Meet our leadership team members who organize and lead our national projects for the years 2023-2024!
Savita Potarazu, MD/MPH candidate Class of 2024
George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Savita is driven to help protect our biggest playground. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, she recognizes both the positive benefits of green spaces on physical and mental health as well as the disproportionate harms of our changing climate on human health. As the current Executive Chair of MS4SF, in her second term, she is committed to promoting environmental justice in the climate action initiatives this organization undertakes. She is an MD/MPH student (‘24) at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and has co-led the newly established Climate Change and Human Health MD Program curriculum theme with Taylor Brewer, one of this year’s Vice Chairs. Savita plans on applying into OBGYN for residency and is incredibly passionate about the intersectionality of reproductive health, climate change, and environmental justice. Prior to her role as Executive Chair, she served as one of the Climate Smart Health Care co-chairs for MS4SF. Her organizational priorities for 2023 include expanding student representation to regions new to climate change and health, collaborating with professional medical societies on shared priorities in climate action to amplify student voices, and leading the organization’s transition to a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Taylor’s interest in environmental health, climate change, and related social justice began young and was fostered through a BA in Environmental Studies and a BS in Biology at The George Washington University (along with many documentary binges). She went on to serve as GW Medical School’s Climate Health Interest Group president in addition to co-pioneering GW SMHS’s newly approved Climate Change and Human Health curricula theme alongside MS4SF’s two-term Executive Chair, Savita Potarazu. Her passions include promoting knowledge and mitigation of the bridges that connect climate health, human health, and of course, environmental justice that is tightly interwoven. As she plans to apply into Pediatric for residency, she also has a special interest to integrate climate health principles into child healthcare in order to create a longitudinal mutually beneficial relationship.
Douglas Fritz, MS2
University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine
Douglas knows climate change, social justice, and health are increasingly connected, and he expects our medical schools to be on the forefront of addressing it. While his work as a Vice Chair for MS4SF is focused on addressing these expectations nationally, as a MD/PhD student in Colorado he works with local civic leaders and community members to addresses heat-stress in Denver with a fantastic team of residents, fellows, and med students in addition to his student leadership in the sustainability mission on campus. Before med school he was an infectious disease researcher at the NIH and Fulbright Scholar in North Macedonia. He received his BS in both Biology and American Studies from Saint Louis University. He’s passionate about interweaving climate change more deeply into med school curricula and elevating what physicians can to address the climate crisis
Srishty Amarnani is a fourth-year medical student at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. She serves as an advocate for her classmates on Medical Council as well as an active member of the Global Health and Health Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership pathways in her program. Before medical school, Srishty completed an MPH with an emphasis in Environmental Health at the University of California, Irvine. Before that, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy at University of California, Berkeley. Srishty has always been passionate about bringing awareness of the connections between human behavior, health, and climate.
Harvard Medical School
Natalie Baker is a second year medical student at Harvard Medical School. Born and raised in Northern California, she did completed her undergrad at Stanford University where she witnessed the devastating health impacts of wildfire and heat on bay area communities firsthand and began organizing around climate change and health, successfully lobbying a hospital c-suite for dedicated sustainability funding, co-organizing a symposium, and authoring two review papers on healthcare sustainability. During her first year of medical school, Natalie spearheaded a major push to integrate climate change into every course in the first year HMS curriculum, and helped empower her fellow students to build fundamental advocacy skills (including op-ed writing and storytelling) as MS4SF vice chair for advocacy. She seeks to continue building her own advocacy toolbox this year as a Climate Health Organizing Fellow (via Cambridge Health Alliance). As advocacy co-chair this year, she hopes to help build a vibrant community of medical student advocates who feel well-equipped to organize around climate and health issues at the local, state, and national level. In her free time, Natalie enjoys backpacking, trail running, and playing her guitar.
Oregon Health & Science University
Elise is a third year MD-MPH candidate at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). 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. Originally from a coastal city in Georgia, her interest in climate advocacy was initially sparked by the environmental degradation that has been slowly transforming her hometown. 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 an annual participant in the Planetary Health Report Card initiative. She is currently working alongside a group of faculty at OHSU to better integrate climate and health discussions into the curriculum and advocating for the establishment of a department of climate change and health. She has previously served as a Next Generation Climate Ambassador for Physicians for Social Responsibility and recently completed a program through the Climate Advocacy Lab’s Climate + Health Peer Learning Circle. She is actively involved in advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national level and is excited to help others advocate for the planet as she continues in her role as Advocacy Co-Chair for Medical Students for a Sustainable Future. In her free time she enjoys taking her rescue dog Juniper out for hikes in the PNW, reading, and cooking plant-based meals for her friends.
