Environment and Health: New Roles for Health Professionals


  • Children’s Environmental Health
  • Breast Cancer
  • Air Pollution
  • Climate Change and Health
  • Disaster Prepardness
  • Agriculture, Farmworkers, and Food
  • Clinician and Educator Tracks

Day 2 will include Oil Field and Agricultural Tours

Location: Bakersfield Marriott

801 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield 93301

Discounted room rates are available

Right Near Amtrack! (.2 miles away)

Date & Time: June 7th & 8th 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cost: $60/day

Coffee and Lunch included 

CE Hours Available: 6/day 


Register Here!

Join us in Bakersfield for our Environment and Health Conference on June 7th and 8th. This pivotal event brings together some of the most influential voices in healthcare and environmental advocacy, offering insights into the critical role health professionals play in addressing environmental health and justice.

Why Attend?


Networking: Connect with professionals who share your passion for environmental justice and health.

Education: Update your knowledge with the latest research and strategies for implementing environmental health into practice.

Actionable Insights: Take away practical tools and frameworks to make a real impact in your community and workplace.


Meet Our Speakers

Sahar Nouredini

Sahar Nouredini


Sahar Nourendini received her BSN from Sacramento State University in 2003, her MSN from the University of California in San Francisco in 2009, and her Ph.D. in occupational and environmental health nursing from the University of California San Francisco in 2015.

She is an Assistant Professor of Nursing and Community Health Nursing Coordinator and the Post-licensure Nursing Program Coordinator with California State University East Bay.

Her research and advocacy interest focus on addressing occupational and environmental health inequities as well as disaster preparedness and response.

Erika Alfaro

Erika Alfaro


Erika Alfaro is a public health nurse with San Mateo County in California. She is an immigrant from Mexico who proudly comes from a large family of doctors, biologists, agricultural engineers, architects, house cleaners and farm workers. Since the age of 15, Erika has held leadership positions with various non-profits predominantly focused on communities and community building. She is the current president of the thriving SF/Golden Gate NAHN chapter and recipient of the 2023 Sarah Gomez Erlach Humanitarian Award. She serves as Co- Chair of the Farmworker Committee with the California Nurses for Environmental Health and Justice and was part of the 2019 fellowship cohort with the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. Last but not least, she works closely with organizations like Safe Ag Safe Schools and Center for Farmworker Families to advocate and amplify farmworker communities in Santa Cruz, as well as farmworker communities all over California. 

Cesar Aguirre

Cesar Aguirre

As a child in a family of migrant farm workers who turned into community organizers, Cesar was exposed to community organizing and advocacy at an early age. Since starting with CCEJN, Cesar works in rural communities in Kern County helping fenceline communities affected by oil and gas and pesticides understand how to protect themselves from these sources of pollution and how to advocate for systemic changes that prioritize their health.
Lorelei Punsalan

Lorelei Punsalan


Dr. Lorelei Punsalan is an assistant professor in the department of nursing and a neurology nurse practitioner. She has 17 years of clinical experience, 10 of which in out-patient general neurology. She is board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing. One of her special interests is movement disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease and the role of exercise in improving patient function and quality of life. She is a scholar of the Edmond J Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program organized by the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center. This program trains faculty leaders across the US to educate nursing students in the care of Parkinson’s patients. 

Barbara Sattler

Barbara Sattler


Dr. Sattler is a professor at the University of San Francisco and an international leader in environmental health and nursing. She is a founding and active member of both California Nurses for Environmental Health & Justice, as well as the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. While at the University of Maryland, she directed the Maryland hospitals for Healthy Environments, a 10-year statewide initiative that helped hospitals develop sustainable policies and practice to achieve the triple bottom line of employee health, patient health, and ecological health. She also helped to bring local, sustainable, and healthy foods to Maryland’s hospitals, supported by grants from the US Department of Agriculture. 

Dr. Sattler has worked in communities facing environmental health risks associated with lead-based paint, pesticides, superfund sites, and risks associated with gas and oil extraction, including fracking. She has been an advisor to the US EPA’s Office of Child Health Protection and the National Library of Medicine for informational needs of health professionals on environmental health. Dr. Sattler has been the recipient of NIEHS, HUD, and EPA grants, as well as a host of private foundations. She is also an author of Environmental Health and Nursing Practice and a host of peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Sattler is a Registered Nurse with an MPH and DrPH from the John Hopkins School of Public Health. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Karin Urso

Karin Urso


Karin is a community health nursing educator and a public health nurse with international and local community health experience. She teaches community health nursing at California State University, Bakersfield and is retired from Kern County Public Health. She has seen first-hand how air pollution and other environmental threats affect the residents of  Kern County. A former chair and co-chair of the Asthma Coalition of Kern County, she has been encouraged to see the community coalitions work together for healthier communities in the Central Valley.

Elise Wallis

Elise Wallis


Elise Wallis is the Manager of Health Partnerships for the American Lung Association. Her work focuses on mobilizing health professionals and health organizations around the Lung Association’s clean air and climate advocacy work at the state level. Elise is also responsible for coordinating the organization’s “Health Professionals for Clean Air & Climate Action” nationwide newsletter. Previously, she served as a Health Promotions Specialist for the Lung Association and was responsible for training health professionals across Southern California to lead smoking cessation classes, lung disease support groups and asthma education programs. 

