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PHI's Elizabeth Emerson Honored by Marin Human Rights Commission, U.S. House of Representatives for Work Creating Smoke-Free Environments for Childre

January 27, 2012 | Anne Sunderland, MPH | Dialogue4Health

On January 17, 2012, the Public Health Institute's Elizabeth Emerson received the 2011 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Marin County Human Rights Commission for her advocacy in California and around the world to advance the right of children to live in smoke-free environments. She also received Certificates of Special Recognition from the California State Assembly, California State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Emerson co-leads PHI's Smoke-Free International Training Program with PHI colleague Dr. Theo Tsoukalas. As a WHO-PAHO consultant, Elizabeth Emerson trained and mentored physician advocates and medical associations that worked for over 10 years to pass smoke-free legislation in Brazil. Sections of Emerson's global smoke-free policy guide were integrated into a Brazilian medical textbook for physicians working on tobacco-free policies. On December 15, 2011 Brazil became the world's largest smoke-free country.

Elizabeth Emerson has also collaborated with the WHO in 23 countries. Working with Dr. Theo Tsoukalas and PHI's Dr. Teh-wei Hu, she has trained Korean healthcare administrators, Greek physicians and Chinese hospital officials visiting the U.S. on advancing smoke-free legislation. Elizabeth Emerson's most current project, with Dr. Tsoukalas, is an update of their global smoke-free policy implementation guide, based on their experiences and evaluation projects at the local and state level. When completed, the updated guide will include smoke-free parks, beaches, outdoor cafes and multi-unit housing as well as tobacco-free hospital campus policies. It will also include advanced stress management support for advocates and legislators working in smoke-free campaigns.

Elizabeth Emerson can be reached at: eemerson7@att.net.

Anne Sunderland is a communications specialist at PHI.