Pediatrician Who Exposed Flint Water Crisis to Speak
Jan. 26, 2017
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The pediatrician who has become a national figure in the ongoing
Flint water crisis will present the Founders' Day address on Feb. 15 at Illinois Wesleyan
Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., is the director of Hurley Children’s Hospital’s
Pediatric Residency Program. Based on a tip that Marc Edwards, a water engineer and
professor at Virginia Tech University, had found high levels of lead in the water
in Flint, Mich., residents’ homes, Hanna-Attisha used hospital electronic medical
records as data for her own study. She found Flint childrens’ blood lead levels had
increased significantly after the city switched water sources.
Because of the public health implications, Hanna-Attisha announced her findings at
a press conference in September 2015 ahead of publishing the results in a refereed
professional journal. This announcement came at considerable professional risk. State
officials initially disputed the results, but confirmed them a little more than a
Hanna-Attisha has testified about the Flint water crisis before Congress and she has
given hundreds of media interviews to direct the world’s attention to the ongoing
situation in Flint. Named by TIME Magazine as one of 2016’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, she also appeared on Crain’s Detroit Business’ list of 100 Most Influential Women and was named as a Health Care Hero by the same
publication. Medscape named her as one of the Best Physicians of the Year for 2016.
She shared the PEN America's Freedom of Expression Courage Award in 2016 with Flint
mother and advocate LeeAnne Walters.
Hanna-Attisha completed medical school at Michigan State University, residency and
chief residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and training in public health
policy from the University of Michigan. Hanna-Attisha is an assistant professor of
pediatrics and human development at Michigan State’s College of Human Medicine. She
now directs the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a partnership between Hurley Medical
Center and Michigan State University, to research, monitor and mitigate the impact
of the Flint water lead crisis.
Hanna-Attisha’s address at Illinois Wesleyan is entitled “The Flint Water Crisis:
A Journey for Justice” and will begin at 11 a.m. in Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium.
The Founders' Day Convocation is free and open to the public. Founders' Day honors
the 30 civic and religious leaders who came together in 1850 to establish “an Institution
of learning of Collegiate grade.”