We seek to reduce the environmental impact of the health care sector, which accounts for 10% of our nation’s greenhouse gases. We work to align with the “do no harm” credo of physicians by improving the resiliency of health care facilities in the face of climate change. We facilitate sustainability initiatives at medical schools and their associated health care systems by collecting resources for and providing support to individuals hoping to lead such endeavors.
Climate Smart Healthcare Guide
An online guide meant to be a go-to source for any health professional or health professional student wanting to engage in a Climate Smart healthcare project at their institution or school. This guide is a work in progress and we hope to have version 2.0 available to share by the end of 2021!
Climate Smart Monthly
An almost-monthly bulletin aimed at highlighting primarily student led efforts to improve the sustainability of our health system. These are a wide range of topics, where someone can showcase their interesting ideas and projects so everyone can learn from them and help their own systems and practices become more sustainable!
Have you conducted, or been involved in, a project to improve sustainability at your institution? Let us know to be featured in the next Climate Smart Monthly!
My Green Doctor
My Green Doctor is the free environmental sustainability and climate change program offered by Medical Students for a Sustainable Future. Clinics and offices learn to make gradual improvements in their uses of energy, water, chemicals, paper, and other resources. The program is easy to use, adding only five minutes of Green Team business to each regular staff meeting.
Most clinics save money in their first month using My Green Doctor. It works for healthcare clinics, offices, and outpatient centers. One five-office practice is saving $1,500 per doctor every year and reducing its greenhouse gases, with no financial investment.
Medical students can introduce this program to the clinics where they work. Students and clinic managers begin by registering here. Everyone in the office can register. Next, the clinic commits to the goal of environmental sustainability and to adding Green Team business to each office meeting agenda. Each meeting is fully scripted in the “Meeting-by-Meeting Guide” so that there is nothing for the office manager, director, or student to study or prepare. The clinics can qualify for the Green Doctor Office Certificate from MS4SF within a few months.
My Green Doctor provides free brochures, posters, and other teaching tools to help share wise choices with patients and families. This can mean less energy and water used, cleaner air, fewer greenhouse gases, and better health outcomes.
Register today at My Green Doctor to start lowering costs and improving health!
Climate Smart Health Co-Chairs
Harris Jamal, MS1
Medical College of Georgia
Harris Jamal is a first year medical student in the Class of 2025 at the Medical College of Georgia. Harris is the founder of the Sustainable Healthcare Initiative at the University of Georgia, where he received both his B.S. in Environmental Health and Master of Public Health. The Sustainable Healthcare Initiative, for which Harris received the 2020 Stephanie Davis Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention Award, has addressed a number of sustainability issues in clinical care at the UGA Health Center (UHC) including safer chemicals, waste auditing and reduction, composting, and education of healthcare professionals in the Athens area. Through this initiative, he founded and led the Sustainability Committee at the UHC and worked with Emory Winship Cancer Institute to develop and implement a safer pharmaceutical disposal system addressing both environmental health concerns and the opioid crisis. On the research side, he has worked in various environmental health labs researching Atmospheric Dust effects on Vibrio pathogen growth and infection rates, and the chemical effects of pharmaceutical effluent from healthcare facilities on surrounding water quality. He also received the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Grant to pilot a study on Lead exposure in school drinking water in Athens-Clarke County elementary schools. During his gap year, he worked at his hometown of City of Tucker as Public Health and Sustainability Intern, where aided in the local COVID-19 response measures as well as in efforts to develop a long-term sustainability plan for the city.
Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Lawrence Huang graduated from Brown University with a BS in computer science. He is interested in applying his technical skills towards environmental health and incorporating climate smart health care projects into his future studies. He is currently involved in learning how to perform life cycle analyses and developing educational materials for climate change. Additionally, he has been working with clinicians at the Rhode Island Hospital to develop green initiatives in the emergency department. His past work includes applying augmented reality to surgical procedure guidance, diagnostic and prognostic modeling with pediatric Ebola patients, and data visualizations for bone infections.
Daniel Szabo, MS3
UT Health San Antonio Long SOM
Daniel is a third year medical student interested in environmental health, policy, and program administration. To that end, he will likely specialize in Preventive Medicine, with a focus in Environmental and Occupational Health. Outside of school, he enjoys spending time with family, running, and trying his hand at creative things, like drawing or cooking.
Megan Barrett, OMS2
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Megan Barrett is a second-year medical student at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She became passionate about the intersection of climate and health while working as a medical assistant before starting at PCOM. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Richmond and has also completed coursework in sustainable development as an exchange student at Uppsala University in Sweden. During undergraduate, she enjoyed exploring the ecological and environmental science aspects of biology and dedicated much of her time to working in marine biology research. Currently, she is involved in immunology and infectious disease research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is considering a career as an infectious disease physician.