New Hazlett Theater
October 18
12 — 1:30 p.m.

In September, the Heinz Family Foundation announced the winners of its 22nd Heinz Awards, which provided unrestricted funds totaling $1.25 million to five “exceptional Americans whose leadership, innovation and creativity are breaking barriers in their fields, inspiring change and making a global impact for good.”

Created to honor the memory of the late U.S. Senator John Heinz, the accolades recognize groundbreaking contributions in five areas: Arts and Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment.

This year’s recipients are: two-time Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (Evanston, Illinois); pioneering ecologist Gregory Asner (Stanford, California); community development trailblazer Angela Blanchard (Houston, Texas); pediatrician and public health policy advocate Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha (Flint, Michigan); and cutting-edge chemist Joseph DeSimone (Redwood City, California).

To celebrate this year’s awardees and their impactful work, the Heinz Family Foundation is hosting a series of free public discussions next week. Experts on issues ranging from technology entrepreneurship to new models for community development to lead prevention policy — the prolific honorees will engage the public in topical discussions spotlighting their achievements and connecting their work to issues of regional importance.

Wednesday’s Heinz Awards Conversation featuring Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha — whose research exposed the Flint water crisis — is particularly timely and relevant at a time when the lead crisis in Pittsburgh is being investigated.

During her talk, “Lead Exposure: From Policy to Prevention,” Hanna-Attisha will facilitate an informative discussion examining the dangers of lead exposure in children, and will share effective policies for prevention.

As part of the free community conversation, Hanna-Attisha will be joined by local experts and advocates, including: Catherine Lobaugh, assistant executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Dr. Keith Somers of Children’s Community Pediatrics and Shannah Tharp-Gilliam, director of research and evaluation with Homewood Children’s Village.

The efforts of Hanna-Attisha — who is now director of the newly created Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an interdisciplinary collaborative effort between Michigan State University and Flint’s Hurley Children’s Hospital — have shaped innovative models for public health programs, and have sparked a nationwide conversation about lead exposure and drinking water safety.

Lunch will be provided.

Register today, because the other Heinz Awards Conversations are already sold out.