• Article
  • Apr 06 2023

Environment and health experts gather for Wyatt Symposium on April 20

Johnnye Lewis, founding director of the Community Environmental Health Program (CEHP) at the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, will present the noon keynote at the 2023 John P. Wyatt, M.D. Environment and Health Symposium on April 20.

The 2023 John P. Wyatt, M.D. Environment and Health Symposium will be held on the University of Kentucky campus from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 20, 2023, at the J. David Rosenberg College of Law Grand Courtroom.

The Wyatt symposium honors the legacy of John P. Wyatt and his pioneering environmental clinical research on air pollution and lung pathology. Universities and agencies from across the state have partnered to present research and practice on the environment and its impact on health.

Johnnye Lewis, Ph.D., will present the noon keynote: “Partnering with Indigenous Communities on Uranium Exposure Science: From Populations to Mechanisms to Interventions.” She is the founding director of the Community Environmental Health Program (CEHP) at the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy. CEHP is home to the METALS Superfund Research Center, the Navajo Birth Cohort Study/ECHO and the Center for Native Environmental Health Equity Research which she also leads or co-leads as professor emerita. 

“Each year, the Wyatt Symposium honors a scientist who has addressed environmental issues of public health concern with the rigor that this research requires. This year, we are pleased to present this honor to Dr. Johnnye Lewis — an outstanding environmental health scientist who has worked to understand the impacts of uranium exposure with and for the Navajo community,” said symposium organizer Erin Haynes, the Kurt W. Deuschle Professor of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health and director of the UK Center for the Environment and deputy director of the UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES).

Lewis said, “Building interdisciplinary teams that include the lived experience and knowledge of community members, a critical discipline, has been an amazing privilege. This perspective has allowed us to focus our science on questions of importance to the communities, expand the range of skills in the team to meet the needs of the questions, and in the end to learn from each other in ways that take our science in ever expanding directions as well. I am extremely honored to have the importance of this work and perspective acknowledged through the Wyatt Award and to in return honor the legacy of a pioneer in the field.”

The 10 a.m. panel discussion will focus on radon and health with a specific emphasis on Kentucky with moderator Ellen Hahn (professor in the colleges of Nursing and Public Health at the University of Kentucky and director of UK-CARES), and subject experts Lindi Campbell (founder and president of Breath of Hope Kentucky Inc., UK Markey Cancer Center lung cancer patient and advocate), Natalie DuPré (assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at University of Louisville), Scott Chiavacci (ecologist, from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Science and Decisions Center) and Stacy Stanifer (assistant professor at the UK College of Nursing and oncology clinical nurse specialist).

Lunch will be provided, and a facilitated discussion moderated by Haynes will follow the noon keynote. Registration is still open. Registrants can participate in person or by Zoom. For a complete agenda and to register, visit www.research.uky.edu/john-p-wyatt-symposium/2023.

This event is made possible by the generous support of the John P. Wyatt family and most notably a gift from his son, Philip Wyatt. Symposium partners include the UK Center for the Environment, UK Office of the Vice President for Research, UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences, UK Superfund Research Center, UK Center for Applied Research Energy, Kentucky Climate Consortium, Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, Kentucky Geological Survey, UK Office of Sustainability, UK Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More University and the University of Louisville.