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Particle Pollution and Your Patients' Health

Course Developers

Dr. Wayne Cascio is Director of the Environmental Public Health Division in the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. EPA.  Wayne earned a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.D. from the University of Maryland.  He completed clinical training in internal medicine, and cardiovascular diseases at the University of North Carolina and post-doctoral training in electrophysiology at the Physiologisches Institut, Universität Bern, Switzerland.  Over 24 years in academia at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East Carolina University he engaged in clinical, research, teaching, and administrative activities. Prior to joining the EPA in 2011 Wayne worked to increase access to cardiovascular health care in underserved rural areas, and served on EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee for Particulate Matter. He now serves as the EPA’s liaison to Federal Fire Science Coordinating Committee, NCER-ATSDR’s Board of Scientific Councilors, the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine, and the U.S. Surgeon General’s National Prevention Council.  Wayne has authored or co-authored more than 175 journal articles and book chapters. He is a recipient of a 2013 EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, a 2013 Office of Research and Development Impact Award, and numerous Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards. Current research includes the study of the health effects of environmental pollutants especially wildland fire smoke for the purpose of informing risk assessment, risk-management decisions, and improvement of public health and quality of life through increased environmental health communication and literacy.  Wayne is a clinician/scientist and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases.

Susan Lyon Stone is a Senior Environmental Health Scientist with EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards in the Ambient Standards Group, which reviews the national ambient air quality standards. She was team leader for the 2015 review of the ozone standards, and has also worked on the reviews of the standards for particulate matter and sulfur dioxide. She is the Air Quality Index (AQI) team leader, has coauthored many of EPA’s public information documents about the AQI, the health effects of criteria pollutants, and she has given presentations across the U.S. and internationally on these subjects.  Ms. Stone is the project lead for multi-agency team revising the document Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials, is a contributor to EPA wildfire health research, and is the co-lead for a study (National-Scale Activity Survey) that evaluated the effectiveness of AQI advisories in changing public behavior.  She has an M.S. from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jason Sacks is a Senior Epidemiologist in the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within U.S. EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), in Research Triangle Park, NC. He is the project lead for the Particulate Matter (PM) Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) and plays key leadership roles in synthesizing the health effects evidence of air pollution for various National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) reviews. Mr. Sacks’ expertise is in the characterization of epidemiologic design issues (e.g., various forms of bias and model selection) that may influence the interpretation of results from studies that examine the relationship between short-term exposures to air pollution and mortality and respiratory-related hospital admissions and emergency department visits. Additionally, he has focused extensively on identifying those populations at greatest risk of air pollution-related health effects. Mr. Sacks has also conducted and published a number of policy-relevant, epidemiologic studies examining the effect of short-term air pollution exposures, including particulate matter and ozone, on mortality and asthma emergency department visits, respectively, and reviews that evaluated the scientific evidence to identify populations at greatest risk of air pollution-related health effects. He received a B.A. from Rutgers University in 1999 and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University in 2003.

Dr. James S. Brown is a Senior Health Scientist for the U.S. EPA, National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), Environmental Media Assessment Group. He received a MSPH (1991) and PhD (2000) from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Prior to joining NCEA in December 2003, he was a Research Associate for the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology at UNC-CH and conducted research on the transport, deposition, and clearance of particles and gases in healthy individuals and patients with a variety of respiratory diseases. As part of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) reviews, Dr. Brown has served as a chapter/section manager and author for science assessments of lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. He has authored multiple papers and book chapters on particle dosimetry in the human respiratory tract. In 2006, he served as a Monograph Working Group member evaluating the carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure to carbon black, titanium dioxide, and non-asbestiform talc for the International Agency for Research on Cancer. He has received numerous awards for his research and contributions to particulate matter assessments including a U.S. EPA Gold Medal and a Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine. 

Ellen Wildermann is as an Environmental Engineer with U.S. EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS). She develops training and outreach materials on ozone and particle pollution for a variety of audiences, including health care providers.  She received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1989 and an MSPH degree from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997.