National Center for Healthy Housing director to give Hankin Lecture


By Rachel Fawcett

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Amanda L. Reddy, executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing, will deliver the 2021 Hankin Distinguished Lecture, hosted by Penn State's residential construction program and the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center. Her talk, “Florence Nightingale Was Right: The Central Role of Housing for Ensuring Health and Well-Being in a Changing World,” will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, over Zoom. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The National Center for Healthy Housing is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to bridge the divide between housing and health and secure better housing and better health for all.

In her talk, Reddy will reference Florence Nightingale, who wrote, “The connection between health and the dwelling of the population is one of the most important that exists,” and discuss the importance of housing and health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In modern parlance, we often state that housing is one of the most well-documented and powerful social determinants of health, and this association holds true not just despite our increasing globalization, but also because of it,” Reddy said. “In the face of pandemics, climate change and the ongoing fight for racial and economic justice, housing is essential to our collective and individual well-being. Homes are also increasingly serving as workplaces and learning environments. We’ll explore opportunities to leverage housing in addressing traditional and emerging threats to our health and well-being but also opportunities to use housing as a platform to help individuals and communities thrive.”

Reddy describes her path into the field of environmental health by saying that "she took a job and found a calling." Over the last 15 years, she has answered that call by working with communities to effectively prevent housing-related illness and injury by implementing evidence-based and equitable policies that improve housing quality.

Prior to joining the National Center for Healthy Housing, Reddy was a research scientist supporting a range of New York State Department of Health programs focused on improving indoor and outdoor air quality in homes, schools, workplaces and outdoor settings. She holds degrees in environmental health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and in neuroscience from Mount Holyoke College.

For more information about the event, visit the PHRC website.

About the Hankin Lecture

The Hankin Distinguished Lecture series, hosted by Penn State’s residential construction program and the PHRC, was established in 2006 to honor the late Bernard Hankin and his family for their continuous and dedicated support of the residential construction program at Penn State. It brings world-class speakers to Penn State to address students, faculty, industry members and the public with thought-provoking topics and education related to the housing industry. The residential construction program and the PHRC are administered within Penn State’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering.


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