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Women's Health Advocates Honored

By Eddy Ball
May 2010

Karen Miller, president of the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition (HBCAC) and founder of Prevention is The Cure
Awardee Karen Miller, above, is shown during one of her many talks advocating improved detection and treatment of breast cancer and support for women who have the disease itself or are at risk of developing it. (Photo courtesy of Karen Miller)

Laura Weinberg
Weinberg posed for a photo at the EPA awards ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Laura Weinberg)

Two breast cancer advocates with ties to NIEHS are being honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with its 2010 Environmental Quality Award - the highest honor presented by the agency to people in the public sector.

EPA recognized Karen Miller, president of the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition (HBCAC)(http://www.hbcac.org/) Exit NIEHS and founder of Prevention is The Cure(http://www.preventionisthecure.org/) Exit NIEHS, and Laura Weinberg, president of the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition(http://www.greatneckbcc.org/index.html) Exit NIEHS, for their "outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health." Along with environmental advocate Beth Fiteni, issues program director of the Neighborhood Network, Miller and Weinberg received their awards(http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa/) Exit NIEHS on April 23 to coincide with Earth Day celebrations.

Miller has been a member of the NIEHS Public Interest Partners(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/community/publicinterest.cfm) and Breast Cancer and Environment Working Group for more than six years and now serves as co-chair of the Partners group. Weinberg created and implemented a program(http://www.greatneckbcc.org/programs.html) Exit NIEHS at Great Neck North and Huntington high schools in New York for Students and Scientists United for Breast Cancer Prevention Research who participate with her in the annual meetings of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers (BCERC)(http://www.bcerc.org/home.htm) Exit NIEHS. The BCERC are jointly funded by NIEHS and the National Cancer Institute.

A long-time friend and colleague of Miller and Weinberg, Acting Director of the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training Gwen Collman, Ph.D., described the awards as "a wonderful honor - richly deserved by both for their tireless efforts on behalf of women's health and prevention. NIEHS is proud to be associated with these remarkable women."

Each year, EPA selects Environmental Quality Award winners from among non-profit environmental and community groups, individual citizens, educators, business organizations, and members of the news media, as well as from federal, state, local or tribal governments and agencies. The honor is given to those individuals or organizations making significant contributions to improving the environment and public health

In its announcement of the awards, the HBCAC Website called the winners "amazing women [who] are a powerful triptych, combining diverse and extensive backgrounds to advocate for environmental health and legislation through a powerful partnership. They are pillars of perseverance in our community and we congratulate them for this outstanding achievement."



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