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Environmental Factor, February 2012

NIEHS Public Interest Partner honored

Mary Lamielle

Camden County Freedom Medal winner Mary Lamielle (Photo courtesy of Mary Lamielle)

Mary Lamielle, executive director of the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, is one of 14 Camden County, N.J., residents chosen to receive the 2012 Camden County Freedom Medal, honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., for their unselfish contributions to improving their community.

Lamielle is a member of the NIEHS Public Interest Partners, whose membership represents diverse groups, including disease, disability, and environmental education and advocacy organizations. The Partners meet periodically with the NIEHS/NTP director and staff to provide input and improve communication with communities and organizations directly affected by the Institute’s mission and research.

For three decades, Lamielle has dedicated herself to promoting the public health and improving the lives of people sick or disabled by environmental exposures. She has served on dozens of federal and state advisory committees, including the recently concluded Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force.

She was nominated for the Freedom Medal by Diane Reibel, Ph.D., research associate at Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. In her nomination, Reibel wrote, “I met Mary twenty-five years ago when I became ill from chemicals in my research laboratory. Mary’s knowledge, support, and advocacy were a life saver for me. What Mary did for me, she has done for thousands of people across New Jersey and tens of thousands nationwide.”

Lamielle was recently honored with the 2011 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards for Environmental Stewardship and a 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Environmental Quality Award, the highest civilian award given by the EPA.

The Camden County Freedom Medal was created in 2001 to honor the ideals indicative of the slain civil rights leader. According to Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr., “This is Camden County’s way of honoring Dr. King.”

Medals were presented during an evening ceremony Jan. 20 at the Camden County Boathouse at Cooper River.




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