Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, professor, and public health advocate whose research exposed the Flint water crisis. She is now the director of an initiative to mitigate the impact of the crisis. She is commonly referred to as "Dr. Mona". She was inducted to the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame by the Michigan Women's Historical Center, and also was asked to serve as Honorary Co-Chair of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's Transition Team.
By now it’s an all-too-familiar phenomenon: A woman who dares to defy stereotypes or step out of her “place” gets called “shrill,” “bossy,” “ambitious,” or worse. But more often than not, those are the women who get the job done. Hillary talks to feminist activist Gloria Steinem about her life and career, and sits down with pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who spoke out about the Flint Water Crisis. With each of these gutsy women, she asks what -- or who -- made them think they could make a difference, and how they overcame the obstacles they faced along the way.  Gloria Steinem is a feminist journalist and activist, best known as a pioneer of the women’s rights movement in the 1970s. She began her career in 1962 with groundbreaking pieces about contraception and about her experience going undercover as a Playboy Bunny. Later, she founded Ms. Magazine and was a major figure in the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment. Her memoir, My Life on the Road, was recently turned into a film called The Glorias starring Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician and public health advocate who in 2014 helped expose toxic levels of lead in the water in Flint, Michigan. Her book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, recounts her experience of the crisis. A full transcript is here.
Mona Hanna-Attisha is an associate professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and a pediatrician at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, Michigan. She has been acclaimed internationally for her research that exposed elevated levels of lead in the blood of the children of Flint. She directs the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a public health program committed to researching, monitoring, and mitigating the impact of the Flint water crisis. The daughter of Iraqi immigrants, she is the author of What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City. She received her BS and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Michigan and her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
Episode 31 - In this episode, we hear from Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha, a pediatrician, professor, and public health advocate whose research exposed the Flint water crisis. Her research revealed children were exposed to dangerous levels of lead in Flint, Michigan. In this episode, she talks about her family, her work, and her book What the Eyes Don't See. 
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a Pediatrician who brought the epidemic of lead exposure in the water supply of Flint, Michigan to national exposure in 2015. She has become an example for physicians and scientists of how and why they can and must stand up on social issues. She joins us to discuss her incredible work, the importance of courage and how to build it, and her wonderful new book “What The Eyes Don’t See.”  She reminds us too, that the strength she displays “is in all of us. This is all of our jobs.” Key Points  Advocacy as a path into the profession of medicine  Using her megaphone and the power of “What The Eyes Don’t See” Doctor as renegade and as detective How did she think of lead exposure in water in the first place Building the resources to speak truth to power as a physician Where Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s courage comes from The tools needed for physicians to leverage the impact they can have on society Dealing with the onslaught of pushback by building a team around you What could happen if doctors rallied en masse around social issues Teaching others to be both renegade and physician Creating a comprehensive clinic to address social determinants of health. What Dr. Hanna-Attisha is most proud of and what she regrets through her journey to date The beginning of the journey in Flint.
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Creator Details

Dec 9th, 1976
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
3 hours, 20 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 630211