This month’s #WomenHeroMonthly highlights Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha ( known as Dr.
Mona to her patients), a pediatrician and professor from Michigan that traced the complaints of hair loss and rashes from her patient’s parents to the high concentration of lead found in the Flint river. The Flint river had been the city’s source of water since 2014, switching from Lake Huron in an effort to save money.
Although the state attempted to discredit her accusations of a tainted water supply, her findings were undeniable . By testing the blood levels of her patients and comparing them to a near county, it was revealed that the lead levels were doubled, and at times even tripled for the kids in Flint. “When (my research team and I) saw that it was getting into children and when we knew the consequences, that’s when I think we began not to sleep,” Hanna-Attisha told CNN.com. Looking even further into the city’s involvement in this crisis, she realized that multiple city officials had been aware of the toxins in the water,but since the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) said there was nothing wrong with the water the consumer’s complaints were ignored.
Often times as women, we have to yell in order to be heard, but that’s not a reason to be silenced. Dr. Mona, didn’t accept the answers that she was given and sought more information for herself, and now Flint is getting water from Lake Huron again. As women, we are the best multitaskers in the world because we realized a long time ago that the world won’t stop for us. Dr. Mona is our #WHM because she became the hero that she and all of the people of Flint needed! She is a wife, mother of two daughters, responds to multiple interviews and emails daily, meets with health officials weekly, and finds the time to still see her patients! The biggest takeaway from Dr. Mona is that you can always be the one person to take a stand make a difference in someone else’s world (or even save an entire city)!
-Alex Bailey, Women’s Center Staff