OEC Names Sarah Petras Environmental Health Program Director

September 5, 2012 – Sarah Petras, the new environmental health program director for the Oregon Environmental Council (as of October 15, 2012), brings a wealth of experience working to protect people’s health, particularly underserved communities, from environmental pollutants and toxic exposures.

Sarah worked with Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) for over four years (2007-2012) in the areas of environmental justice, environmental health advocacy, and environmental health research. Her work with ACAT included such diverse activities as coordinating the Beyond Coal Human Health Campaign, organizing the Community-Based Environmental Research Field Institute in Nome, and coordinating several biomonitoring projects to assess body burdens of toxic chemicals.

As a member of ACAT’s policy advocacy team, Sarah advocated for passage of statewide legislation to eliminate toxic chemicals in consumer products and schools, and also advocated for the federal Safe Chemicals Act and ratification of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Upon Sarah’s return to Oregon earlier this year, she served as interim program manager at Josiah Hill III Clinic to oversee delivery of blood lead screening, healthy homes and community leadership building programs.

Additional work experience includes coordinating education programs at Oregon Health & Science University’s Public Health and Preventive Medicine Department, providing program support in the area of health education and promotion at the Coconino County Health Department in Flagstaff, and serving as program assistant at 1000 Friends of Oregon.

Sarah has an MPH in Health Promotion from Portland State University and a BA in English from Pennsylvania State University, as well as additional professional skills and training in running effective advocacy campaigns, organizing for social change, negotiation and mediation, and protecting human research participants.

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