the Children's Environmental Health Network. In the early 1990s, under the tutelage of Joy Carlson and Susan West, he participated in the CEHN train-the-trainer program. 

In 2000, John Balbus, Ben Gitterman and Jerry created the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment, an early Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit. He ran the Center until 2015, and continues as their pediatric consultant.

Jerry is the immediate-past chair of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health; and he served 6 years as a member of the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).



Community Award 
Robert Bullard, Ph.D.
The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University

Dr. Robert Bullard is former Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University 2011-2016 and he is now Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy and Administration of Justice.

Prior to coming to TSU he was founding Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. He has been described as the father of environmental justice. He received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University. He is the author of seventeen books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity.

Professor Bullard was featured in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know, Bullard: Green Issue is Black and White. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. And that same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA). In 2010, The Grio named him one of the “100 Black History Makers in the Making” and Planet Harmony named him one of Ten African American Green Heroes.” He is completing work on a new book entitled Wrong Complexion for Protection: How the Government Response to Disaster Endangers African American Communities (New York University Press, 2012). In 2014, the Sierra Club named its new Environmental Justice Award after Dr. Bullard.



Community Award
Annabelle M. Allison
The Tribal Support Unit in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Member of the Navajo Nation, Ms. Allison currently serves as a senior field assignee for the Tribal Support Unit in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. 

Ms. Allison previously served as associate director for the Office of Tribal Affairs (OTA) in the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR). In this role, she fostered relationships between NCEH/ATSDR divisions, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes, and external partners. She has also worked to increase visibility of the environmental and public health disparities affecting American Indian and Alaska Native tribal populations and strengthened policies within CDC/ATSDR that highlighted and supported the sovereign status of AI/AN tribes. In 2010, Ms. Allison implemented an initiative that has come to be known as the Tribal Public and Environmental Health (TPEH) Think Tank, which is composed of tribal professionals from across the U.S. who are working to promote public and environmental health and provide a voice for the communities they serve. With input from the Think Tank membership, Ms. Allison developed a curriculum for a cultural awareness course entitled, Working Effectively with Tribal Governments (WETG), which is offered to CDC/ATSDR staff and interested partners.

Before joining CDC/ATSDR, Ms. Allison served as a program manager for Northern Arizona University’s Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (NAU ITEP). She established and managed several programs; developed curricula and taught several ITEP courses related to regulatory, policy, and technical issues; and provided hands-on training to tribes across the country on ambient air monitoring topics.



Science Award
Michael L. Weitzman, MD 
Department of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine at New York University School of Medicine and School of Global Public Health at New York University

The focus of Dr. Michael Weitzman's career has been on understanding the social and environmental determinants of child and family health and the means to prevent or attenuate the effects of such exposures. He received his B.A. degree from CUNY Brooklyn College, his M.D. degree from SUNY Upstate Medical Center and completed clinical training in Pediatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical Center prior to studying health services research at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Weitzman has served as Chief of the Divisions of General Pediatrics at two medical schools and Chair of Pediatrics at another while also having served as Director of Parent and Child Health Services for the City of Boston and leading multiple federally funded fellowship programs in Academic General Pediatrics and Pediatric Primary Care. He also was a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Academic Generalist Faculty Scholars Program and has mentored well over 100 individuals from Pediatrics and countless other child-health related fields.

His contributions to the US federal government concerning child environmental health issues include having served on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and overseeing the committee's input into the CDC's 2005 statement on childhood blood lead levels less than 10 µg/dL. His research on prenatal tobacco and childhood secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure provided important input into the Department of Justice's Federal Racketeering Case against the tobacco industry, in which case he served as an expert medical witness. Dr. Weitzman currently serves on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee.


Nsedu Obot Witherspoon (NOW) Youth Leadership Award
Sophie Bernstein
Sophie Bernstein is a high school senior from St. Louis, Missouri. Sophie serves as a youth advisory board member for Harvard University's School of Education Making Caring Common organization, Youth Service America, and as an All Star Youth for the Alliance for A Healthier Generation.She is a military dependent that is passionate about organic gardening and community service. Sophie took the initiative in 2012 to create Grow Healthy, a project to build organic raised vegetable garden beds at low-income daycares located in food deserts in the St. Louis region.
She is committed to avoiding the use of all pesticides and herbicides since they have harmful effects on human health, the environment and wildlife. She has built, planted and maintains 30 raised pesticide-free garden vegetable beds and donated over 30.000 pounds of produce to area food banks and families in need. She views an organic vegetable garden as an ideal outdoor learning laboratory for young children to experiment, learn process and see the impact of their actions. Sophie also organizes and hosts free sports clinics for youth with special needs.




View other Youth Leaders in Environmental Health here






View our past award recipients here