The Environmental Health Project (EHP) is a nonprofit public health organization that assists and supports residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond who believe their health has been, or could be, impacted by unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD, or “fracking”).

EHP’s team includes medical professionals, community service professionals, and public health scientists who are available to assist individuals and communities in many ways:

  • EHP’s onsite Nurse Practitioner is available for exams and consultations with people who think their health may be compromised by nearby UOGD activities. Clients can be seen by appointment in our local office or in their homes. Our Nurse Practitioner also provides referrals, helps clients navigate the health care system, and consults with environmental health specialists.
  • EHP is also a resource center for information related to UOGD activities. Our staff is available by appointment in the office and by phone to address concerns residents have about their environmental conditions. We will answer questions, provide guidance, and steer people toward other resources when possible. EHP also provides limited air and water quality monitoring devices to qualified residents. 

At EHP we are aware that the lack of objective, reliable data on the health effects of UOGD activities raises many questions about the origins of residents’ health problems and the scope of public health risks in communities. We do not, however, see this uncertainty as a cause for inaction. As public health professionals we know that the perception in the community of environmental dangers, along with plausible sources of hazardous substances, are reason enough to provide a public health response.

While governmental agencies and other institutions are beginning the extensive research required to help determine adverse health and environmental impacts on regions affected by UOGD, this type of research takes a long time to conduct. We know people need information and help now!


Our Team

Raina I. Rippel – Director

Raina Rippel was formerly Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility/ Maine (1999-2006), and the Executive Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice in Washington, PA (2008-2011). She convened the first conference in the Northeast educating medical and public health professionals on the connections between health and the environment. Trained in community organizing, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.


Jill Kriesky, MS, PhD – Associate Director

Jill Kriesky received her MS in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her PhD in Economics from the University of New Hampshire.  She has spent more than twenty years in university-based community outreach on issues including labor relations, economic development and community health issues.  As the director of West Virginia Campus Compact, the West Virginia University Office of Service Learning Programs, and Wheeling Jesuit University’s Service for Social Action Center and Clifford M. Lewis, SJ, Appalachian Institute, Kriesky developed and managed a series of community/academic partnerships with community-based organizations in West Virginia. In her most recent position at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Center for Healthy Environments and Communities, Kriesky’s outreach and collaboration efforts focused on the potential health impacts of natural gas extraction.


David R. Brown, ScD – Environmental Public Health Scientist

David Brown is the Public Health Toxicologist and Director of Public Health Toxicology for Environment and Human Health, Inc. He is the past Chief of Environmental Epidemiology and Occupational Health in Connecticut and was previously Associate Professor of Toxicology at Northeastern College of Pharmacy and Allied Health. He also served as Deputy Director of the Public Health Practice Group of Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Brown graduated from Cornell University in Biochemistry, received his MS from the University of California in Environmental Health, and his ScD from Harvard School of Public Health in Toxicology.


Jessa Chabeau, MSW – Case Manager

Jessa Chabeau received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh where she focused on community organizing and social administration, while also becoming certified in human services management. While studying at the University of Pittsburgh, Jessa participated in a 9-month field placement at EHP, which led to her officially joining the organization after graduation.


Lydia H. Greiner, BSN, MSN – Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Lydia Greiner has nearly 20 years of experience working with communities to implement health promotion initiatives. As the former Manager of Community Services for Fairfield University School of Nursing she successfully obtained grant funding to support programs to address lead poisoning in young children, cardiovascular health in older adults, and risky behaviors in adolescents in Bridgeport, CT. In 2008 she was instrumental in creating an academic-community partnership in Nicaragua. Over the past five years, this partnership has addressed community needs for HIV/AIDs education, cardiovascular health resources, and improved hand hygiene.

Ms. Greiner is a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who earned her Bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and her Master’s in nursing at Fairfield University. She is currently completing her DrPh at Boston University School of Public Health. Ms. Greiner teaches public health nursing at Fairfield University and psychiatric nursing at California State University San Marcos and volunteers one day each week at a nurse-run clinic for the homeless in Ocean Beach, CA.


