Harvard School of Public Health

Dr. Eileen McNeely PhotoEileen McNeely, PhD, MS, RNC

While working as a family nurse practitioner in Appalachia in the early 1980’s, Dr. McNeely became increasingly aware of the central role of work in individual and family life and health. She became the first nurse practitioner hired by the U.S. Postal Service and later led the Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner program at Simmons College. She obtained a doctoral degree in Health Policy from the Brandeis Heller School in MA and was an Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Public Health where she studied the health impacts of organizational downsizing.  In Washington DC,  she completed an internship at the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) evaluating the impact of hazard communication regulations. Currently, she is a faculty member in the Environmental and Occupational Health and Epidemiology program at the Harvard School of Public Health. She studies and teaches about the broader political, economic and social arrangements that affect work, productivity, health, and the quality of life. Since 2006, she has been a part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Center of Excellence in Airliner Cabin Environment Research. Besides her involvement in the 2007 national study of flight attendant health, she completed a number of studies of aircraft exposures including research about cabin air quality, pressure, noise, and flame retardant dust. Dr. McNeely is working to build  a cohort of flight attendants to follow over time in order to understand their health, similar to the knowledge created by following nurses in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study. Currently,  she is also conducting a study  to evaluate the body burden of flame retardant chemicals in crew and possible effects on the endocrine system. Please contact her at emcneely@hsph.harvard.edu

 Irina Mordukhovich, PhD, MSPH

Dr. Mordukhovich completed her doctorate in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from air pollution, cigarette smoke, and diet in relation to breast cancer.  She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she studies air pollution and heavy metal exposure in relation to cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes.  Her training includes biostatistics, study design, epidemiology methods, geographic information systems, environmental health, and chronic disease epidemiology.  Irina is excited to join the Flight Attendant Health Study as a research scientist.  Please contact her at imordukh@hsph.harvard.edu.

Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine

MardiCrane-GodreauMardi Crane-Godreau, Ph.D.

Inspired by her mother’s experiences as a United Airlines stewardess, Mardi Crane-Godreau joined Pan American World Airways as a flight attendant after graduating from the University of Vermont. She remained with Pan Am for over 18 years, flying during an era when passengers were allowed to smoke during flights.  Troubled by the prevalence of unexplained illnesses among her flight attendant colleagues, Mardi jumped back to academia in pursuit of answers.   After tackling a second bachelor’s degree focused on Biology and Chemistry at MCLA, she went on to Dartmouth where she earned her doctorate in Physiology in 2004. The Dartmouth Medical School experience afforded her the opportunity to study the interplay of immunology and endocrinology along with the basics in neuroscience, pulmonology, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal physiology. These tools, along with real world experience have laid the groundwork for her scientific career.

Mardi ‘s research into the effects of second hand smoke on the innate immune system and on the development of emphysema includes studies of the interplay of Vitamin D deficiency with smoke exposure <http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fphys.2013.00132/full>. This  earlier work inspired a current effort to study the relationship of  smoke-exposure-history and Vitamin D levels to respiratory health. Former flight attendants learn more about this study  at https://www.fahealth.org/dart/

Dr. Crane-Godreau has championed awareness of the impact of second hand smoke exposure on the development of disease, urging flight attendants to inform physicians of their history of smoke exposure and pointing out the clear evidence of the impact of second hand smoke exposure to health care providers.  http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fphys.2013.00025/full .

Recent recognition of the effects of nicotinic neuro-receptors on immune and epithelial cells and evidence that exposure to nicotine products may predispose humans and some animals to heightened response to stress and trauma, has drawn Mardi’s attention to the interplay of  nicotine exposure with the immune and neurological systems. Gaining insight into these important relationships is an ongoing part of her current studies.

Dr. Crane-Godreau’s research is supported by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI).

Peter Payne, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth CollegePeter Payne

Peter Payne has joined with a team of scientists at the Geisel School of Medicine  at Dartmouth who are researching an integrated approach to the understanding and treatment of respiratory, immune and neurological diseases. The team is looking at the effects of long term exposure to second hand smoke on pulmonary symptoms and stress in Flight Attendants. This project will involve studying the effects of Qigong, a form of Chinese meditative movement, on pulmonary symptoms and stress in Flight Attendants who have been exposed to second-hand smoke. Peter’s hope is to be able to validate this form of exercise as a resource for Flight Attendants dealing with a wide variety of work-related health problems, and to make it available through an online learning program.

Peter Payne has had a life-long interest in the relation of mind and body beginning in 1956 when he studied Judo for several years.  He went on to study a variety of Asian martial and bodymind arts including Karate, Aikido, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Qigong and Hsing-I. He became interested in meditation and Asian religious philosophy long before it became popular, and studied Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. His book Martial Arts: The Spiritual Dimension provides insight into key philosophical underpinnings of martial arts disciplines.

Peter has also explored the Western Somatic disciplines, and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and a practitioner of Somatic Experiencing trauma therapy. He is fascinated by the challenge of translating both Eastern and Western mind-body disciplines into the scientific framework.

A peer reviewed editorial by Mardi Crane-Godreau and Peter Payne urges flight attendants to inform physicians of their history of smoke exposure and pointing out the clear evidence of the impact of second hand smoke exposure to health care providers – http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fphys.2013.00025/full . Additionally publication by the same team addresses Meditative movement for depression and anxiety and Movement-based embodied contemplative practices: definitions and paradigms.

The Dartmouth- Geisel School of Medicine flight attendant health studies are supported by FAMRI.

 Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Anthony BrownAnthony Brown

With a Communications and digital media background, Anthony Brown, Project Coordinator in the Department of Health Behavior at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, has led and serves in projects that include the development of media, web resources for research studies, as well as in the dissemination of research.  Notable projects include the coordination of the development of popular web-based tobacco industry document and media collections, tobacco product research collections, and support of international research being conducted through the Department of Health Behavior. Anthony has played in the development of health studies that explore communication methods that better link smokers into evidence-based stop smoking programs through the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. Projects also include the development of media and campaigns for the Department of Health Disparities in order to promote health screening, research, and available trials among dispirit populations. Since 2010, Anthony has helped to coordinate outreach to Flight Attendant organizations on behalf of the FAMRI, in order to provide information on Flight Attendant health research and resources.