For the last five years, a major focus for Varda Burstyn has been working with non-profits and the Ontario government to meet the health and social service needs of the 550,000+ Ontario residents with chronic, co-morbid, environmentally-linked illnesses. Since May 2012, with several associates and multiple stakeholders, she has been the lead consultant developing a strategy to improve the quality of care and support for these orphan conditions, and preparing a business case proposal for Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for an ‘Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health.’ The sponsors of these groundbreaking projects, now amalgamated, are the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC) and the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Association of Ontario (MEAO). Funding is from Ontario’s health ministry and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Throughout her career, Varda Burstyn has written about, and worked on matters of environment and health, both as a strong, independent voice for change and as a consultant to all levels of government, to health care agencies and to non-profit public interest organizations, including environmental, women’s and patients’ organizations. She has also consulted widely in these fields to distinguished documentarians in film, television and radio. For example, she was research collaborator and interviewer for the award-winning documentaries “Clone Inc. / Clonage, ou l’Art de se faire doubler” and “The Genetic Takeover / Main basse sur les genes”.
Varda’s own work has appeared in scholarly and popular venues, in print, film, television, radio and in web-based productions. Over several decades she has followed a number of broad themes that include the social impact of science and technology, population health, women’s health and environmental health. She is also an award-winning writer in the fields of popular culture (especially film and sport), politics and public administration. From 1996 to 2004 she was Vice-Chair of Greenpeace Canada.
For twenty-two years, Varda has also worked extensively inside and alongside the health care sector with a variety of clients. In the early to mid 1990s she was the ‘major policy’ speech writer for then-Health Minister Frances Lankin’s health reform initiatives. She then went on to work as one of a team of three consultants designing a major reconfiguration of the Windsor-Esssex County health care system. Following this, she was the lead writer on a major study on women and health reform for the federal government. From 1990 to 1994, she was co-head of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women’s New Reproductive and Genetic Technologies Committee.
Varda’s own major environment-related publications in the last ten years include the acclaimed fact-based eco-thriller Water Inc. (“a prescient and illuminating thriller”/Kirkus, “a galvanizing introduction to a looming global crisis”/Booklist, “a spectacular eco-thriller”/Orion), and a series of articles on the environment and children’s health, co-researched and authored with David Fenton, published in Praeger Press’s ‘Childhood in America’ series. (See the Children page on this site.)
DAVID S. FENTON
David is a senior science and technology researcher and writer and a skilled business communicator with graduate degrees in human geography and adult education. His background includes work with cutting-edge aeronautical and computer-mediated visualization technologies and high-level international corporate business communications. But his life-long passion and much of his work have centred on the impact of the environment on human well-being and health – and the impact of human activities on the environment.
This human/environment interface was the focus of his doctoral work in the early 1970s, and of much of his university teaching. David was also the first Regional Environmentalist for the State of Oregon in the late ’70s, and his article “The Environmental Responsibilities of Public Works Officials” was published in the American Public Works Association Review in 1976. In the 1990s he was Legislative Lobbyist for the Oklahoma Audubon Council, and in the early 2000s he was Land Use Planning Advisor to the Township of Bolton-Ouest, Quebec. More recently, he was the main science researcher for a number of articles on children and the environment, and co-author with Varda Burstyn, of one. He has taught environmental studies at the university level.
David has a gift for putting complex scientific, technical and medical ideas into accessible form, and he has done it via print, CD, DVD, video, face-to-face, and on the worldwide web. He’s an accomplished photographer and videographer and he builds and manages websites. Whatever the medium or forum, he can deliver your message.
Visual Design, Editorial Illustration
Sarah Atlee is a gifted and acclaimed artist and illustrator. We are honored to have her as our on-call visual designer and illustrator for custom communications. Sarah makes pictures that have been exhibited – and highly acclaimed – in venues across the United States, from New York City to Santa Fe. Her work has been published in the Society of Illustrators Annual 51, Nimrod Literary Journal, and in two self-published volumes. Sarah has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (summa cum laude) from the University of New Mexico. Sara has a keen appreciation of marketing and communications, as well as design. The best starting place to begin to see her work would be Sarah Atlee Makes Pictures.