Deirdre Imus, president and founder of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center® at HackensackUMC, and Lawrence Rosen, M.D., the Center’s medical advisor, pediatrician and founder of the Whole Child Center, have co-authored a landmark paper entitled The Growing Pediatric Health Gap: Environmental Injustice Threatens Our Future, which was recently published in EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing,a leading interdisciplinary publication in the field of integrative medicine.
Nine years after releasing their 2007 paper Environmental Injustice: Children’s Health Disparities and the Role of the Environment, Deirdre and Dr. Rosen revisit the issue of children’s environmental health and its intricate relationship with childhood health disparities. The current paper highlights the latest trends and statistics in pediatric health issues, including the concerning high prevalence of childhood cancer, allergies, asthma, obesity, diabetes and developmental disabilities in recent years.
“Simply put, children are our future,” said Deirdre Imus. “An investment in the health of our kids is an investment in generations to come. This paper is a must-read call-to-action that emphasizes the steps we can all take to protect our children’s health.”
This new paper explores emerging environmental concerns that disproportionately affect the health and well-being of children, such as climate change, toxic stress, and electromagnetic radiation. It highlights eye-opening statistics about the impacts of these issues on our children’s health, such as toxic stress early in life leading to heart disease, depression, and substance abuse. Moreover, the paper focuses on the relationship between environmental issues and poverty, offering the sad truth that children living in poverty bear the greatest burden of environmental health issues, ultimately widening the health gap in America.
“What has transpired in the decade since our first paper is heartbreaking,” said Dr. Rosen. “It’s important to understand the full implications of these emerging threats and to discover what we believe are important strategies to reverse the worsening health trends affecting our children.”
About The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® at HackensackUMC
The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® at Hackensack University Medical Center represents one of the first hospital-based programs whose specific mission is to identify, control and ultimately prevent toxic exposures in the environment that threaten our children’s health. HackensackUMC began its journey towards environmental health and sustainability more than a decade ago with the help of Deirdre Imus, beginning with the Greening The Cleaning® program in 2001, which promotes the use of safer cleaning products and in 2005 with the design and construction of one of the first green hospitals in the country, the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which was named one of America’s Top Green Hospitals by National Geographic’s The Green Guide. Through the efforts of the Environmental Health Center, HackensackUMC earned Practice Greenhealth’s highest honor as a 2016 Environmental Excellence Award winner, earning recognition for a third year in a row, as one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country. www.imusenvironmentalhealth.org
About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a 775- bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,717 beds, more than 10,000 team members and 3,300 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is the only hospital in New Jersey, New York and New England to be named one of Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals™ nine consecutive years, and receive the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 13 years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit: www.HackensackUMC.org.
About EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing
EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing addresses the scientific principles behind, and applications of, evidence-based healing practices from a wide variety of sources, including conventional, alternative, and cross-cultural medicine. It is an interdisciplinary journal that explores the healing arts, consciousness, spirituality, eco-environmental issues, and basic science as all these fields relate to health.