Driven by the increasing awareness of antibiotic resistance and its link to food animal production and the ever growing demand for meat and poultry products raised without antibiotics, the campaign on human health and industrial farming at The Pew Charitable Trusts and their partners hosted a Supermoms Against Superbugs Advocacy Day on April 16 in Washington, D.C. to celebrate and unite individuals across America working to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for their children and families.
We're excited to introduce you to our "Supermoms," passionate advocates from across the country who are raising awareness about the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animal production and its impact on human health.
Committed to protecting children's health in her community and excited to advocate for responsible antibiotic use, Yolanda Adams is the president and CEO of the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha Inc. serving residents in southeastern Wisconsin. She earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI. Adams is a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, council 325, a former state director of LULAC Wisconsin and a former board member of the national council. In addition, Adams serves as an executive officer of the Kenosha branch of the NAACP and the NAACP Wisconsin State Conference of Branches. She was the first Latina elected official in Kenosha and served as the board president of the Kenosha Unified School Board for two terms until 2006.
A strong proponent of raising livestock responsibly, Bruce Aidells is America's go-to guy for all issues involving meat and meat cookery. He is called upon for information and insights by national media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many more. Aidells, who founded Aidells Sausage Co. in 1983, also has a reputation as an innovator in the gourmet sausage industry. He left the sausage company in 2002 to pursue his food writing and television career. Since 1982, Aidells has written 12 cookbooks including his latest, The Great Meat Cookbook. Aidells has had a regular cooking segment on “View From the Bay” on the San Francisco affiliate of ABC for the past four years. He also has his own cooking show, “Good Cookin' With Bruce Aidells,” on the national Disney cable channel Live Well Network. He has appeared on many other television shows. Aidells was a contributing editor at Bon Appetit magazine and is a contributing editor at Eating Well magazine.
Carrie Balkcom is the executive director of the American Grassfed Association, or AGA. AGA is the national multispecies entity organized to protect and promote grass-fed and pasture-based farming and ranching. Balkcom grew up on a Florida cattle ranch and has stayed connected to the agriculture and livestock industry. She has spoken, presented, and coordinated numerous regional and national conferences, and is well known in agricultural, culinary, and sustainable-agricultural circles.
Jeremy Barlow is author of Chefs Can Save the World, a call to action to those who cook, urging them to use their collective power to overhaul the nation's food system. Barlow is executive chef and owner of Sloco, a Nashville neighborhood sandwich shop that operates sustainably, using approximately 99 percent locally grown food. Barlow was founder of Tayst Restaurant and Wine Bar and its executive chef from 2004-2013, Nashville's first certified green restaurant. A 2011 featured chef at the James Beard House, he attended the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, hosted by the James Beard Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. He is co-chair of the Food Policy Council for metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, which advises the city on food policy decisions.
|Mary Kathryn Barnet
Mary Kathryn Barnet and her husband, Andrew, own and operate a small livestock and vegetable farm that provides “affordable, clean, and delicious food” to their community. Barnet is committed to raising her pigs, turkeys, and chickens as naturally as possible, never using antibiotics or growth hormones. As a new mother, Barnet wants to end the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms to ensure our antibiotics continue to work when we need them most.
Diane Birmingham has been raising antibiotic awareness for years. She is particularly concerned about people's reliance on antibiotics in the treatment of disease, and the development of superbugs due to antibiotic use in livestock. She has an M.S. in environmental and public health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and over 35 years of experience working as a registered nurse in public health and healthcare. She grew up on a farm in Iowa and fondly remembers a time when raising your own food was the norm. She currently works educating patients with chronic disease about staying well.
Norwood Young America, Minnesota
Lori Brinkman and her husband Dan own and operate a small farm in Carver County, Mineesota, where they raise heritage hog breeds on pasture, poultry, and goats, selling directly to consumers as well as to restaurants and small grocers. In addition to operating the farm, Brinkman is the county feedlot administrator and inspector for Carver County in the Public Health and Environment Division. A mother of five, Brinkman holds a bachelor's degree in environment and resource protection from the University of Minnesota.
A former Peace Corps volunteer, Amanda Buchanan is a perennial volunteer and advocate. She helped to organize and currently co-chairs the Weiser River Resource Council, a chapter of the Western Organization of Resource Councils, to promote small farms, safe food, and positive stewardship of the environment and natural resources through community action. Buchanan has worked with Consumers Union since 2008 on a variety of issues, including food safety, health care reform, and patient safety. She also serves as a member of the board of trustees for her community hospital.
