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Ruth  McDermott-Levy, PhD - Villanova University. Villanova, PA, US

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD Ruth  McDermott-Levy, PhD

Associate Professor; Director of the Center for Global and Public Health | M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing | Villanova University


Dr. McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN is an expert in environmental health, global health, and public health nursing





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Freedom School Ruth McDermott Levy



Areas of Expertise (9)

Climate Change Immigrant Health Public Health Community & Public Health Nursing Epidemiology Global Health Fracking and Health Environmental Health/Health impacts of UOGD Health Disparities


An expert in environmental health, global health, and public health nursing, Dr. McDermott-Levy has taught and conducted research in Philadelphia’s Arab-American and immigrant communities, with community health workers in Nicaragua, and in the Marcellus Shale region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She has advocated for health protective regulations for those who live in oil and gas development communities. With nurse colleagues around the U.S., Dr. McDermott-Levy has developed recommendations and teaching strategies to incorporate environmental health and climate change into the nursing curricula.

Dr. McDermott-Levy is a co-editor of an open-access environmental health textbook for nurses, Environmental Health in Nursing. In 2018, she received the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Health and Environmental Sciences Award for teaching and research. She will be at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) from August to December 2018, where she will be using this grant to research the health impact of climate changes in Finland, which is at risk due to significant increases in air temperature.

Education (4)

Villanova University: PhD

University of Massachusetts, Amherst: MPH

Villanova University: MSN

Wilkes University: BSN

Select Accomplishments (2)

Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Health and Environmental Sciences Award (professional)


The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) "Nurse as Global Citizen" Award (professional)


Affiliations (4)

  • Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, Board of Directors, Secretary
  • American Public Health Association (Public Health Nursing, Environmental, and International Sections)
  • Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE): Education Working Group and Steering Committee
  • Pennsylvania State Nurses’ Association (PSNA) Environmental Health Committee Member

Select Media Appearances (6)

CDC word ban: Public health is jeopardized when individuality is ignored

Philadelphia Inquirer  online


When we allow words describing our fellow citizens to be stricken from the lexicon, we strike from the record their American experience; we strike from the record the factors that influence their health; we strike from the record our ability to learn the unique needs of specific groups of Americans; we strike from the record our ability to study groups of people – yes, groups of vulnerable Americans.

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Get to know a climate champion: Ruth McDermott-Levy

Climate For Health  


This month's champion is Ruth McDermott-Levy, an associate professor and director of the Center for Global & Public Health at Villanova University’s College of Nursing near Philadelphia, PA. She holds a Ph. D. in nursing education from Villanova and an M.P.H. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Ruth teaches and conducts research with a focus on global and environmental health, helping to educate students in linking how they live and work to air emissions and the changing climate. She is also the Education Workgroup co-chairperson of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and a founding member of Protect PA.

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Philly's smog sickens thousands of city's asthmatic kids, report says

Metro Philadelphia  online


“Many days in Philadelphia ozone smog is so severe it is a visible haze over the city's skyline,” said Villanova University professor Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy. “This potent air pollutant is responsible for increased asthma hospitalizations, increased school absences of students and teachers and lost production for workers.”

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Wolf budget includes $100K for Marcellus Shale health registry

NPR's State Impact Pennsylvania  online


Public health advocates are encouraged by Wolf’s plan, but say $100,000 is not nearly enough money. Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy teaches public health at Villanova University.

“It’s seed money to get a health registry started,” she says. “But to consider the long term health impacts, then more money is going to need to be committed.”

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About 70 hospital staffers cared for Ebola patient

Associated Press  online


“This is not something we can afford to experiment with. We need to get this right,” said Ruth McDermott-Levy, who directs the Center for Global and Public Health in Villanova University’s College of Nursing.

Until now, the CDC has been actively monitoring 48 people who might have had contact with Duncan after he fell ill with an infection but before he was put in isolation. The number included 10 people known to have contact and 38 who may have had contact, including people he was staying with and health care professionals who attended to him during an emergency room visit from which he was sent home. None is sick.

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Groups call for investigation into health department’s handling of drilling

NPR's State Impact Pennsylvania  


Despite calls from environmental groups, it is not clear that there will be an investigation into how the Pennsylvania Department of Health handled complaints about Marcellus Shale natural gas development.

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Research Grants (2)

Screening and Health Access for Immigrants in Philadelphia: Impact Evaluation Project

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)/Center for Disease Control (CDC): Public Health Project 


Ethical Principles for Global Health Nursing Practice: A Delphi Study

Association of Community Health Nurse Educators 


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Select Academic Articles (5)

Health Concerns of Northeastern Pennsylvania Residents Living in an Unconventional Oil and Gas Development County Public Health Nursing

Ruth McDermott-Levy, Victoria Garcia


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Developing Curriculum Recommendations for Environmental Health in Nursing Nurse Educator

Jeanne Leffers et al.


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Challenges and Successes in Making Health Care More Accessible to Rural Communities in Waslala, Nicaragua Using Low-cost Telecommunications Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)

Pritpal Singh, Ruth McDermott-Levy, Elizabeth Keech, Bette Mariani, James Klingler, Maria Virginia Moncada


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Promoting Cultural Understanding Through Pediatric Clinical Dyads: an Education Research Project Nurse Education Today

RuthMcDermott-Levy, Mary Ann Cantrall, Kathryn Reynolds


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Fracking, the Environment, and Health American Journal of Nursing (AJN)

Ruth McDermott-Levy, Nina Katkins, Barbara Sattler


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