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SHM I-PASS Leader Spearheads Fight for Safe Water in Flint



Dr. Hanna-Attisha

Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, the director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University, has been instrumental in the fight for clean and safe water for residents in Flint, Mich.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha has been a fundamental co-site leader with the SHM I-PASS mentored implementation program and minimized her role in the program as she became the unofficial spokesperson for the Flint water crisis. In January 2016, Dr. Hanna-Attisha took on the lead role for the Pediatric Public Health Initiative with Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha is a Michigan native and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She completed medical school at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, completed her residency and chief residency at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and earned her master’s degree at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s training and experience has focused heavily on environmental toxins and health disparities, so it’s no surprise that she is deeply involved with addressing the public health emergency in Flint as well as taking measures to ensure continued research and action regarding the impact the contaminated water had on the residents of Flint. Dr. Hanna-Attisha is working with a team of experts to develop evidence-based interventions that will aid in improving the health and development of children and families affected by Flint’s contaminated water. She is educating families on nutrition and diets high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C in order to help manage the effects of contamination.

A report from a Virginia Tech Research Team ignited the investigation into Flint’s water issues and also fueled Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s investigation into the blood-lead levels in the children of Flint. It has been close to two years that the residents of Flint have been exposed to severely toxic levels of lead from the city’s tap water, and Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s analysis of children’s blood-lead levels has been highlighted and published in numerous publications, including the American Journal of Public Health.

The water crisis in Flint hits close to home for Dr. Hanna-Attisha, and the dedication she has to her local community is astounding. It shows in the work she has been doing in her new role with the Pediatric Public Health Initiative.

SHM is proud of all the outstanding work she is doing and appreciates her contributions to the SHM I-PASS program. To keep up to date with Dr. Hanna-Attisha, follow her on Twitter @MonaHannaA.

Mobola Owolabi is senior project manager in SHM’s Center for Hospital Innovation and Improvement.

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