Brittany Chin is a registered and licensed dietitian concerned with the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. At Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc., she counsels patients one-on-one to improve the status of their cholesterol and diabetes labs and promotes a healthy lifestyle among them. Active in the health and wellness of her community, she is president-elect of the Piedmont Dietetic Association. Chin graduated cum laude from Syracuse University in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in nutrition science and dietetics and completed her dietetic internship training at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is pursuing a master's degree through Boston University's health communications program.
|Cecilia Di Pentima
Dr. Cecilia Di Pentima is a leader in the effort to conserve antibiotics in human medicine and says that these efforts should extend to food animal production. She is an associate professor of pediatrics, director of the pediatric infectious diseases clinical services, and director of the antimicrobial stewardship program at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. She completed medical school at National University of Rosario, School of Medical Sciences, Rosario, Argentina. She earned her master's in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and completed her pediatric residency and pediatric infectious disease fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She became a faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE, and initiated one of the first pediatric antimicrobial stewardship programs in the United States in 2004 before joining Vanderbilt University.
|K. Bartlett Durand Jr.
Black Earth, Wisconsin
K. Bartlett Durand Jr. is known as “the Zen Butcher,” a moniker given to him by director Mike Gebert in his documentary The Butcher's Karma. Named one of the original Badger Bioneers in 2011 for his pioneering work revitalizing small-scale meat processing, he has also won the SLoFIG Business Plan Competition at the Good Food Financing Festival and Conference. Durand started his career as an attorney, then developed the marketing and branding of Otter Creek Organic Farm products through a separate company, Local Choice Marketing. He is the managing member for Black Earth Meats, the first meat processor in his region to obtain a U.S. Department of Agriculture license, certified organic status, and third-party "certified humane" standing. Black Earth Meats was featured on “Wisconsin Foodie” in 2012, and in 2013 it became the focus of an episode of "Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern," which emphasized the importance of small-scale butchery in the world of sustainable meat production.
Round Lake Beach, Ill.
A proud mother and grandmother, Esperanza Gonzalez is committed to protecting future generations from antibiotic-resistant bacteria and, in particular, individuals within vulnerable and disenfranchised populations. She has more than 35 years of experience serving farmworker and Latino communities throughout Illinois, providing preventive health care and collaborating with health service providers in the public and private sectors. An experienced clinical counselor and therapist, Gonzalez received a master's degree in clinical psychology and minored in bilingual education. She is also the president of the Illinois Association of Agencies and Community Organizations for Migrant Advocacy and a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Diana Goodpasture has spent the last 30 years as a bus driver for special-needs children. Involved with her church as well as local charities, she was healthy and active until she contracted an antibiotic-resistant infection, Salmonella Heidelberg, which was responsible for the recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey in 2011. The severity of her illness and associated pain kept Goodpasture in the hospital for five days. It was not until after she had gotten sick that she gave much thought to how food is produced or the steps it takes to get it to the table. Despite a weakened immune system and her struggles, Goodpasture says, "I'd much rather not have to tell those in government that we need safe food, but until they realize what's really for dinner, I'm going to tell my story."
Michelle Gottlieb is the co-coordinator of Health Care Without Harm's national healthy food and healthcare program and Food Matters' clinical education and advocacy program. She has also worked with Health Care Without Harm's safer chemicals program. Formerly, Gottlieb was the co-executive director of Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility where she specialized in children's health, women's health, and reproductive health. She worked with pediatric care providers from around the country to develop the pediatric environmental health toolkit, which provides materials to assist pediatric caregivers in incorporating environmental health into their practice. Prior to moving to the Boston area, Gottlieb helped develop a new program on health, environment, and development at the World Resources Institute in Washington. She holds a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a master's degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she focused on environmental public health and policy. She serves on the Board of Health in Marblehead where she lives with her husband and three children.
|Robert M. Gould
A physician who relies on effective antibiotics to keep his patients healthy, Robert M. Gould graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and from 1981 until 2012, he worked as a pathologist at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose, CA. In 2012 Gould was appointed an associate adjunct professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where he serves as director of health professional outreach and education for the UCSF program on reproductive health and the environment. Since 1989, he has been president of the San Francisco-Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. In 2003, he was national president for the organization and will serve again in that capacity in 2014. Since 1986, Gould has been active in the peace caucus of the American Public Health Association, for which he has been chairman for numerous years. In 2009 the organization awarded Gould the Sidel-Levy Award for Peace. He has been recognized as an expert on the environmental and public health impacts of nuclear weapons.
