Center to Advance Interprofessional Education and Practice

PHC Event – Exposing Forever Chemicals: PFAS Contamination in Maine

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Biddeford Campus (St. Francis Room (Presenters In Person) ), Online

Competencies: Roles & Responsibilities, Values & Ethics

Chemical contamination has been detected at more than 50 farms across Maine. These ‘forever’ chemicals, known as PFAS, pose many risks to human health. While used for decades in numerous household products, these chemicals do not break down and thus accumulate in our environment and our bodies. A panel of experts will discuss these challenges, and potential solutions, from policy, agricultural, and economic perspectives, demonstrating the roles that healthcare professionals, informed citizens, and advocates can play.

Participation can be applied toward students’ IP Honors Distinction.

ZOOM: https://une.zoom.us/j/94859046414
Livestream: une.edu/live (Viewing only)

Meet the presenters:

Ellen Stern Griswold was named Vice President & Deputy Director of MFT in May 2022. Previously, Ellen oversaw MFT’s state, federal and municipal policy work and research projects as the Policy and Research Director. For eight years, Ellen worked as a federal energy regulatory attorney in Washington, DC, working on the development of energy policy in Congress and advising clients on energy and environmental regulatory requirements. But then Ellen’s passion for agriculture and food policy – and its implications for farmers, the environment, and public health – led her to pursue a new career focused on food and farming in Maine. She obtained her LL.M. in Food and Agriculture Law from Vermont Law School, her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and her BA in Public Policy from Brown University. Ellen loves exploring Maine’s beaches, forests, and farms with her husband and two daughters.

Mariam Taleb works at MOFGA, where she provides direct farmer support and manages the PFAS emergency fund in collaboration with Maine Farmland Trust. She has been a farmworker, farm manager, and farm educator on both urban and rural farms across the northeast. She earned a B.A. in English & Sustainable Food and Farming from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from Penn State in the ecology and sociology of invasive species.

Senator Henry Ingwersen represents the people of Senate District 32, including Biddeford, Arundel, Dayton, Hollis, and Lyman. He serves as Chair of the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee and is a member of the Health and Human Services Committee. He lives on an old dairy farm in Arundel, where he keeps bees with his partner Christine. He has three amazing daughters and twelve very lively grandchildren, all living close by in Maine.

Presented in collaboration with: UNE Planetary Health Council (PHC), UNE Center to Advance Interprofessional Education and Practice (CAIEP, formerly CECE)

"I think it was extremely valuable to have panelists that came from different disciplines who explained their thoughts and knowledge about climate change through statistics, healthcare, and art demonstrations."
– UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine student, at the 'Solve Climate by 2030: Climate Change in the Classroom & Beyond’ interprofessional event, March 29, 2023


Collyn Baeder
UNE Planetary Health Council