Introducing the Rebecca Head Fund for Education and Leadership

Developed to honor the work of Dr. Rebecca Head, a leader in the Michigan public health community and long time friend and supporter of the Ecology Center.

The Rebecca Head Fund for Education and Leadership supports innovative programs and campaigns at the Ecology Center that educate health professionals about the intersection between human health and the environment.

The Ecology Center is Michigan’s leading organization focused on the link between the environment and health. For decades, the Ecology Center has developed innovative programs to educate and engage health professionals around pressing environmental issues.


About Rebecca Head

Rebecca was trained as a toxicologist, and worked briefly for Proctor & Gamble, before taking important environmental health positions in local government and academia; including the Washtenaw County and Monroe County Health Departments, and the University of Michigan.

In her various positions, she worked with the Ecology Center on a large number of issues.  In the 1980s, she was Washtenaw County’s lead official developing the county’s Right-to-Know ordinance that lets the public know about toxic chemicals in their community, and workers know about chemicals in their workplace.  In the 1990s, she was the lead County administrator dealing with the groundwater contamination at Gelman Sciences on the west side of Ann Arbor.  Over the last several years, she served as a member of the State of Michigan Green Chemistry Roundtable, working with the Ecology Center and others to facilitate the development of better chemicals.  

Throughout her career, Rebecca worked to educate and engage health professionals on critical environmental health issues. We are thankful for her excellent service to the field of public health and dedicate our work in this area to her memory.


Priority Use of the Rebecca Head Fund:  Health Leaders Fellowship

Funds donated to the Rebecca Head Fund for Education and Leadership will be used to support the Ecology Center’s Health Leaders Fellowship

The Health Leaders Fellowship is a leadership development opportunity for health professionals of all types, at any stage in their career. As trusted spokespeople for institutional and policy change, health professionals are uniquely positioned to tackle some of our most pressing environmental health challenges.

The Health Leaders Fellowship program aims to develop and inspire local environmental health leaders through a series of issue and civic engagement trainings and field experiences.

Health Leaders learn from experts in the field about the connections between human health and the environment and what can be done to improve health outcomes. Fellows will develop the critical civic engagement skills needed to advocate for change within health care institutions and in the public policy arena. Through a unique guided practicum fellows will gain experience applying new knowledge and skills to help drive social change.

Ways to Give

Here are five ways you can support the Rebecca Head Fund and environmental health leaders:

$5,000-Sponsor a Michigan Health Professional for a Nine-Month Training

Your support sponsors a full nine-month training for one of our Fellows. Through a series of issue and civic engagement trainings and field experiences, this health professional will become a leader in driving social change and advocating for environmental health.

$2,500-Sponsor the Health Leaders Lansing Day  

Your support sponsors our “Lansing Day” where our fellows travel to the capitol to educate lawmakers about critical environmental health issues like ending childhood lead poisoning and addressing climate change. Fellows gain hands-on advocacy experience and their message will reach lawmakers across the state. 

$1,000-Support the Media and Spokesperson Training Day

Each year our Fellows receive training on how to earn media attention for environmental health issues. Your support sponsors a full-day training on how to pitch a story, ace a television or radio interview, and become a spokesperson for environmental health in our state.  

$500-Support our Intensive Introduction to Environmental Health Training Day

Your support will help us provide our incoming cohort of Fellows with intensive training on the links between poor health and toxic chemicals, an unhealthy food system, and dirty energy generation. In this orientation to environmental health, Fellows will gain a strong base of knowledge to build upon throughout the Fellowship.  

$250-Support our Online Training Sessions

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals are very busy people, to accommodate their schedules we supplement our in-person trainings with six online sessions by environmental health experts from around the country. Your support will help us offer these invaluable sessions for our Fellows.


Published on April 19, 2016