“Antibiotics saved my life,” says Mary Graba. “They are a precious resource that must be preserved.” In 1980, Mary Graba faced a difficult and painful illness that doctors were unable to diagnose. Losing weight and incapable of keeping food down, she and her sister, a manager of a hospital lab, took matters into their own hands. Graba's sister collected a sample for bacterial testing and found that Graba was infected with campylobacter, which she was told often originates in chickens. Graba suspects that her illness originated at a restaurant where she was served undercooked chicken. Graba and her husband Roger are committed to preserving antibiotics for their children and others.
Rock Harper is committed to serving his community through good food raised responsibly. He is director of kitchen operations at DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that offers job training, meal distribution, and local farm partnerships to help alleviate poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Harper won the third-season competition of the television show “Hell's Kitchen.”
Jenni Harris is the fifth generation of the Harris family to tend cattle at White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, where she raises poultry and cattle without antibiotics. After living on the farm her entire life, Harris went to Valdosta State University and earned a degree in business marketing in 2009. After graduation, she set out to learn the cattle industry. She moved to Atlanta and interned at Buckhead Beef, a Sysco company. She put in time in every department, from shipping and receiving to the cut shop, and was later hired to work as a sales associate. In June of 2010, Harris returned home to work full time. As the marketing manager for White Oak Pastures, she promotes her family's grass-fed beef and lamb and free-range chicken to distributors, retailers, and restaurateurs. Harris also serves on the boards of Georgia Organics, Slow Food Atlanta, and Flint Riverkeeper.
The Harris family has raised cattle on the same Georgia farm since 1866 for five generations. In 1995 Harris began converting his operations into the vertically integrated pastured livestock farm that it is today. After receiving his animal science degree from the University of Georgia, Will Harris returned home to raise calves, in a monoculture, for long-distance shipment to industrial feedlots where commodity beef is produced. Confinement feeding of corn, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, subtherapeutic usage of antibiotics, and hormone implants were key to this program, until he changed his practices. His farm is the only one in the United States that has its own U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected processing plants for red meat and poultry.
Amanda Hedin has two very important reasons to be passionate about antibiotics: She relied on these drugs to treat her own twin girls who were born at 28 weeks gestation. Reagan and Eden Hedin struggled more than any babies should, but they showed tremendous courage and bravery. The girls taught Hedin more about love and patience than any other life experience or person. Because of their girls' journey, Amanda and her husband Scott established Eden's Garden, a nonprofit to honor the memory of Eden, who passed away after 241 days in the hospital. Premature babies are particularly prone to infections and often rely on antibiotics, which is why Hedin is advocating for judicious drug use on the farm. Hedin also works for Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota as part of the mother baby clinical service line where her work includes deepening relationships with obstetrics providers in the Twin Cities area.
Lauren Herbert is a pediatrician and pediatric infectious diseases specialist who relies on antibiotics to treat her patients. She lives and works in the Eugene-Springfield area in Oregon. She also is an assistant professor for Oregon Health and Sciences University. Herbert completed her pediatric training at Oakland Children's Hospital and infectious diseases training at University of California, San Francisco. She works with other physicians to promote appropriate antibiotic use.
A husband and father of three, Grant Hittinger strongly believes in fighting for the health and safety of infants and children who rely on antibiotics. He and his wife lost their first child at birth to a mysterious illness and endured an extraordinarily difficult pregnancy with their second. These issues led Hittinger to volunteer with the March of Dimes and become one of the top fundraisers in his area for seven consecutive years. In 2013, his family was selected to be one of the March of Dimes' ambassador families for the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. Hittinger also has a niece who contracted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, twice in a two year span, but is fortunately healthy today.
Margie Kelly first became aware of the consequences of antibiotic overuse when her daughter Grace was diagnosed with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Grace's pediatrician, Lauren Herbert, was aware of the warning signs of the disease and developed a treatment plan. When speaking to friends and writing about the public health crisis caused by overuse of antibiotics in livestock, Kelly realized how lucky it was that her daughter was diagnosed early and successfully treated without any lasting health effects.
