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March 4, 2020

Doctor who exposed Flint water crisis to present at SVSU

A public health advocate — once named among the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine — will visit SVSU next week to discuss her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha will appear for her presentation Thursday, March 12, at 6:30 pm in SVSU’s Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public.
Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, scientist, and public health advocate whose research and insistence helped reveal dangerous levels of lead in Flint's water supply following a change in the city's water source.
In a bestselling book, she chronicled her role in discovering the Flint water crisis, detailed how officials initially resisted her findings, and described the fallout that followed its public exposure. “What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City” was named to The New York Times "100 Notable Books of 2018" list and was selected as the 2019-20 Great Michigan Read by Michigan Humanities.
Hanna-Attisha is the founder and director of the Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a model program aimed at mitigating the impact of the water crisis. The program combines community and clinical programs, childhood health policy and advocacy, and robust evaluation to provide Flint children the best chance at success.
She was recognized for her public health advocacy, courage and expertise by agencies and organizations across the nation. She testified twice before the United States Congress, was awarded the Freedom of Expression Courage by PEN America, and was named among Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2016.
In a summary of the doctor's selection to the prestigious list that year, Time published the following about Hanna-Attisha:
"Residents knew something was wrong right away, but to get anyone to listen, it took civil-engineering professor Marc Edwards blowing the whistle on lead in the water and then Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a local pediatrician, testing Flint’s kids, proving they’d been poisoned. Up against official ignorance and indifference, Edwards and Hanna-Attisha were right, they were brave, and they were insistent. Flint is still a crime scene, but these two caring, tough researchers are the detectives who cracked the case."
Hanna-Attisha's appearance at SVSU is made possible through the university’s Early Assurance Program partnership with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. The event is sponsored in part by the SVSU Foundation Resource Grant Program. Her visit is part of the annual Your Health Lecture Series initiative between SVSU, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and MidMichigan Health.
While admission is free, RSVP is requested by going online at or by calling (616) 234-2694.
Copies of Hanna-Attisha’s book will be available for purchase with a book signing following her presentation.