Worcester State University nursing graduate student Lisa Chan

Graduate Student Named Paul Ambrose Scholar for Environmental Health Advocacy

July 3, 2013
By: Worcester State University News

Lisa Chan, R.N., a graduate nursing student at Worcester State University and maternity nurse at UMass Memorial Medical Center, received a highly competitive scholarship to attend the 12th annual Paul Ambrose Scholars Program (PASP) Symposium, held June 20-23 in Washington, D.C. She joined 45 other medical, physician assistant, dental, pharmacy, physical therapy, and graduate nursing students dedicated to bringing health promotion and preventive approaches to health professions education and their communities. The students were selected from a pool of applicants from over 80 health professional schools across the country.

In addition to financial support awarded to travel to and participate in the symposium, Chan received a micro-grant to implement a public health or disease prevention project focused on one of the Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators on the WSU campus or in the Worcester community within the next year. Chan’s project faculty advisor is WSU’s Associate Dean for Nursing Stephanie Chalupka ’80, Ed.D., R.N., PHCNS-BC, FAAOHN.

“The Healthy People 2020 challenge to reduce exposures to chemicals in our environment that may be contributing to cancers, cardiac diseases, asthma, and other illnesses is my personal passion,” Chan explained. “In our homes and businesses, we use more than 87,000 chemicals. Only 10 percent of the 10,500 chemicals contained in personal care products have been evaluated for safety by the FDA.”

Her initiative—developing a seminar series and workshops—is aimed at educating nurses because they can then share information on household and business chemicals with their patients. “Informed nurses are in a perfect position to carry the message and provide the missing link to transferring information to consumers,” Chan said.

U.S. Deputy Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., provided an inspiring day one closing that set the stage for the rest of the symposium. Throughout the leadership development program, Chan and the other participants attended presentations and lively discussions focused on perspectives on prevention, healthcare and the economy, health policy advocacy, project planning and community organizing, medicine and the underserved, public speaking and media relations, social determinants of health, and careers in public health and prevention. Public health officials, industry experts, and public health veterans led sessions. Six enthusiastic Paul Ambrose Scholar alumni returned to participate in two panel discussions.

The PASP program is named for Paul Ambrose, M.D., M.P.H., a rising star in the field of prevention and public health who tragically lost his life on September 11, 2001. Through his intelligence, commitment, and heart-felt energy, he forged meaningful relationships and touched many lives by demonstrating a zest for living and passion for prevention and public health. His mother, Sharon Ambrose, attended this year’s symposium.

Leave a Comment

See for yourself what #woolife is all about.

The best way to learn about Worcester State University is to tour our beautiful campus. Be sure to let your student tour guide know your interests so they can personalize your tour.

See the tour schedule