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
Aaron Rosenblum, MS3
University of Minnesota Medical School
Aaron Rosenblum is an MD candidate in the class of 2022 at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He has a B.A. from Macalester College in Media and Cultural Studies, with a minor in American Studies. Before diverting his path towards medical school he worked as an artist and educator in the Twin Cities with a focus on community engagement and participatory artmaking and spent time working on an organic vegetable farm. He is passionate about community health-including issues such as health systems change, health disparities, food sovereignty, and climate change, and has been involved with efforts to improve climate health curriculum and increase the medical school’s commitment to sustainability. He is an avid gardener and is looking forward to a career as a rural primary care doctor.
Savita Potarazu, MS2
George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Savita is a second-year medical student in the MD/MPH program at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She has a B.A. in Social Determinants of Health from GW as well. During college, she became incredibly passionate about the impact of climate change on human health and particularly the growing field of EcoHealth literacy. She hopes to empower her colleagues, peers, and future patients to be advocates for environmental justice and is enthusiastic to learn about innovative ways to do so.
Climate Smart Healthcare
Amanda Lee, MS3
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Amanda Lee is an MD candidate in the class of 2022 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has a B.S. from Georgetown University in Healthcare Management and Policy. Prior to medical school, she was passionate about addressing the impact of climate change. She interned at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Emergency Management and served as a disaster responder for the American Red Cross and FEMA, where she aided in the response efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. At UMass, Amanda is one of the founding members of UMass’ Coalition for Climate Action.
Pranav Jayaraman, MPH Student
University of Texas
Pranav Jayaraman is an MPH Student at UTHealth’s School of Public Health. He earned his Bachelors of Science and Arts in Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin. As part of the University of Texas Campus Environmental Center’s Half-Pint Urban Prairie, he helps maintain a Blackland “pocket-prairie” restoration composed of drought-resistant native Texas prairie species and raises awareness of the benefits of green spaces in urban settings. With the Half-Pint Urban Prairie, he also has helped start a community seed library, host a student-led speaker series called “All of the Above”, and has been featured on PBS’ Central Texas Gardener. He now serves on UT’s NatureRX committee to help increase student access to campus green space, as well as create interactive maps and signage that contain ecotherapy, meditation, and mindfulness exercises to do in nature. He currently conducts process analysis at UT’s University Health Services to identify opportunities to cut waste and make healthcare delivery more sustainable. He hopes to engage the health sector to help build climate resilience in communities whether that be through expanding access to green spaces or sustainable models of care. Beyond sustainability work and life as a student, Pranav also loves writing jokes for TSTV’s sketch comedy show, Longhorn Latenight.
Climate Smart Communications
Morehouse School of Medicine
Harris Jamal is a rising medical student in the Class of 2025 at Morehouse School of Medicine. 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. Currently, he is working at his hometown of City of Tucker as Public Health and Sustainability Intern, where he is working with the mayor to aid in the local COVID-19 response measures as well as helping to develop a long-term sustainability plan for the city.
Lawrence Huang, 4th Year Undergrad
Lawrence Huang is a current senior studying computer science in Brown University’s BS/MD program. He is interested in applying his technical skills towards environmental health and incorporating climate smart health care projects into his future studies and practice. Before entering medical school, he plans to work in software development for a health technology company. He is currently involved in developing diagnostic and prognostic models for pediatric Ebola and COVID-19 patients. In his free time, Lawrence enjoys playing basketball and cycling.