EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
President: Howard Kessler, MD
Vice President: Todd Sack, MD
Treasurer: Lynn Ringenberg, MD
Secretary: Ankush K. Bansal, MD, FACP, SFHM
Rani S Gereige, M.D., MPH, FAAP
Director of Medical Education
Miami Children’s Hospital
Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Florida International University
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
3100 SW 62nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33155-3009
Ph: (305) 662-8327
Fax: (305) 669-6531
Dr. Gereige received his MD Degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He then completed a three year Pediatric Residency training and one year as chief resident at the University of South Florida (USF)/All Children’s Hospital in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 1998 he completed a Masters Degree in Public Health (Maternal and Child Health) at USF College of Public Health. While at USF, Dr. Gereige joined the newly established PSR Tampa Bay Chapter at that time. He assumed the positions of Pediatric Clerkship Director, Pediatric Residency Program Associate Director, and General Academic Pediatric Fellowship Director prior to moving to Miami. Currently he is the Director of Medical Education at Miami Children’s Hospital and holds a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Faculty Appointment at Florida International University College of Medicine.
Donald M. Axelrad, Ph.D.
Dr. Axelrad came to Florida A&M University, College of Pharmacy, Institute of Public Health, as an Assistant Professor in 2013, and is now up for promotion to Associate. He teaches Environmental Health and Environmental Toxicology, and is involved in research on exposure to mercury by women of childbearing age, and lead exposure in children.
In recent years Dr. Axelrad has more
heavily focused on children’s exposure
to the toxic metal lead, sources, effects,
and means of source reduction, having
recognized that excessive lead exposure
in children is more prevalent than mercury
exposure, and that as a professor at an
HBCU there are significant socioeconomic
and racial disparities in children’s lead
exposure to be examined.
As well, as a consequence of his lengthy career in environmental health science, Dr. Axelrad is familiar with a breadth of topics in this area including climate change, sustainable development, various toxic chemicals, and a recent change of pace, global decline of insects; causes and public health consequences.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, a Master of Science degree in Environmental & Industrial Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.
Howard Kessler, MD
Howard Kessler has lived in Florida for
over 34 years. He spent his childhood
and teen years in and around the
marshlands of the south shore of
Long Island in the state of New York.
He holds a B. S. degree in chemistry,
an M.A. degree in Education, and an
M.D. degree. He practiced orthopedic
surgery for over 40 years years
as a boardcertified orthopedist
and wasChief of Orthopedics
at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
Although retired, he still conducts
volunteer clinics in
Tallahassee for the needy.
Dr. Kessler is very involved politically at the national, state, and local levels. At the national level, he served on the National Association of Counties Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Steering Committee. At the State level, he served on The Florida Association of Counties Growth and Environmental Steering Committee and the Health and Human Resources Committee. Locally, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Capital Region Planning Transportation Agency, Chairman of the Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners (serving as a Wakulla County Commissioner for 12 years), and Chairman of the Board of the Wilderness Coast Public Libraries. He and his wife, Anne Van Meter, became involved in Wakulla County politics after witnessing the destruction of local wetlands. They are also very involved in many of the area’s clubs and organizations and have interests in running, biking, boating, fishing,` and gardening. He is a member of the Patrons Board of the School of Theater at FSU and a board member of the FSU Coastal Marine Lab.
Ron Saff, M.D.
Asthma & Allergy Specialist
2300 Centerville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Dr. Ron Saff is a board-certified
in private practice, with special
certification as a Clinical Research
Investigator and Certified Physician
Investigator. Ron did his postgraduate
training in Internal Medicine
at Presbyterian University of
Pennsylvania Medical Center
in Philadelphia and Fellowship in
Allergy-Immunology at Medical
College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals.
Ron was a Health and Environment Columnist for the Tallahassee Democrat from 1999 until 2007, and continues to contribute his knowledge and expertise on environmental issues to the newspaper. Ron is a lifelong environmentalist and activist on issues that damage public health, like fracking, coal ash and biomass.
