Advocacy

We are excited to formally announce the start of our Advocacy Through Writing Campaign a climate & health LTE and Op-Ed writing campaign for young & emerging health professionals this month! The campaign starts today, Monday August 8th. Here are all the important dates and details you need to know. To sign up for weekly news, tips, topic suggestions, and updates about the campaign, please fill out this google form!

  • The op-ed and letter to the editor writing campaign runs Monday, August 8th through Friday, September 16th and is co-run by MS4SF & PSR’s Next Gen Ambassador Program 
  • You do NOT have to be a member of MS4SF or a Next Gen ambassador to take part (campaign is for any and all young and emerging health professionals)
  • The goal is for young and emerging health professionals to strengthen their writing and advocacy skills and for them to receive public recognition for their work
  • You can choose to write either an LTE, Op-ed or both
  • Your LTE and op-ed should be on a topic in climate & health or environmental justice 
  • You can watch a recording of MS4SF’s Op-Ed workshop here and PSR’s LTE workshop here if you were unable to make either training 
  • Slides from the LTE training are attached here, plus you can access PSR’s LTE Guidelines here
  • We will send out tips & tricks for writing throughout the campaign on social media, and also send out weekly news articles you can base your LTEs off of– please note articles will be U.S.-centric, so if you live in another country, it might be easier to look up articles and news outlets in your home country
  • The deadline for submitting your LTEs and Op-eds for editing is Friday, September 9th
  • The deadline for submitting your final LTEs and Op-eds is Friday, September 16
  • The end of our writing campaign & beginning of featuring your writing will begin on September 17th– which is World Cleanup Day
  • If you’re unsure about how to structure or write your piece, just put some words to paper and you can send it to us at any point for feedback or with questions 🙂
  • You can choose to publish your LTEs or Op-eds if you’d like, and/or send them to us to publicize through PSR & MS4SF websites, social media, newsletters, etc.
  • You can also choose just to practice and receive feedback from us about your writing, without trying to get it published or PSR/MS4SF featuring your work 
  • Questions? Want examples? Suggestions? Comments? Please email rphillips@psr.org or brannene@ohsu.edu.

Op-Ed Workshop with Dr. Tummala

On July 10, we hosted an op-ed workshop with Dr. Tummala, an ENT physician at George Washington Medical Faculty Associates and the co-director for the Climate Health Institute. She has written pieces on climate for a variety of well-known publications. If you weren’t able to attend the op-ed workshop but would still like to see it, view a recording here.

We mobilize coordinated medical student actions and advocate for policy solutions to match the scale of the climate crisis. We provide resources and support to medical students across the country, so they can better engage in advocacy at institutional, local, and national levels. This is the main advocacy page where we advertise our current efforts and initiatives. If you’re looking for other ways to get involved and relevant resources, head to the Take Action page.

MS4SF Storytelling Workshop with Dr. Gaurab Basu

Thank you for those who attended the workshop! If you were not able to attend, you can view a recording of the session here. NOTE: Dr. Basu’s talk begins around 17:00 and the recording stops before any participants shared their stories out of consideration for folks’ privacy.

Join MS4SF and Dr. Gaurab Basu, a Primary Care Physician and the Co-Director of the Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy at Cambridge Health Alliance, as we discuss the importance of storytelling as advocacy and learn to effectively frame our own stories to further the climate movement. The session will be a practical and engaging workshop-style training for you to learn how to craft your personal story as a health professional. We hope to help you articulate why the climate crisis matters to you in order to advance equitable climate policies in our communities in the years to come. Stories can be a very effective way to help move public and policymaker opinion in the interest of health and climate change!

Summer Policy Series 2021

Check out the recordings and one-page summaries from our 2021 Summer Policy Series which included presentations on the Green New Deal, Carbon Pricing, and Clean Energy Standards.

Take Action- Ask your congressional representatives to fund climate action

  1. MS4SF’s national health policy partners developed a form that makes it easy to show support for climate & health priorities in the infrastructure budget. Right now, there is a debate underway in Congress on funding for climate action. Health professionals are encouraging policymakers to fund climate solutions that improve health. Please take a few minutes to send a pre-filled form to you representatives. 
  2. Show support for zero-emission school buses. Sign on to the American Lung Association’s letter to congress asking for Federal Investments to Electrify National School Bus Fleet. 

Divestment

Our divestment team is working closely with Insure Our Future and Climate Health Now to call on private health insurance companies in the United States to divest from fossil fuels! 

  • Read this recent op-ed by MS4SF member, Anna Brandes, about why health insurance companies should divest from fossil fuels
  • Join the #divestment channel in Slack or contact Ishaan Shah to get involved in this exciting campaign!

Building a Just MS4SF

Please join our channel on #anti-racism-building-a-just-ms4sf on Slack! This will be a space to discuss equity and anti-racism, in MS4SF and beyond, and to continually work toward a supportive MS4SF community that practices and demands justice!

Line 3 Opposition – Direct Action Opportunity

Line 3 is a violation of treaty rights with the Indigenous peoples of the region it is being constructed in and is infrastructure supporting the fossil fuel industry that is harming our patient’s health. There is ongoing direct action in northern Minnesota opposing Line 3, please attend if able or find other ways to get involved here.

Other Ways to Engage

  • Please watch our Earth Day Video and share our message widely!
  • Please join us in advocating to your elected officials for a rapid transition off fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy, leaving nobody behind and building a healthy and just future.
  • Join us to access our advocacy training guide and storytelling guide for MS4SF members!

Advocacy Co-Chairs

Anna Rahrick, MS3
University of Minnesota

Elise Brannen, MS2
 Oregon Health & Science University

Anna is a third-year medical student at the University of Minnesota. She first became involved in climate action in undergrad at the College of Saint Benedict, when she was fortunate enough to attend COP23 in Bonn, Germany. During her gap year, she volunteered with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Nashville, TN, where she worked with the Tennessee Justice Center, a healthcare advocacy nonprofit. In a year of pushing for medicaid expansion in TN, she learned a lot about advocacy strategies and witnessed the enormous influence that policies have on individual people’s lives. Since starting medical school, Anna has been involved in Health Students for a Healthy Climate, a group of environmentally-driven health sciences students, and is now working on the Planetary Health Report Card for the second year in a row. She loves to spend time in the beautiful outdoors and cuddle with her cat, Rosie (named after the brilliant Rosalind Franklin). 

rahri001@umn.edu

Instagram: @arahrick

Elise is a second year MD-MPH candidate at Oregon Health and Science University. She received degrees in Biology and Spanish Language and Literature with a certificate in Medical and Scientific Translation and Interpretation from Wake Forest University in 2016. Prior to medical school she worked in palliative care research focusing on end-of-life communication, advance care planning, and implementation methods at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She first became interested in the intersection between human and planetary health while working with a non-profit bringing sustainably grown local produce to food deserts in the Boston area. At OHSU, she has further explored her interests in environmental epidemiology and justice while promoting the school’s commitment to sustainability through public events, an environmental justice journal club, the divestment campaign, and establishment of OHSU as a participant in the Planetary Health Report Card initiative. She is actively involved in advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national level and is excited to continue that work with Medical Students for a Sustainable Future.

brannene@ohsu.edu

Instagram: @kelisebrannen

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