Steering Committee

Ruth Berlin

11209341_10153976232656102_5274754898231525384_nRuth Berlin is the Founder and Executive Director of the Maryland Pesticide Network (MPN) the Maryland Pesticide Education Network.   Founded in 1994, Maryland Pesticide Network (MPN) is a coalition of 25 organizations that has been the driving force behind efforts to significantly reduce the use and impact of pesticides on Maryland residents, wildlife, our food supply and the Bay. Its non-profit sister organization, the Maryland Pesticide Education Network (MPEN), was launched in 2014 and oversees projects previously conducted under MPN.

MPEN’s Pesticides and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed project, co-sponsored with Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future,  aims to reduce occurrence and impact of pesticides in the Bay. MPEN’s Integrated Pest Management  in Health Care Facilities and Community Outreach Project, co-sponsored with Beyond Pesticides, works to eliminate reliance on pesticides in health care facilities and in underserved communities. The Smart on Pesticides Campaign, a coalition of 66 organizations and businesses promotes needed policies and laws to reduce adverse pesticide impacts on our ‘Babies, Bees and the Bay’.


Veronika Carella

IMG_1452 (1)Veronika Carella is Legislative Director for the Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Coalition (MD CEHC). Since 2008 she has served on the state-mandated Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council (CEHPAC). In addition to past roles with the Maryland and National PTA, she serves on state and national committees addressing environmental issues impacting children including school indoor air quality and exposure to hazardous materials (including pesticides).


Richard Humphrey, MD

Dick Humphrey Feb 2013Richard Humphrey, MD, is an oncologist and an associate professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has been on the faculty of Hopkins School of Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for more than 47 years.  Dr. Humphrey founded and directed the Multiple Myeloma and Plasma Cell Disease Research and Treatment Program at Johns Hopkins and was also the Director of the Immunology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology until his partial retirement in 1999. Dr. Humphrey is a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.


Robbyn Lewis, MPH

robbynRobbyn Lewis is an international health professional, sustainability advocate and community leader. Before joining the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange in 2014, she devoted more than 15 years to improving human health in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Here in Baltimore, Ms. Lewis dedicates her free time to improving environmental sustainability at the local level. She conceived and led a large-scale greening movement in her neighborhood, increasing the tree canopy by 20%, expanding household energy conservation and catalyzing stormwater management efforts.

In 2011 she received Parks & People Foundation’s award for Best Greening Project, as well as the Maryland Governor’s Service Award. Recognizing the connection between transportation and health, she also advocates for improvement in Baltimore’s transit and mobility alternatives. She founded and ran Red Line Now PAC, and lobbied for transit infrastructure investment in Baltimore. Ms. Lewis, who is fluent in French, holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.


Karin Russ, RN, MS

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.59.55 AM

Karin Russ is a faculty member in the Community & Public Health Department at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, overseeing lecture and clinical components of undergraduate education in public health and health promotion at the Shady Grove campus.  Ms. Russ also serves as National Coordinator of the Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. In that capacity, Ms. Russ works with researchers, health professionals, advocates and members of the public interested in how environmental factors affect reproduction.

Ms. Russ works on environmental health policy at the state level as chair of the Maryland Nurses Association’s Environmental Health Committee and steering committee member for the Maryland Environmental Health Network. Ms. Russ’ nursing practice has included diverse experiences in labor and delivery, women’s health, epidemiology, and research administration. Ms. Russ holds a Master’s degree in Health Service Leadership and Management, and post-masters specialty certificates in Teaching in Nursing and Environmental Health Nursing from the University of Maryland.


 Patricia J. Tracey

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.12.02 PMPatricia Tracey has been a Community Engagement Coordinator, with the Johns Hopkins Center in Urban Environmental Health since 2003.  Formerly, she managed community-based research projects in East Baltimore  that related to Environmental Justice issues such as lead poisoning, demolition and air pollution.  She is a founding a member of the Environmental Justice Partnership, Inc., a community-based organization of leaders who educate residents and advocate for environmental justice.   She is a member of the Johns Hopkins Community Research Advisory Council (C-RAC), Greater Baltimore Asthma Alliance, and served as an Associate Editor on the editorial board of the journal, Progress in Community Health Partnerships:  Research, Education, and Action.