When Alyssa Kent had a baby girl 15 weeks early, she learned how vital antibiotics are. Virginia Kathryn was born weighing just 1 pound and 7 ounces and spent 124 days in the neonatal intensive care unit battling many complications related to her prematurity and her parents worlds were forever changed. Premature babies are particularly prone to infections and often rely on antibiotics, which is why Kent is advocating for judicious drug use on the farm. Kent now is not only a full time architect, but she also a full-time mom and full-time advocate for prematurity and perinatal health. She is trained as an architect and serves as the director of sustainable design for Becker + Becker, a boutique real estate development and architecture firm based out of Fairfield.
Dr. Janice Kim is a pediatric infectious disease specialist with extensive experience in the public health sector in the fields of environmental health and communicable diseases. As a public health physician, she is concerned that the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance will leave few effective drugs to treat serious infections. As a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kim has served on its Committee on Environmental Health, where she contributed to the AAP policy statement Nontherapeutic Use of Antimicrobial Agents in Animal Agriculture: Implications for Pediatrics.
Silver Spring, MD
Before Devora Kimelman-Block opened KOL Foods, virtually all kosher meat available to U.S. consumers was raised in confinement with antibiotics. Established in 2007, KOL Foods is an online kosher meat company that sources 100 percent grass-fed beef, lamb and pastured poultry raised without antibiotic misuse. Along with her husband Jason and their four children, Kimelman-Block is also a founding member of Eastern Village Cohousing, an award-winning LEED-certified residential building in downtown Silver Spring, MD.
Courtney Kliever's son Liam was born ten weeks early and spent seven weeks in the St. Vincent NICU. This experience inspired Kliever to advocate for changes to our environment and food system that help keep children healthy, including making sure antibiotics are used judiciously for animals so they continue to work when kids need them most. Kliever has worked in the healthcare field for 15 years. She is a mother of three children, including Liam who is now seven years old, and, along with her husband, is very active with the March of Dimes.
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Shortly after cooking hamburger, Ken Koehler came down with an antibiotic-resistant salmonella infection. While the Old Orchard Beach resident is still easily fatigued and unable to fully enjoy a meal, he still appreciates that things could have been worse. Koehler knows full well how important it is to preserve antibiotics for appropriate uses and wants officials in Washington to know, too.
New York City
Marja Lutsep is a working mother with two little boys. When her oldest son was 2, he contracted his first of several methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infections, providing the family with a crash course in superbugs. Lutsep's experience has motivated her to take action to eliminate practices that breed superbugs and to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that cured her son's infections.
In 2004, Everly Macario's son Simon Sparrow — a previously healthy 1-and-a-half year old — died suddenly. It was not until months later that the cause of Simon's death was confirmed to be community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. In 2008, Macario joined colleagues at the University of Chicago Medicine in founding the MRSA Research Center. She also advocates on behalf of the Stop MRSA Now campaign. Macario's goals include raising awareness of antibiotic resistance, making the term “MRSA” as familiar a household term as “AIDS,” and serving as a catalyst for simple steps that can be taken to reduce the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in both humans and animals. Macario has a doctorate in public health from Harvard University.
|Cindy and Vic Madsen
Cindy Madsen and her husband Vic live on a small farm — Madsen Stock Farm — in Audubon County, Iowa, where they raise hogs, chickens, and cattle without antibiotics, hormones, or other drugs. The farm also grows organic corn, beans, alfalfa, oats, and other small grains. Madsen Stock Farm has direct-marketed their chicken for the past 24 years, pork for the last 14 years, and home-raised beef since 2011. Madsen has been an active member of Practical Farmers of Iowa for the past 26 years. She and her husband have been presented with numerous awards, including the Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture (2010), the Practical Farmers of Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award (2009), and the Iowa Governor's 2012 Iowa Farm Environmental Award.
Owings Mills, Maryland
A dedicated volunteer for the March of Dimes, Arica Michelle McKinnon appreciates how important antibiotics are for keeping premature babies healthy. She is passionate about raising awareness on the challenges of preterm births and advocates for more prevention, education, and research programs to improve premature birth outcomes and to promote maternal and child health. These causes are very near to her because she is a mother of a preemie born at just under 24 weeks. McKinnon is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is an account manager at a leading radio research and marketing firm. Originally from Atlanta, she resides in Owings Mills with her husband Steven and 15-month-old son Kingston.
