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From Crisis to Recovery: Health Challenges & Community Rights after the East Palestine, OH Train Derailment

April 4, 2024 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

From Crisis to Recovery: Health Challenges & Community Rights after the East Palestine, OH Train Derailment

Join MCACHE and the Bowling Green State College of Health & Human Services for the 2024 Public & Allied Health Symposium. It will be an in-person and virtual symposium.


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 PM (Eastern)


Bowling Green State University

Bowen-Thompson Student Union

Lenhart Grand Ballroom

Bowling Green, OH 43403


The symposium will be held in person and live streamed.

{Earn 1.5 ACHE in-person credits}

You must attend in person to receive the in-person credits (previously called face-to-face credits.) If you attend virtually, you can obtain qualified credits only.



Cost: FREE

Lunch is Free for registered in person attendees. Registration required by March 15, 2023, if you want lunch. 


Register: https://bit.ly/3ueMsck

The panel will discuss the Public Health Response to the East Palestine, OH train derailment in the evening of February 3, 2023, when 38 cars of the Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed. Several railcars burned for more than two days, with emergency crews then conducting a controlled burn of several railcars, which released hydrogen chloride and phosgene into the air. As a result, residents within a 1-mile radius were evacuated.


Thomas Linzey, JD, Senior Attorney, is Senior Legal Counsel at the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights, an organization committed to globally advancing the legal rights of nature and the environment. He is co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and is widely recognized as the founder of the contemporary community rights movement which has resulted in the adoption of several hundred laws across the U.S. and world. He is a cum laude graduate of Widener Law School and sits on the Board of Advisors for the New Earth Foundation. Linzey is the author of Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community, On Community Civil Disobedience in the Name of Sustainability, and is co-author of We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the U.S. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, and the Nation Magazine. In 2018, Linzey was named one of the top 400 environmentalists of the last 200 years by the American Environmental Leaders.



Wes Vins, MD, DPA, Health Commissioner, Columbiana County General Health District where he is responsible for executing the district’s public health programs, initiatives and laws. Previously he served 11 years with the District Board of Health, Mahoning County as a Sanitarian and Deputy Director of Environmental Health. Prior to public service, Dr. Vins worked with Eagon & Associates of Worthington, Ohio as an environmental consultant to the solid waste, water supply, chemical and petroleum industries.

Dr. Vins received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s of Science Degree in Environmental Studies from Youngstown State University and a Doctoral Degree in Public Policy and Administration from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He has co-authored several published professional articles and he routinely partners with a variety of entities by serving on numerous committees and advisory groups at the local, state, and federal levels.


Gretchen Nickell, DO, Chief Medical Officer, East Liverpool City Hospital (ELCH), Dr, Nickell not only serves as Chief Medical Officer, but she launched and supervises the residency training program to help build a network of dedicated doctors and actively works at the local clinic in East Palestine and continues to assist patients.

Dr. Nickell graduated from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens. She completed her internal Medicine residency at St. Joseph Health Center in Warren. In 2011, Dr. Nickell joined ELCH as the Medical Director and Internal Medicine Program Director. Then in 2016, Nickell was named Chief Medical Officer at ELCH. Despite the demanding role that she plays she continually looks for ways to meet the needs of the community.


Laura Fauss, Environmental Director and Public Inforamtion Officer, Columbiana County Health District, Ms. Fauss has eighteen years of experience working in public health as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. Most of her career was focused on household sewage treatment systems and private water wells. Ms. Fauss was the 2023 Northeast District Director of the Ohio Environmental Health Association, where she also served on the Board. She is a graduate of the University of Mount Union with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and received her Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.



April 4, 2024
11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Susan Stokes
Should you have any questions or concerns about an event, or you need to change registration for an event, please contact us at [email protected]. Thank you!