Elise holds a Master of Public Health in Community Health Sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree from Baldwin Wallace University. She is based in Los Angeles, CA.  

Erika Kimball

Erika Kimball


Erika Kimball BSN, MBA, is a sustainability leader with more than 15 years experience developing solutions with healthcare clients. She began her sustainability journey as a staff nurse leading volunteer waste reduction projects in clinical units. Her consulting firm, Kimball Sustainable Healthcare, develops sustainability and climate action strategies, programs, metrics, and communications for hospitals and healthcare. Erika brings people together to implement sustainability measures that support healthcare quality, safety, and value. A certified TRUE zero waste advisor, Erika knows that healthcare waste is a solvable problem and has developed best practices for waste prevention in clinical areas and throughout the broader healthcare operational landscape. Erika loves learning and adventure and holds a BSN from the University of South Florida and an MBA from Presidio Graduate School.

Mechelle Perea-Ryan

Mechelle Perea-Ryan


Mechelle Perea-Ryan is an Associate Professor at California State University, Stanislaus in the rural central valley of California. She received her BSN in 1992, her MSN from UCSF and Family Nurse Practitioner Certification from CCNE in 1997, and is completing her Public Health PhD from the University of California, Merced.

Her research interests include health disparities, especially for the Latino community and the integration of the social determinants of health into patient centered care. Her dissertation research focuses on ED utilization by infants and how mothers make decisions regarding care when their infant has a healthcare issue.

Heidi He

Heidi He


Dr. Heidi He is a nationally certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C) with three decades of clinical experience, specializing in pulmonary care for the past 25 years. Alongside her clinical expertise, she holds certifications as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) and Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE). Teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels, Dr. He is a passionate advocate for enhancing diversity in the healthcare workforce. Currently, she serves as the Graduate Nursing Program Director at California State University, Bakersfield. Additionally, Dr. He leads several HRSA-funded projects aimed at promoting workforce diversity and preparing nursing students for professional practice through simulation-based education.

Nyisha Green-Washington

Nyisha Green-Washington


Nyisha (she/they) is currently the Senior Organizing Manager at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, leading our Charting Paths to Prevention Project. This project is a CA based project gathering input from community members/leaders, researchers, policy experts, health practitioners about systemic and environmental issues in disproportionately impacted communities that increase their risk to Breast Cancer. They come to BCPP with several years of grassroots community organizing and activism in upstate NY and San Diego, CA advocating for many causes including human rights, environmental justice, and most recently reproductive justice. They’ve co-founded two grassroots community organizations with a focus on gender equality, sit on three non-profit organization board of directors, and own a small business as a certified full spectrum doula. Nyisha graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health

Day 1 Schedule

June 7th, 2024

8:30 am
9:00 am


9:15 am
Climate Change

with Barbara Sattler, RN, DrPH, FAAN

10:00 am
Disaster Prepardness

with Sahar Nouredini, PhD, RN, CNS

10:45 am
11:00 AM
Air Quality

with Elise Wallis, MPH

11:45 AM
Agriculture and Farmworkers

with Mechelle Perea-Ryan, RN-PBC, PhD, FNP-BC, PHN

12:30 PM
1:30 PM
Environmental Risks Throughout our Lifespan

with Abby Alkon, RN, PNP, MPH, PhD

2:15 PM
Greening Hospitals


with Erika Kimball, RN, MBA

3:00 PM
3:15 PM
Breast Cancer and Black Beauty Project

with Nyisha Green-Washington, BSPH

4:00 PM
Vulnerable Population in the Central Valley

with Cesar Aguirre

4:45 PM
Debrief and Instructions for the Tours
5:00 PM

Day 2 Schedule

June 8th, 2024

8:30 am
9:00 am
Oil Field and Agricultural Tours 


12:00 PM
1:00 PM
Break Out Rooms

During this period, we will have 3 break out rooms availble that will facilitate a discussion on a specific topic until we reconvene at 4 pm.



with Sahar Nouredini, PhD, RN, CNS

Karin Urso, MSN, PHN, RN

Discussing: The Essentials, Integrating Environmental Health and Justice into a Curriculum, Disaster Preparndess, and More.

Food Systems

with Erika Alfaro, BSN, RN, PHN

Mechelle Perea-Ryan, Rn-PBC, PhD, FNP-BC, PHN

Discussing: Current Farming Practices, Farmworkers, and Pesticides

Integrating Environmental Health into Health Care

with Heidi He, DNP, FNP-C, CHSE, CNE,  PHN

Lorelei Pusalan, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, CNRN, CHSE

Discussing: Asthma, Neurological and Behavioral Risks, Valley Fever, and Reproductive and Parkinson’s Risks from Pesticides.

4:00 PM
Vulnerable Population in the Central Valley

with Cesar Aguirre

5:00 PM

Where It’s At

Bakersfield Marriott

801 Truxtun Ave

Get in Touch

Please feel free to reach out with any questions