Ryan Grode, BS – Environmental Science Program Manager

Ryan Grode, a native of Northwestern Pennsylvania (Erie, PA), received his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Gannon University. His studies focused on hydrology, toxicology and water/air quality. He previously worked several years for the Erie County Department of Health conducting stream monitoring involving Lake Erie and tributaries leading to Lake Erie in addition to their public health programs and interacting with the public to resolve problems in their area. He also has served as an environmental inspector for Urban Engineers of Erie, PA where he focused on wetland delineations and environmental erosion and sedimentation control designs. His laboratory work there included soils testing, water quality testing and air contaminant testing as well as preparing TRI (Toxic Release Information) and other chemical reports.


Ken Hamel, MS – Data Analyst

Ken Hamel received a BS in Biology from the University of Washington with a minor in statistics. He went on to work in fisheries science and algal biofuels before returning to school to earn an MS in Botany from the University of Hawaii. In graduate school he focused on plant ecophysiology, incidentally learning that working with large datasets can be fun. Ken has several years’ experience in working marine and wetland ecology, analytical chemistry, statistical and spatial analysis, and technical writing.  He occasionally teaches biology at the University of New Haven as an adjunct instructor.


Debbie Harter – Office Manager

Debbie Harter is a native of Southwest Pennsylvania. She has a background in banking, mining, county government and community organizing. Previously, Debbie worked for the Center for Coalfield Justice as the Office Manager and Community Organizer.


Sujit Joginpally, MD, MPA, MBA, MAS – Project Manager

Sujit Joginpally received his medical education from Crimea State Medical University, Ukraine. He has experience working with patients in the United Kingdom and India. Sujit also received an MBA in healthcare & life sciences and an MPA in health care management from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. His past experience includes working in the Quality and Patient Safety department to address increased readmission rates of congestive heart failure patients. He is currently managing and consulting a 100-bed hospital in India since its inception in 2015. As Project Manager at the Connecticut EHP office, Sujit oversees the operations involved in data gathering from NY compressor sites.


Edward (Ned) Ketyer, MD, F.A.A.P. – Medical Advisor

Ned Ketyer earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed his residency at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. As one of the founding physicians of Pediatric Alliance, PC, Dr. Ketyer served as its president from 1997-2004. He has worked at Pediatric Alliance since 1990 and is the editor of the popular pediatric blog, The PediaBlog.

Dr. Ketyer is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health. He is also a board member for Physicians for Social Responsibility -- Philadelphia.


Debbie Larson – Medical Outreach Coordinator

Debbie Larson received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied economics and mathematics. She worked for many years as an economic analyst and as a network and computer support specialist. More recently, she worked as an outreach educator for RiverQuest. She is a member of the Shale and Public Health Committee of the League of Women Voters.


Celia Lewis, MS.ED, PhD – Research and Communications Specialist

Celia Lewis received her MS from Bank Street College of Education and her PhD in Environmental Studies from Antioch University. Dr. Lewis has extensive experience in environmental conservation, education and public health. She has served as Assistant Head of Public Education at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, conducted research for Environment and Human Health, Inc., the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale School Forests. Recent research also focuses on the public health implications of air and water contamination from energy sources.


Carole Perry, MPH, PhD – Nurse Educator

Carole Perry received her MPH with a concentration in Health Services Administration and Public Health Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. She also has a PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Perry has experience in public health nursing, teaching, and facilitating community/academic partnerships for clinical education of health profession students. She has provided consultation to non-profit organization in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention.


Lenore (Leni) K. Resick, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC – Family Nurse Practitioner 

Lenore (Leni)  K. Resick, a native of Southwestern Pennsylvania, received her Diploma from Presbyterian University Hospital School of Nursing, her bachelors and masters degrees in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh, and her post masters certificate in Transcultural Nursing and Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Duquesne University. Before joining EHP, she held the position of Clinical Professor; Noble J. Dick Endowed Chair in Community Outreach; Executive Director, Community-Based Health & Wellness Center for Older Adults and Director Family Nurse Program at Duquesne University School of Nursing. She has over forty years of clinical experience as a nurse and over twenty-seven years of clinical experience as a family Nurse Practitioner in a variety of settings including occupational health and community-based care focused on disease prevention, health promotion, wellness and self-care management. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on topics related to nurse-led community-based wellness centers. Her research interests include health and wellness and the meaning of health among vulnerable populations.

Dr. Resick is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nursing. At the state level, she received the Distinguished Nurse Award by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA). In 2015 she was appointed Professor Emerita, Duquesne University School of Nursing.


Leslie Walleigh MD, MPH – Medical and Occupational Health Consultant

Leslie Walleigh is a graduate of Brown University and Stanford Medical School. She originally completed a residency and became board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, practicing in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. While still practicing OB/GYN, she completed a Masters in Public Health in Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health. During her public health studies, she also became interested in occupational health and subsequently completed a residency in occupational medicine at the Harvard School of Public Health. She later also became board certified in occupational medicine. She practiced occupational medicine from 1995 through 2009 at Maine General Medical Center. In 2004, Dr. Walleigh began working one day a week for the Environmental and Occupational Health Programs of the Maine CDC, consulting with the staff on medical conditions related to environmental and occupational exposures. In 2009 she accepted a full-time position with the Maine CDC and currently serves as a Public Health Physician within the Environmental and Occupational Health Programs. Dr. Walleigh continues to practice occupational medicine one day a week with Employee Health and Wellness of Maine Medical Center.


Beth Weinberger, MPH, PhD – Research and Communications Specialist

Beth Weinberger received her Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Political Science from Yale University. She began her career in direct service maternal-child health but has since focused primarily on research and consulting. Ms. Weinberger was a research associate at Yale University’s Institution for Social & Policy Studies where her research focused on civic engagement. She has also provided research consulting and freelance writing services for non-profit and other organizations including Environmental and Human Health, Inc., the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and Farnam Associates. Along with Celia Lewis she has formed the environmental health consulting firm, Thimble Creek Research.


Interns, Graduate Assistants, Fellows

Candace Beckman, BS – University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work Intern

Candace Beckman received her BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University. She is currently a master's student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Candace’s concentration is in direct practice and she is working towards becoming certified in mental health. She is currently working at NHS Stepping Stone Plus, with children on the Autism Spectrum. 


Sarah Roberts, BS – University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work Intern

Sarah Roberts is a native of the Ozarks, and received her BS in Sociology and Psychology from Portland State University in Portland, OR. She is currently a master's student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Sarah is interested in environmental justice, rural mental health, and working with Native American communities. She was inspired to work with rural Appalachian communities by her deep connection to her grandparent's farm in the region.


ehp Board members, february 2017

Illah Nourbakhsh, PhD, MS - Chair
Professor of Robotics, the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

Mike Kane - Treasurer
Executive Director, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN - Secretary
Director, Center for Global & Public Health, Villanova University

Norman Anderson, MPH - Scientific Advisory Committee Chair

Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis - Community Advisory Committee Chair
Executive Director, Women for a Healthy Environment


Scientific Advisory Committee Members, MAY 2017

Laura Anderko, PhD RN, Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (MACCHE)

Ronald Bishop, Phd, CHO, SUNY Onenota

Kathryn Brasier, PhD, Penn State

Richard Clapp, PhD, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Alan Ducatman, MD, West Virginia University

Don Fugler, consultant, Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces (ROCIS)

Susan Nagel, PhD, University of Missouri

Eduardo Jay Olaguer, PhD, Houston Advanced Research Center

Sharyle Patton, Commonweal

Bruce Pitt, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Randy Sargent, Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab


Funding Support

EHP’s work is supported by foundations and individual donors. Click here to donate now.

2016-2017 Funding Sources (listed alphabetically):