Cranston, Rhode Island
Rachel McNally has three children, all of whom were born prematurely, spending extensive time in a neonatal intensive care unit. These experiences increased her awareness of the vulnerability of children and families to illness and the importance of effective antibiotic treatments. Primarily a stay-at-home mom, McNally is also an adjunct instructor at the Community College of Rhode Island and a freelance writer. She and her husband are committed supporters of March of Dimes.
|Mary Sue Milliken
Santa Monica, California
A mother and chef, Mary Sue Milliken takes care to serve her children and patrons meat and poultry raised without antibiotics. She is co-chef and owner of the critically acclaimed Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, downtown Los Angeles, and Las Vegas as well as a gourmet taco truck. A pioneer of world cuisine since she created the City Café and CITY Restaurant in Los Angeles in the 1980s, Milliken is a leading ambassador of authentic Mexican cuisine, setting the standard for gourmet Mexican fare for over two decades. She was the first female chef to work at Chicago's prestigious Le Perroquet in the late 1970s, going on to train at a Michelin two-star restaurant in Paris and later to help found Women Chefs & Restaurateurs. A business partner with Chef Susan Feniger for over 25 years, Milliken is co-author of five cookbooks. She competed on Bravo's “Top Chef Masters," winning $40,000 for her charity, Share Our Strength. She also co-starred in Food Network's “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour." She has also appeared as a guest on “Iron Chef America,” “Oprah,” “Good Day LA,” and “The Today Show.”
Dana Mirman survived a life-threatening infection in December 2011 and credits her recovery to her doctors' prompt diagnosis and the efficacy of the antibiotics they used to treat her. She is a writer, television producer, and public relations executive. A summa cum laude graduate of Binghamton University in New York, Mirman was an associate producer for ABC's “20/20” and has also developed content for TLC, Animal Planet, National Geographic Wild, Discovery, and “The Montel Williams Show.” A native New Yorker, Mirman resides in southwest Florida with her family. She serves as a member of the board of directors of Sepsis Alliance, the national nonprofit organization devoted to raising awareness of sepsis.
Janelle Moses owns Holy Cow Grassfed Beef an Animal Welfare Approved, USDA Organic, American Grassfed, and Food Alliance certified cattle farm. Moses is committed to raising her cows humanely and without antibiotics on 128 acres of lush pasture. She is a member for the South Yakima Conservation District board.
Kansas City, Missouri
In August 2006, Jason Newland joined the faculty at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, MO, where he is the director of the antimicrobial stewardship program and the medical director of patient safety and systems reliability. His current research focuses on the use of antimicrobials and the impact of an antimicrobial stewardship program at a children's hospital. Jason Newland grew up in southwest Oklahoma and obtained a B.S. in preprofessional studies at the University of Notre Dame and a medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 2000. He completed his pediatric residency at the University of Nebraska and Creighton University Medical Centers in 2003 and a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 2006. Newland distinguishing himself with teaching awards at both.
As the communications director for the American Grassfed Association, Marilyn Noble is committed to supporting farmers who raise their animals on pasture without confinement, added hormones, and antibiotics. She also educates consumers about the benefits of grass-fed meats for animals, the environment, rural communities, and families. She writes and speaks about sustainable agriculture and is a best-selling cookbook author. She also serves as the board chair for Slow Food Denver. Noble is a passionate advocate for a more healthy, clean, and just food system.
Nancy Oakes is an award-winning chef who serves meat and poultry raised without antibiotics. Virtually every poll of readers in the San Francisco Bay Area has named Nancy Oakes as the most popular chef and her restaurant, Boulevard, as the city's favorite. Boulevard is also one of a select group of restaurants to receive coveted Michelin stars. In 2001 Oakes won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in California, and in 2012 she received the foundation's distinguished Outstanding Restaurant Award.
