Chatham News

Dean of Chatham’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment to discuss managing uncertainty in environmental health

David Hassenzahl’s presentation will be part of Environmental Toxicity and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, a conference to be held on July 15 in Morgantown, W.Va.

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
July 12, 2011

PITTSBURGH (July 12, 2011) … Nationally prominent doctors and researchers will gather on Friday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to discuss their views at Environmental Toxicity and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, a conference to be held at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, W.Va.

The conference will include a presentation titled “Strategies for Making Health Decisions Under High Uncertainty” by Dr. David M. Hassenzahl, Dean of Chatham University’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment.

“While uncertainty remains one of the biggest challenges to making effective environmental and health decisions, we have developed methods to understand, describe, communicate, manage, and cope with uncertainty,” says Hassenzahl. “For managing the relationship between environmental toxicity and neurodevelopmental disorders, we should frame uncertainty as a management challenge that differentiates among hidden risks, surprises, and emerging and persistent controversies.”

In addition to Dr. Hassenzahl, the national speakers include:

• Isaac Pessah, Ph.D., professor of toxicology, The University of California, Davis School of Medicine;
• Raymond F. Palmer, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio Department of Family and Community Medicine;
• Eric M. Roberts, MD, Ph.D., environmental health tracking program manager, California Department of Health Services;
• Stephanie J. Frisbee, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine;
• Scott Faber, MD, development pediatrician, The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh
• H.M. “Skip” Kingston Ph.D., professor, Duquesne University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and
• Bernard D. Goldstein, MD, professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

The conference is co-hosted by Duquesne University and The Children’s Institute, and funded in part by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Rural Health.

About the School of Sustainability and the Environment

The School of Sustainability and the Environment (SSE) at Chatham University was founded in 2009 after the tremendous gift of the 388-acre Eden Hall from Eden Hall Foundation. The SSE (which currently houses the Master of Food Studies program and the Rachel Carson Institute) is a transdisciplinary academic institution that provides sustainable strategies for today’s regional, national and global social, economic, and environmental challenges.

About Chatham University

Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit