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Claire L. Barnett
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Claire L. Barnett, MBA, Founder and Executive Director, Healthy Schools Network, Inc. and Coordinator, national Coalition for Healthier Schools.

Mrs. Barnett is founder and Executive Director of the Healthy Schools Network, Inc. (the Network), a national environmental health 501c3 not for profit research, education, and advocacy organization established in 1995, and the Coordinator of the national Coalition for Healthier Schools, convened by the Network and its national advisers. The Network, centered on children’s environmental health, has challenged the nation with a call for schools to be healthy learning places for all children in all communities and for environmental public health services for children in harm’s way. The Network has won new federal and state funds and laws to address school house conditions, fostered reform coalitions in multiple states, and established a collaborative to advance state green cleaning in schools.

As an early child environmental health advocate, she was appointed to US EPA’s Children’s Health Protection federal advisory committee and later to EPA’s School Air Toxics Work Group of its National Environmental Justice Council. Under her leadership the Network established National Healthy Schools Day as an annual day of public health awareness in partnership with EPA, CDC, the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, and APHA, and established a nationally unique informational services for parents of children impacted by school environments. She is a frequent speaker on children’s environmental health and has served on multiple state and national advisory groups such as New York State Governor’s Commission on the Future of the Adirondack Park, other state agency advisory committees on children, violence, and school environments. Currently, she a member of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition, the National Coordinating Committee on School Health and Safety, a national adviser to the Green Schools National Network Conference and to the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and a member of US EPA’s school indoor environments working group.

The Network has won several awards and recognitions, including: an Outstanding National Partner Award from Green Seal, an international eco-labeling nonprofit, a National Special Achievement Award from US EPA Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program, a Child Health Recognition Award from US EPA, and a Green Apple Award from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools.

Her previous work includes ten years administering a rural county mental health agency including developing shared services for high risk children, consulting with local rural governments on Main Street sustainability issues, establishing a network to connect business angel investors in rural start-ups, and five years’ reporting for TIME magazine in New York City. She holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Publications include:
Schools of Ground Zero: Early Lesson Learned in Children’s Environmental Health, APHA, 2002
The Toxic Schoolhouse (set up footnote)
Towards Healthy Schools 2015: Progress on America’s Environmental Health Crisis for Children
1. WHO'S IN CHARGE OF CHILDREN'S ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AT SCHOOL? by Jerome Paulson and Claire Barnett. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Volume 20, Number 1, Pages 3 – 23; 2010.
2. Children's Environmental Health: The School Environment, by Kristie Trousdale, Joyce Martin, Laura Abulafia, Claire Barnett and Carol Westinghouse. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Volume 48, No. 2, Pages 135-144; April 2010.
3. Science-Based Recommendations to Prevent or Reduce Potential Exposure to Biological, Chemical, and Physical Agents in Schools, Derek G. Shendell, et al., Journal of School Health, Volume 74, No. 10; December 2004.

Entries by Claire L. Barnett

Green Cleaning at School -- Tips From One Parent

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 10:47 AM

April is spring cleaning time. You know how to clean your home, and, like me, you may make your own basic cleaning products using white vinegar, baking soda, veggie oil and lemon juice.

But this spring, it's time to expand your thinking to your local school. Think about...

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Tips for Flu Season: Clean Up Your School and Tell Congress to Support EPA's Voluntary Schools Programs (and Wash Your Hands)

(1) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 11:13 AM

Everyone has heard how to prevent colds and the flu: Wash your hands and cover coughs and sneezes! But here's another tip that's not heard often: Clean up your school. You might reduce the flu by 87 percent or asthma by 39 percent. Here's why and what you can do.

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Back to School: Prevent Disasters Before They Strike!

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 12:52 AM

What kind of disaster are you imagining? A shooter? A tornado?

Based on long experience and training, my first thought is not a manmade or natural disaster, but a homegrown "school-made disaster" - a school environmental problem affecting children's health, attendance, and learning, ignored for too long. In fact, my...

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Schools and Disasters: Prepare First, Then Remediate Fully

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 4:11 PM

After 9/11, New York City parents praised schools for safeguarding their children on the day of the World Trade Center terror attacks.

Gratitude quickly turned to outrage when parents realized not a single federal, state, or city agency evaluated or tracked impacts on 3,000 children who returned to facilities...

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Zero Tolerance for No Preventive Health

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 11:37 AM

PHEW. That was a close one.

I am grateful Congress decided to pass the Omnibus FY 14 Budget Act. I am glad that we averted the sequester and restored some discretionary funds to EPA and CDC.

I'm here to tell you that it was not nearly enough....

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One Year Later -- Superstorm Sandy: Climate Chaos, Kids, and Schools

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 7:37 PM

It is the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, and it is also 12 years this month since the Healthy Schools Network began documenting the absence of environmental health protections for children in schools it by disasters. That was after the attacks of September 11, when New York City...

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Co-opting Children's Health: How the Shutdown Stopped Free Help for Schools and Parents

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 10:02 AM

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrates October as Children's Health Month. Children are more vulnerable to environmental hazards than the adults around them. They breathe more air per pound of body weight, eat and drink proportionately more, their skin is more permeable, and they have behaviors...

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Are Our School Buildings Harming Our Students?

(6) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 9:07 AM

Co-authored by Tolle Graham, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health

With back-to-school time in full swing, each school day, 55 million children and 7 million adults -- 20 percent of the total U.S. population and 98 percent of all children -- will spend their days inside school buildings. As...

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Little Things Can Fix a Big Problem on National Healthy Schools Day

(7) Comments | Posted April 11, 2011 | 1:26 PM

Regular attendance is a key indicator of a child's success in school and the Centers for Disease Control reports that asthma is the number one cause of absenteeism for American schoolchildren. Poor indoor air quality in schools, however, contributes to worsening of respiratory problems like asthma and keeps...

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