Mona Hanna-Attisha

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.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...