Lynn Ringenberg, MD
ITreasurer, PSR Florida; Past President, PSR National
University of South Florida
College of Medicine, Pediatrics
Tampa, FL 33681
Dr. Ringenberg is an Emeritus
Professor of Pediatrics at the
University of South Florida
in Tampa. Her academic career spanned 20 years at USF with 13 years in private practice. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska, Graduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, Medical School at the University of Nebraska and residency training in pediatrics at the University of Florida, Gainesville and Bowman Gray in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She received a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 2001 and retired from the Army in 2003 in the rank of colonel. Dr. Ringenberg’s interests and passions lie in medical education and underserved healthcare. She co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Tampa Bay in 2008, expanding to PSR/Florida in 2012. She is the faculty advisor for the Student Chapter of PSR @ the University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine. PSR’s work in Florida focuses primarily on environmental toxics, coal-fired power plant pollution/coal ash, climate change and health and the effects from nuclear radiation and waste. Dr. Ringenberg is president of national PSR in Washington, D.C.
Ankush K. Bansal, MD, FACP, SFHM
Ankush K. Bansal, MD, FACP, FACPM, SFHM
Delray Beach, FL
Hospitalist, Internist, Telemedicine
Voluntary Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine – Florida International University, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Dr. Bansal was raised in
northern Virginia outside
Washington, DC. He
attended the Thomas
Jefferson High School
for Science & Technology
in Alexandria, VA
followed by a B.S.
Biology degree from
Richmond, VA. He completed
his medical degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE and his residency in Internal Medicine at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware. He has a Certificate in Climate Change and Health Communication from the Yale University School of Public Health.
He has worked as a hospitalist since 2007 throughout the country. He works part-time in telemedicine, utilization review, and medical expert. He is a former Clinical Faculty member at the University of Miami and currently Voluntary Clinical Faculty at Florida International University. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Lifestyle Medicine.
He is involved with multiple social, scientific, medical, and environmental organizations. He serves on the Board as the President of the Disaster Accountability Project in Bethesda, MD. He is the Governor-Elect of the Florida Chapter of the American College of Physicians. He also serves as the Associate Member Representative to the General Assembly of the World Medical Association and is the co-chair & co-founder of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action.
Dr. Bansal’s clinical interests include climate change and health, lifestyle medicine, and primary prevention of non-communicable chronic diseases. His other interests include eco-minded travel, environmental justice, politics, and climate change and health communication and education. He is a published author and former cancer researcher.
Finally, he has been interviewed by CNBC, USA Today, Kaiser Health News, Bloomberg, and other media companies.
Todd Sack, MD
1820 Barrs Street, Ste. 400
Jacksonville, Florida 32204
Dr. Sack is board-certified in
Internal Medicine and
Gastroenterology, with special
interest in colorectal and
pancreatic tumors, as well
as viral hepatitis. Dr. Sack
graduated from Yale, and
then received his MD from
the University of California,
SF School of Medicine. Dr. Sack is Chair of the Environmental & Health Section of the Florida Medical Association (FMA). Todd authored and manages a free website (mygreendoctor.org) to help medical offices save money and make their communities healthier by adopting and teaching wise environmental practices. Todd is a board member, and past president of “We Care Jacksonville, Inc.”, a network of 12 medical clinics, hundreds of volunteer health professionals, hospitals, government agencies, and charities working together to provide health care to uninsured people in Jacksonville, Florida. The We Care clinics provided $12 million in free health care in 2012. Todd is also involved with the Yulee Historic Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving and preserving the natural environment and historic resources in the Jacksonville area.
Marybeth Dunn, MPH
Marybeth (Palmigiano) Dunn
is the former Chapter Director
for PSR/Florida. In this role she
managed the Chapter’s program
and policy activities including;
ensuring proper safeguards
for hydraulic fracking and the
proper disposal of coal ash,
as well as promoting safe energy programs and the reduction of environmental toxins. She worked closely with the PSR/Florida board to grow the chapter from the Tampa Bay area to a statewide organization.
For the prior 14 years she has worked as a researcher, educator and advocate on issues and policies regarding environmental chemical exposures and their effect on child development. She was part of the original research team that developed PSR’s Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit and the associated Training Program. She also developed the Safe and Healthy Children Initiative; a pilot program based on the Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit that addresses health disparities among children of migrant and seasonal farm workers.
She received her Master’s Degree in Environmental Public Health from Boston University in 1999.