The New Brunswick Lung Association announces that our torch is being passed from Barbara MacKinnon to Melanie Langille as our President and CEO.
Dr. Barbara MacKinnon has been with NBLA since 2000 and has been CEO since 2009. During those 21 years the team at NBLA has achieved many goals and greatly improved lung health for all New Brunswickers. Some of the many achievements where NBLA has played an important role since 2000 include:
Improvements in the NB Smoke Free Places Act (no smoking in restaurants, cars, sports fields; adding cannabis and vaping products to the Act) and the provincial smoking rate has gone from 27% to 14%.
The New Brunswick Support Program for Lung Transplant Patients assists many patients in the province needing a transplant.
The sale and use of 200 over-the-counter lawn-care pesticides was banned in New Brunswick.
The school bus no-idling policy was adopted as a result of NBLA’s school air quality programs.
NBLA sat on many federal air quality advisory boards. Improvements in air quality laws and standards have reduced air pollutants across Canada between 11% and 65% depending on the pollutant. NBLA co-chaired the development of the Air Quality Health Index.
For 11 years NBLA has led the engagement of 500 organizations and interested individuals, through our Canadian Network for Human Health and the Environment, in Canada’s Chemical Management Plan. The CMP has reviewed 23,000 chemicals for risk to human health and the environment and created risk reduction plans for many of those deemed toxic. The process is ongoing.
NBLA was a primary advocate to get Canada to change the Guideline for Radon gas in homes from 800 Bq/m3 to 200 Bq/m3. After that change, the Radon Program at Health Canada was launched. NBLA led the first national radon awareness program.
NBLA led the first in Canada study on indoor air quality in a First Nations community and the first Canadian study on exposure of children to diesel exhaust from school buses.
NBLA has created a national strategy to take actions to reduce exposures to woodstove smoke in Canada.
NBLA launched the NB Electric Vehicle Advisory Committee and led many public awareness campaigns, advocating for federal and provincial purchase rebates for electric vehicles.
NBLA’s subsidiary organization the Foundation for Resilient Health was launched.
“I have felt very honoured to work with this wonderful organization. Everything that we achieve is truly a team effort and builds on the work that has been accomplished by others before us.” Said Dr. Barbara MacKinnon. “Since 1933 when the organization was created we have accomplished many goals and moved on to the next challenges. NBLA will continue our work on lung health in both traditional ways and in new innovative ways such as those we are now implementing through our new Foundation. I am very thankful that the organization will now be in the talented hands of Melanie Langille.”
Melanie Langille brings to the organization a strong science background, with a Bachelor degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science. Her previous experience in environmental and human health risk assessment, environmental impact assessment, and contaminated sites management gives her a unique perspective on the importance of the environmental and social determinants of health.
“I thank Barb for her leadership and vision over the past 12 years and for the trust she has put in me to lead the organization.” Said Melanie. “The team’s passion and dedication to improving health is truly commendable. I am excited for us to continue to find innovative ways to help New Brunswickers breathe easier, live healthier, and enjoy a clean environment.”