American Lung Association’s Janice Nolen Receives Prestigious Award for Work in Healthy Air

Nolen receives the Haagen-Smit Award for career-long achievements improving air quality across America, including leading the Lung Association’s esteemed annual ‘State of the Air’ report

The American Lung Association is proud to announce that Janice Nolen, Assistant Vice President, National Policy and lead author of the annual “State of the Air” report, was named a recipient of the prestigious Haagen-Smit Award for 2019, in the category of Public Education. The Haagen-Smit Award is presented annually by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of clean air, climate change, technology and related policies. The award is recognized nationally as the most important in the field and often considered the Nobel Prize for healthy air achievement. Each year’s awardees are chosen by a panel of previous recipients.

For 20 years, Janice Nolen has been a national leading voice for healthy air for the American Lung Association. In this role, she supervises the development of policy positions on indoor and outdoor air quality for the organization. She is a nationally recognized authority on air pollution and a sought-after expert by  news outlets such as the Associated Press, ABC, CBS, NBC, Bloomberg, Forbes, CNN, NPR and others.

“Janice Nolen is the driving force behind the 21-year history of the Lung Association’s signature ‘State of the Air’ reports,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “These reports have drawn significant public attention to air pollution control challenges and successes across the country. They provide timely, detailed and easily understood updates on local air quality, historic trends and policies needed to achieve healthy air for all.

“Through her leadership, the ‘State of the Air’ is one of the most influential, respected and oft-cited resources for tracking trends in U.S. air quality,” Wimmer added. “‘State of the Air’ is seen as the definitive annual air quality report and appears in the news almost every day of the year. It is leveraged year-round by health and environmental groups as well as local and national leaders to educate the public and to advocate for and protect clean air laws. More recently, Nolen has helped to evolve the report into a document that details climate change impacts making the work of cleaning up the air that much more difficult.”

This year’s “State of the Air” report will be released April 21.
John Balmes, M.D., professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and Physician Member of the California Air Resources Board, reflected on Nolen’s impact.

“Janice Nolen has been, and continues to be, a tireless and effective advocate for clean air and improving the respiratory health of all Americans through the implementation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act. Her leadership on the ‘State of the Air’ report is unparalleled in her ability to educate the public and policy makers about the value of clean air. She is a true public health hero and I can think of no one more deserving of the Haagen-Smit Award in the category of Education than Janice Nolen.”

As noted in their letter of support for her nomination for this award, the American Thoracic Society’s Environmental Health Committee wrote, “Without Nolen’s national leadership, the authority of the Clean Air Act, and EPA’s fidelity to implementing and enforcing the air quality standards required by the Clean Air Act, would be significantly diminished.”

“The American Lung Association is privileged to have Janice Nolen as part of our team and sees this recognition by her peers as richly deserved,” Wimmer said.

For media interested in speaking with someone about Janice Nolen or an expert about lung health, healthy air, and threats to air quality, contact Stephanie Goldina at [email protected]  or 312-801-7629.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Cook
[email protected]

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