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Factoring in the environment: A report from Stanford Medicine magazine

summer 13 cover blogIt's right before our eyes: The water we drink, the air we breathe, our neighborhood — in other words, our environment — can make or break our health. This simple truth gnawed at Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter/Stanford medical alum Sheri Fink, MD, PhD, as Hurricane Sandy approached New York City last fall.

As she writes in the new issue of Stanford Medicine magazine, a collaboration with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment:

The images of the hurricane spinning toward my city, and the knowledge that thousands of New York's most fragile residents would be left in its path, in facilities that were not hardened to withstand significant flooding or power outages, made my stomach sink.

Fink's article on heroics in New York City's hospitals and nursing homes during Hurricane Sandy is part of the special report, "Environmental impact: The health effect," in this summer's issue of the magazine, which has just been published.

Also in the issue:

  • "Water solutions:" Actor Matt Damon and engineer Gary White, co-founders of, discuss how they intend to solve the global water crisis.
  • "Priming the pumps:" The tale of a trip to the slums of Dhaka that led to a radical solution for contaminated drinking water.
  • "Street smarts:" A feature on senior citizens using tablet computers developed at Stanford to wake up city officials to safety hazards in their working-class neighborhood.
  • "Close encounters:" A story on scientists who are combining data from satellite images and studies on the ground to grasp the ecology of disease-bearing pests.

This issue's "Plus" section, featuring stories unrelated to the special report, includes:

  • "Leo and Frida:" The tale of the friendship between artist Frida Kahlo and Stanford surgeon Leo Eloesser, MD.
  • "Winnie's tale:" The story of how a cancer treatment 30 years in the making came in the nick of time for centenarian Winnie Bazurto.

Previously: New issue of Stanford Medicine magazine asks, What do we know about blood? The money crunch: Stanford Medicine magazine’s new special reportThe data deluge: A report from Stanford Medicine magazine, Tens of thousands of children still affected by Hurricane Katrina, Pulitzer Prize-winner Sheri Fink: the final hours at New Orleans Memorial and Murky waters: A look at Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina
Illustration by Brian Cronin

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