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Dr. Elizabeth Friedman is currently the medical director of an environmental health program at an academic institution and children’s hospital. She is a co-PI of one of ten Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units in the nation, and she works with patients in a primary care clinic. With her academic time, Dr. Friedman partners with several community groups to develop community driven environmental health research and/or interventions to address environmental health exposures. 

Dr. Friedman began her academic career with an undergraduate focus in ecology and environment. She then obtained her Master’s in Public Health in epidemiology, with a focus on the environment. Prior to her medical training, she did health education and outreach work with sex workers in D.C. Her first residency was in internal medicine and pediatrics. During her residency, she connected with local community members facing a local massive tarsands oil spill and this re-connected her work with environment and health. In order to further connect her medical training with environment, she took a longer course of study. She completed programs in preventive medicine and occupational and environmental medicine, and did a fellowship in reproductive and pediatric environmental health. 

Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae

CURRENT POSITIONS (2019 – Present)

General Pediatrician; Medical Director of Environmental Health, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City, MO

Director of Region 7 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU)

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine (2023)

Co-founder & Academic Advisor of Science and Community Action Network (SciCAN) (2021 – Present)

Aliso Canyon Disaster Health Study Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC) member. (June 2023 – Present)

Co-founder of Missouri Clinicians for Climate Action (MOCCA) (2022 – Present)

Stakeholder Advisory Board Member, EHSRC Community Engagement Core, University of Iowa (2021 – Present)

See prior positions for additional academic service roles.


Doctor of Medicine

University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO


Master’s in Public Health –epidemiology

George Washington University, Washington, DC


Bachelor of Science in Biology (focus in Ecology)

University of Miami, Miami, Florida


Postgraduate training includes: Internal medicine and Pediatrics, Preventive medicine and public health, reproductive and pediatric environmental health, and occupational and environmental medicine. 


Board Certification in Pediatrics 2016 

Board Certification in Preventive Medicine 2016

Board Certificate in Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2019 

Board Eligibility in Internal Medicine (2014 – 2021)


Missouri 2020 – Present

Kansas 2020 – Present 

Washington 2017 – Present 

California 2014 – 2018 

Michigan (partial license) 2010 – 2014


Gilbertson R, Friedman E, Nguyen V, Stahl S, Ireland R. The Role of Physician Advocacy in Supporting Policy Change That Reduces Leaded Aviation Gasoline Emissions. Journal of Community Health. 2023 Jan 7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36609625.   

Friedman E, Lee B, Wilson N, Kalman C. Historic Racism Affects Today’s Pediatric Asthma Burden. Health and Place. Nov 2022.  

Wilson N, Friedman E, Kennedy K, Manolakos P, Reierson L, Roberts A, Simon S. “Using Exterior Housing Conditions and Age of Housing to Identify Housing Based Lead Exposure.” Environmental Research. Feb 2023.

Patel L, Friedman E, Johannes SA, Lee SS, O’Brien HG, Schear S. Air Pollution as a Social and Structural Determinant of Health. The Journal of Climate Change and Health. 2021.

Select Academic Presentations and Workshops

Martinez B, Lam Y, Sheets N, Harden M, Friedman E. “From Combating Climate Denialism to Fighting False Solutions: The Continuing Absence of Justice in Climate Policies and the Urgent Need for Change.” Panel facilitator and co-organizer. American Public Health Association Annual Conference, Creating the Healthiest Nation – Climate and Health Equity Session. Atlanta, GA. November, 2023. 

Martinez B, Mena A, Shabaka D, Drix J, Capper G, Mesesan K, Friedman E. “Building trust-based community partnerships for public health professionals.” Panel facilitator and co-organizer. American Public Health Association Annual Conference, Creating the Healthiest Nation – Climate and Health Equity Session. Atlanta, GA. November, 2023. 

Friedman E, Amico A, Hampton B, Nordell A, Ferrara K. “PFAS Contamination: Community Perspectives,” Panel facilitator, planner, co-presenter. American Public Health Association Annual Conference, Creating the Healthiest Nation – Environmental Health Session.  Atlanta, GA. November, 2023. 

Friedman E, Martinez B. Science & Community Action Network (SciCAN): Connecting subject matter experts with communities for action. Co-presenter. Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) & Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS). Biennial Conference, Reclaiming the Commons. Portland, OR. July, 2023. 

“Air Pollution and Respiratory Health.” Pulmonology Didactics. Children’s Mercy Hospital. Kansas City, MO. 2020. 

“Building an Open-Source, Information and Action Network:  A Needs Assessment Among (fossil fuel) Activists.” Remember the Kalamazoo – A Community Review of the Toxic Spill. Battle Creek, MI. July 2015. 

“Doe Run Transnational Smelter Company: The current and ideal roles of healthcare community, commercial, and local participants in the development of international markets.” Keynote Speaker, George Washington University Research Day, Washington DC – 2004.


Friedman E, Homan S, Buchanan S, Newman N. Accessibility and Engagement on Environmental Health Physician Education. International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) Annual Meeting. July 2023. Portland, WA. 

Friedman E, Homan S, Amico A. Proceedings from a PFAS Conference Workshop. International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) American Chapter Annual Meeting. June 2023. Corvallis, OR.

Carignan C, Powers M, Brown P, Ducatman A, Friedman E, DeWitt J, Amico A, Fitzstevens M, Kasper S, Osimo C, Schaider L. Translating Research to Action with Improved Medical Screening Guidance for PFAS. International Society of Exposure Science Annual Meeting. August 2021.

Proma, R.A., Sumpter, M., Lugo, H., Friedman, E., Huq, K.T. and Rosen, P. CleanAirNowKC: Building Community Power by Improving Data Accessibility. In 2021 IEEE Workshop on Visualization for Social Good (VIS4Good). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Annual Conference. 2021. Full manuscript: 

Friedman E, Ward H. “HIV Risk Factors of London Sex Workers and Nationality.” 

Michigan State University & Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies Annual Research Day. 2011. 


“Indoor Air Quality and Asthma.” Guest Speaker. Breathe Up ECHO. University of Missouri. Virtual Event. November, 2023.  

“Climate Change and Health in Missouri.” Guest Speaker.  Medical Students for a Sustainable Future (MS4SF) Symposium. University of Missouri. Virtual Event. October 2023. 

“A Brief Overview of the Health Effects of PFAS.”  Guest Speaker. Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Commission meeting. Jefferson City, MO & virtual event. December 2022. 

“Environmental Justice Movement in the Midwest.” Guest Speaker. CleanAirNow’s annual community teach-back. Virtual Event. November 2022.  

“Solidarity for Climate Justice – CleanAirNow. Kansas City, MO.” CleanAirNow and Partners. Guest Speaker. Kansas City, MO. August 2022. 

“Anatomy of a Crisis: Impact of Racism on Public Health in America.” Episode 4: Confronting Environmental Racism. Guest Speaker. Kansas City Public Library Podcast. January 2022. Website:  

Environmental Racism in the Heartland – Launching an Environmental Justice publication from CleanAirNow and Union of Concerned Scientists. Guest Speaker. Virtual Event. November 2021.