Fri, Mar 11, 2022 - 2:00pm ET

In the seventh session of our 10-part series, two experts from American Heart Association will talk about the importance of safe drinking water and how the proper policies can build a culture of health in our schools.

Because children spend so much time at school, having safe and appealing water available to them is critical. When children don’t have enough water to drink, their health and their cognitive performance may suffer. And, when water is not available, children tend to consume more sugary drinks, which are linked to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

A nationally representative survey published in 2015 showed that more than half of school-aged children were inadequately hydrated. Water access in schools and consumption by students can vary by gender, race, and ethnicity of students, socioeconomic status of students’ families and geographic region. For example, Black children are less likely to drink enough water compared to white children; and boys are less likely to drink enough water compared to girls.  

All kids should have access to water at no charge in school.

The free session starts at 2pm EST and will last 45 minutes to an hour, with time for questions at the end. It will be available through partner and online Sustainability Education Provider GBRI. The registration link will take you to their website registration page. 


Lharissa Jacobs, American Heart Association

Emily Paul, American Heart Association

Dave Oberembt, American Heart Association

Recorded Webinar

Speaker bios

Lharissa Jacobs is the Vice President of Health Strategies at the American Heart Association (AHA) in Houston, Texas. She leads local strategies to maximize equitable health and well-being in Houston and has spent the past two decades advocating for healthy communities. Prior to joining the AHA, she pioneered and led a large portfolio of evidence-based health interventions for the YMCA of Greater Houston focused on child nutrition and chronic disease prevention. Lharissa is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum and alumna of McKinsey & Company Asian Executive Leadership Program. Lharissa is on the Board of Directors for the Houston Tool Bank and is dedicated to using her professional experience and innovative thinking to support sustainable and stronger communities. She has a master’s degree in education and an M.B.A. from the University of Houston and is fluent in Spanish. Lharissa is happiest in the great outdoors, often running with friends, sprinting after two lovable terriers, and spending quality time with her husband and two children. 

Emily Paul, MPH, is a Community Impact Director for the American Heart Association, working to support policy and system change for equitable health impact in the Greater Houston region. Her community health experience in Houston began as an elementary school nutrition educator for a local childhood obesity prevention non-profit. Prior to the AHA, she worked as a program manager with the YMCA of Greater Houston overseeing evidence-based health interventions and community health initiatives addressing chronic disease prevention and health maintenance. Emily holds an MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, as well as a BA in Psychology from Smith College. 

Dave Oberembt is the Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association in Arkansas. He lives in Little Rock with his wonderful wife and two year old daughter.  In his free time he likes to spend time with friends and family as well as spend time playing with this 3 legged dog Phil.

No events available.