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Beyond the Bench: Environmental Health Nursing: Putting Knowledge into Practice

Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
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workingniehsnews NIEHS Strategic Plan: New Frontiers in Environmental Sciences and Human Health The NIEHS has a rich history of scientif- ic accomplishments and contributions to human health and well-being. As with any large-scale organization with far- reaching activities and widespread influ- ence, however, it is advisable to take a step back periodically to critically exam- ine mission, goals, objectives, strategies, and structure. With its recently completed strategic plan tit led New Frontiers in Environmental Sciences and Human Health: The 2006–2011 NIEHS Strategic Plan, that is precisely what the institute has done. A n i n t e n s i v e , i n c l u s i v e process was designed to com- prehensively and objectively reexamine, redirect, and in the end, reinvigorate the institute’s trajectory. Leaders hope the new plan will guide evaluation and decision mak- ing as the NIEHS strives to achieve its vision: “to use environmental sciences to understand human disease and improve human health.” The plan lays forth an in- creased emphasis on leveraging scientific advances to benefit human health and longevity. “The plan will help us focus on the ultimate impact of our research in environmental health sciences,” says NIEHS director David Schwartz. “This direction is consistent with that of [former director] Ken Olden, builds on our strengths in environmental health sciences, and keeps us focused on human health and disease.” In its final form, the plan is a blend of input from the many disparate stakehold- ers in the NIEHS research enterprise and Schwartz’s views about the role of the insti- tute. Most observers have seen this mixture of leadership and outreach as appropriate and healthy. “It’s really important for the leader of an institute like the NIEHS to plant the flag, to lay out a vision of what he thinks is important, and [Schwartz has] done that in this strategic plan,” says Bernard Goldstein, an NIEHS National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council member who rece

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