Hope and healing in Flint, Michigan. That was the crux of the 2016 TedMed talk delivered by Mona Hanna-Attisha MD MPH, who not only was a whistle-blower who helped to expose dangerously elevated levels of lead in Flint’s drinking water but also serves as director of Hurley’s Pediatric Residency Training Program.
A first-generation Iraqi immigrant, Hanna grew up in the Detroit area and soon earned a medical degree, a pediatric physician board-certification, and a master’s degree in public health.
She put her expertise to good use when she helped to test blood levels of lead in children exposed to Flint’s tainted drinking water and then announced findings publicly, despite initial denials from state water officials. Findings were published in the Dec. 21, 2015, issue of the peer-reviewed American Journal of Public Health.
Hanna now leads the Hurley Children’s Hospital-Michigan State University Public Health Initiative, which employs public-health tools to mitigate effects of lead exposure on pregnant women, babies and children. An associate professor of medicine at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Hanna also founded the Flint Child Health and Development Fund and continues to advocate for children’s health. In 2016, she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
To watch Hanna’s 16-minute TedMed talk, click on the link below.