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High Five without Hands



President: Howard Kessler, MD

Vice President: Todd Sack, MD

Treasurer: Lynn Ringenberg, MD

Secretary: Ankush K. Bansal,  MD, FACP, SFHM

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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.


howard-kessler (1).jpg

Ron Saff, M.D.

Asthma & Allergy Specialist
2300 Centerville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308

Dr. Ron Saff is a board-certified

InternalMedicine and

Allergy/Immunology specialist

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
Professor Emeritus
University of South Florida
College of Medicine, Pediatrics
POB 13901
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

Virginia Commonwealth

University in

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

Borland-Groover Clinic
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 ( 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.

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Marybeth Dunn, MPH

P.O. Box 13901
Tampa, FL 33681

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.

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