by Barbara Miller, Arkansas Project WET
The sixth Health Matters Annual Activation Summit took place in April at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Attendance was by special invitation only, with the invitations sent to leaders in their field who deliver effective, community-based solutions. Someone submitted my name to the committee for the work I have done with pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) in water supplies and their potential impacts.
No matter what audience I have, be it in a workshop or presentation, the Drug Take Back program is discussed because it is a proactive solution to eliminating these chemical compounds in our water bodies. Arkansas has had remarkable results especially when you consider it is a rural state. I use the waste water treatment facility virtual tour and webcast overview the WETteam developed and mention Project WET as a resource for all interested in preserving water quality.
President Bill Clinton moderated panel discussions and roundtables with audience participation throughout the day. Some of the distinguished speakers included:
- Bill Austin, Founder, Starkey Hearing Foundation and Owner, CEO and president, Starkey Hearing Technologies
- Kristine Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, American Indian Cancer Foundation
- Dr. Raul Ruiz, Congressman, U.S. Representative (California’s 36th District)
- Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner
- Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO, Global Policy Solutions
- Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
- Drew Boshell, Senior Vice President, Sport and Health, Special Olympics
- Richard A. Rawson, PhD., Research Professor, Vermont Center on Behavior and Health , University of Vermont, and Professor Emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine
- Dr. Kim Janda, Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Chaired Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Immunology; Director Worm Institute for Research & Medicine; and Skaggs Scholar, The Scripps Research Institute
In addition to the panel discussions, two Lightning Round Impact Announcement sessions were held. AstraZeneca, The Arkansas Department of Higher Education with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and The Bipartisan Policy Center headed one session while Harvard Medical School and HarvardX Adapt Pharma headed the other.
The event concluded with closing remarks by President Clinton.