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Mon, May 16



Clean Stoves, Healthy Families: How Indoor Air Affects Childhood Asthma

Asthma Awareness Month

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Clean Stoves, Healthy Families: How Indoor Air Affects Childhood Asthma
Clean Stoves, Healthy Families: How Indoor Air Affects Childhood Asthma

Time & Location

May 16, 2022, 11:00 AM


About the event


Dr. Steph Lee, MD, MPH is a pediatrician and preventive medicine/public health specialist. She is a pediatrician with Penn State Health in Reading and her advocacy work focuses on improving children's health with climate action and public policy through PSR PA, PA Medical Society, and the PA chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is a Co-Chair of the Climate and Environmental Health Committee. She believes all children should be protected from environmental hazards and have the right to a healthy, sustainable future. See her work on, RadioMD, and Public News Service and connect on social media @stephleemd.

Matt Casale is the director of environment campaigns for U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a public interest organization that speaks out for a healthier, safer world in which we’re freer to pursue our own individual well-being and the common good. Matt leads PIRG's work to shift our nation away from fossil fuels, primarily focusing on decarbonizing buildings and transportation. 

Entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and podcaster Chef Chris Galarza is renowned for his work in kitchen electrification and is the Founder of Forward Dining Solutions LLC. As the country’s foremost expert in commercial electric-kitchens chef works with governments, manufacturers, brands, designers, and chefs to create lasting sustainable kitchens and culinary ecosystems. Chef has worked on notable projects such as Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus (the world’s first fully self-sustained university campus), Microsoft HQ, and Castilleja All-Girls School. Chef worked for several prestigious establishments such as Carnegie Melon University, Monterey Bay of Pittsburgh, and The Greenbrier of WV where he apprenticed under several Certified Master Chefs and culinary Olympians. Chef leverages his experience as a culinarian, educator, and consultant to get projects moving forward and leaves operators educated and prepared to successfully, efficiently, and safely run their kitchen for years to come.


Tonyehn Verkitus is the executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania. Her work in the nonprofit world has mostly centered on health and food though she also spent many years training organizations and communities on fundraising and telling their mission-based stories. She also works to educate Northeast Pennsylvania residents by hosting “Keystone Edition Health” on WVIA-TV, where she discusses important information regarding the pandemic and vaccine concerns as well as other topics such as mental health, healthy eating and environmental issues. In 2007, Tonyehn along with other family members and friends started Africa Community Exchange, a nonprofit

organization whose mission is to support an effective model of education for youth and educators. Currently their work centers in Liberia with plans to expand to neighboring countries. Tonyehn is also the executive director of the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Medical Societies and sits on the boards of the Lackawanna County Arts, Culture and Education Department; WVIA Community Advisory Board; and leads professional education programs for the Luzerne County Opioid Task Force through the District Attorney’s Office.

Esther Obonyo is the Executive Director of the Global Building Network and an associate professor of engineering design and architectural engineering. Under her tenure as Executive Director since 2019, the GBN has established more than 35 industry, non-profit, and higher education partnerships across North America, Europe, Africa, and Australia to collaboratively catalyze research and education to make buildings more climate change resilient, sustainable, more efficient, and healthier for people. Dr. Obonyo is also the lead for an international, Penn State-led consortium funded by the Belmont Forum to improve infrastructure resiliency, sustainability, and public health in disaster prone, low-income communities. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Obonyo brings more than two decades of globally-focused work

experience on buildings, including working as a Jefferson Science Fellow and senior policy adviser for USAID, innovation analyst with Balfour Beatty, and construction engineer for an emergency retrofit project for the U.S. consulate in Nairobi, Kenya.

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