North Field, Minnesota
Anna Persmark is a sophomore at Carleton College in Northfield. Her interest in antibiotic resistance began in high school after a unit about resistant tuberculosis and was heightened after reading Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Becoming more aware of the increasing use of antibiotics and the growing resistence of bacteria to them, Persmark grew concerned about the dramatic overuse of antibiotics in both medicine and agriculture. In high school, her final thesis concerned resistant strains of pneumococcus and antibiotic overuse. She plans to pursue a career in either medicine or public health, and would like to raise awareness about antibiotic overuse on her college campus.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Committed to the environment and health through her cooking, Andrea Reusing owns Chapel Hill restaurant, Lantern, where she blends ingredients from small farms in North Carolina with Asian flavors. Since opening in 2002, it has been named one of “America's Top 50 Restaurants” and “best farm-to-table restaurants” by Gourmet; one of “America's 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences” by Food & Wine; and as “Restaurant of the Year” in 2009 by Raleigh's News & Observer. Reusing is the 2011 winner of the James Beard award for Best Chef: Southeast. She serves on the boards of the Center of Environmental Farming Systems and Chefs Collaborative and was recently appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue to the Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council. Reusing's first book, Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes, was named one of 2011's most notable cookbooks by The New York Times.
Crystal Lake, Ill.
The daughter of a former migrant farmworker, Maggie Rivera has been an advocate for human rights since the age of 16, volunteering and serving on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations. As a mom, Rivera is concerned with antibiotic overuse on industrial farms and how this practice contributes to the development of superbugs that can infect people. She holds a bachelor's degree in behavioral science and a master's degree in business management/organization leadership, and she currently manages her family's grocery store businesses. She is the Midwest vice president for the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Marilyn Roberts is a professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and an adjunct professor of global health at the School of Public Health, University of Washington. She has specialized in examining different environmental sources, such as marine and fresh water beaches, for the presence of potential human pathogens including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci, or VRE. Roberts is also interested in the presence and spread of antibiotic-resistant genes in the environment. She received her doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of Washington, where she specialized in the molecular characterization of the pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea. She is the recipient of numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and, more recently, from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Roberts has published over 195 peer-reviewed articles on her research.
|Daniel J. Rosenthal
A widely recognized expert on sustainability in the food service industry, Daniel J. Rosenthal, president of the Rosenthal Group Inc. and founder of the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition, has over 40 years of experience in all aspects of the restaurant industry. Since 1988, Rosenthal has launched and operated over 40 restaurants around the country. His Chicago restaurant ventures include Trattoria No.10, 5 Sopraffina Marketcaffès, and Poag Mahone's Carvery and Ale House. In October 2007, Rosenthal and fellow restaurateur Ina Pinkney founded the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition, which has grown to include over 300 restaurant and 150 affiliated businesses. Over the years, the coalition's original mission of bringing sustainable products and services to restaurants at affordable prices has also expanded and now includes educational initiatives, targeted advocacy on behalf of its membership, and the creation of the Guaranteed Green certification program for restaurants. Rosenthal has been recognized for his environmental efforts with awards from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, and the Illinois Environmental Council. He has spoken at numerous schools and before national audiences at the National Restaurant Association Show, the Chef's Collaborative Annual Conference, the DC State of the Plate, and the International Foodservice Sustainability Symposium.
Lin Rosenthal, wife of Daniel J. Rosenthal, is also committed to sustainable food. She has served as vice president and treasurer of the Rosenthal Group Inc. since 1992. She graduated from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in 1970, and shortly afterward, she was hired as assistant to the vice president of food and beverage for Hilton International Co. in New York. Since marrying Daniel Rosenthal, she has held positions in catering at the Drake Hotel and was the assistant manager of the Hampshire House Hotel (currently the Raphael) in Chicago. Taking time off for a family, Lin Rosenthal continued her education at Harper College, completing a two-year accounting degree program. She returned to the business world in 1992 as vice president of market development for the Rosenthal Group and today serves as treasurer of the company.
|Maria, Ron, and Mark Vakulskas Rosmann
Rosmann Family Farms, located near Harlan in west central Iowa, is owned and operated by Ron and Maria Vakulskas Rosmann where, along with their son Daniel, they raise cattle and hogs without antibiotics. Free of pesticide use since 1983, the 700-acre farm is organically certified for grain and livestock production. Dissatisfied with conventional farming practices, Ron Rosmann began to explore sustainable agriculture methods in the 1980s. He teamed up with like-minded individuals who formed Practical Farmers of Iowa, which is devoted to profitable, environmentally-sound farming practices. Maria Rosmann was raised in Sioux City, IA, and received a journalism degree from Creighton University. She owns and operates their on-farm store, FARM SWEET FARM. The store carries their meats and popcorn, along with hundreds of items for personal care use, cooking, and more.
Diane Schmidt, a Chicago parent who became frustrated with the poor quality of food offered on children's menus in restaurants, applied her background in health education, marketing, and culinary arts to get kids eating healthier foods by creating Healthy Fare for Kids. It began in 2011 as a grass-roots initiative asking restaurants to offer healthier food for children on their menus. Today, Healthy Fare for Kids has grown into a multifaceted approach to improve children's health, reaching over 11 million people. Schmidt holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in health education and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
|Jennifer Amdur Spitz
Jennifer Amdur Spitz has a personal interest in banning the overuse of antibiotics in healthy food animals. In 2006, her 16-year-old son Sam became seriously ill from antibiotic-resistant campylobacter. Sam made a full recovery, but the experience inspired the family to get involved in efforts to create a safer food system. To that end, Amdur Spitz and her husband, filmmaker Jeff Spitz, co-founded Groundswell Educational Films NFP and produced Food Patriots, a documentary film and public engagement campaign. Amdur Spitz is principal of Amdur Spitz & Associates, a Chicago public relations firm she founded to work with nonprofit organizations, foundations, and entrepreneurial businesses.
In 2006, 16-year-old Sam Spitz ate chicken contaminated with antibiotic-resistant campylobacter, battling the foodborne pathogen for months and ultimately losing 30 pounds. He made a full recovery, but the experience inspired him and his family to become passionate advocates for a more sustainable food system. Spitz will graduate from Colgate University in this spring and start graduate school at Oxford University in the fall.
|Robert H. Sprinkle
College Park, Maryland
A pediatrician who advocates for responsible antibiotic use on industrial farms, Robert H. Sprinkle works at the intersection of politics and the life sciences. He holds a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, a medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, and trained clinically at the University of Virginia and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. He is a diplomat of both the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the respective clinical academies. Sprinkle maintains current certification in both specialties and medical licensure in four states. He also holds a Ph.D. from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. At Princeton he was supported by a MacArthur Foundation Social Science Research Council Fellowship in International Peace and Security. In 1995 he joined the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, where he is now a tenured associate professor. Sprinkle is the author of Profession of Conscience: The Making and Meaning of Life-Sciences Liberalism and co-author of papers and chapters in clinical medicine, bioethics, health policy, bioengineering, environmental policy, political theory, and biosecurity.
Pranita Tamma, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, runs its pediatric antimicrobial stewardship program. She actively educates prescribers and develops guidelines to promote the appropriate and judicious use of antibiotics, then monitors patient outcomes after the implementation of these practices. Tamma's research focuses on optimizing antimicrobial therapy in children by both evaluating clinical outcomes of the antibiotics they receive and using novel diagnostic techniques to improve the prescription of antibiotics to them. Her ultimate goal is to improve the outcomes of children with infections while reducing the unnecessary harm caused by avoidable antibiotics, including antimicrobial resistance.
Lynn Thompson is committed to promoting health and the responsible use of antibiotics. She has spent over 35 years in the health care field in both conventional and alternative medicine. Thompson is pursuing a doctorate in quantum medicine.
Danielle Wadsworth acquired an antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella typhimurium from ground beef she had eaten. Wadsworth became so ill that, connected to IV drips, her doctors debated a blood transfusion and visitors had to don full hospital garb when they visited her. A woman of action as well as faith, Wadsworth's experience taught her how devastating antibiotic resistance can be and how crucial antibiotics are.
Patricia Whisnant, a veterinarian, and her husband Mark own and operate Rain Crow Ranch, which raises grass-fed beef, pasture pork, and pasture poultry. They advocate a sustainable management protocol that utilizes open pasture rotation and maintains respect for the biological and behavioral instincts of the animals that are raised without the use of antibiotics or synthetic hormones. Whisnant is president of the American Grassfed Association, which offers third-party certification of grass-fed standards. Rain Crow Ranch is certified for high animal welfare by Animal Welfare Approved and is U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic. Whisnant is also the founder and owner of American Grassfed Beef and Fruitland American Meat, a humane-certified processing facility.