Albany Medical College
Helena Randle is a third-year medical student at Albany Medical College. After graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, she worked in Boston doing breast cancer research and scribing in an infectious disease and wound clinic. Having witnessed the enormous amount of waste in the research and healthcare sectors, as well as the adverse health impacts of the climate crisis, she became motivated to help bring about positive change. This is Helena’s third-year on the MS4SF leadership team and she is excited to continue encouraging conversations and action on climate, promoting sustainability, and increasing climate engagement in the healthcare sector.
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Vinnie Banerjee currently serves as one of the partnerships co-chairs for Medical Students for a Sustainable Future. Vinayak was raised in South Brunswick, NJ and received his bachelor’s degrees in neuroscience and economics from the University of Pittsburgh. During his gap year before medical school, he pursued a Master’s in Healthcare Management at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Now, he is a third year student at University of Maryland School of Medicine and is an aspiring urologist. As partnerships co-chair, he has been working to expand MS4SF’s presence in climate and health spaces, and on finding effective ways to elevate student voices in existing initiatives at local and national levels. He also hopes to identify new partnerships and build strong collaborations with national policy groups to promote equity and justice in climate action.
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Sahar is a third-year medical student at George Washington University. She graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and a minor in Psychology. Sahar is a part of the partnership committee where she collaborates with new and current partners to enable medical students to help create a more environmentally conscious healthcare future for our patients and planet. She is also dedicated to working with underserved communities and regularly volunteers at soup kitchens and free health clinics. In her free time she enjoys hiking, visiting museums, traveling, and reading.
Pennsylvania State College of Medicine
Hannah is a fourth year medical student at Penn State College of Medicine in the class of 2024. She studied Molecular Biology and Geography at Colgate University where she became interested in the connections between the environment and health. In her time at Colgate, she studied in the geography of environmental exposures, especially as they pertain to health injustice. Hannah has spent the majority of her life living in small rural towns, which has driven additional interests in sustainable agriculture and plant-based diets. At Penn State, she has been involved with the student run Environmental Health and Medicine group, Sustainability Council, and climate health curricular initiatives. Hannah hopes to be come a family physician who can provide climate-informed care to her patients and communities. She is excited to continue with the MS4SF team this year and continue to learn from an incredible community of future physicians and environmental justice advocates.
Megan Eigsti, Wellness
Indiana University School of Medicine
Megan Eigsti (she/her) is a fourth-year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine. She received her B.A. in Biochemistry and minor in Sociology from Goshen College prior to matriculating. She is a member of the Scholarly Concentration in Ethics, Equity, and Justice, and sees climate healthcare as fundamental to any discussion of medical ethics. She is passionate about expanding medical education to include curricula covering the unequal health impacts of climate change and the role of the healthcare sector in contributing to, or mitigating, climate harm. Through prior work with the Sunrise Movement, she learned that any sustainable advocacy organization must find the joy within the work, and she is excited to focus on student and organizational wellness while addressing these critical challenges.
Kathy Li, Publications
Medical College of Georgia
Kathy (she/her) is a current fourth year medical student at the Medical College of Georgia. She has long held personal interests in sustainability and environmental advocacy and is thrilled at the opportunity to work with MS4SF to incorporate this passion into medical school and healthcare initiatives. She strongly believes that work needs to be done to help address the climate crisis in every sector. For undergrad, she attended Emory University where she received degrees in both Biology and Music Performance. She is interested in pursuing oncology in the future and will be participating in a year-long research fellowship with the NIH this upcoming school year.
Maggie Conrad, Membership
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Margaret’s interest in sustainability is centered on her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. As a student at Tulane University and now Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Margaret has focused her studies on understanding how the climate affects the Louisiana community. At Tulane University, Margaret served as president of the Green Medicine Initiative where she bought in multiple speakers to help educate the undergraduate pre-med population on the interaction of our climate and the medical field. As communications co-chair, Margaret hopes to expand MS4SF’s initiatives to the Southern US. Margaret is in her second year of medical school and plans to incorporate climate action into whatever field she pursues.
Climate-Smart Health Care Co-Chairs
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Genny is a dual MD-MBA student at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine & The Wharton School. She is currently completing her MBA, majoring in Business, Energy, Environment, & Sustainability (“BEES”), between her 3rd and 4th years of medical school. Genny’s passion for the intersection of climate change & health, particularly as it relates to sustainability within the healthcare sector, led her to pursue a sustainability-focused MBA during her medical training. Prior to medical school, she received her BS in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, where she worked with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and completed her senior thesis on the environmental justice implications of fracking wastewater disposal. Genny was on the inaugural board of MS4SF during the start of her medical training, and she is excited to be joining again in a new capacity, focused on the Code Green Podcast within the Climate-Smart Healthcare team.
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Alia is a second year medical student who served on the e-board of GW’s MS4SF. Her primary interests in climate health relate to waste reduction and improving sustainability in health care facilities. She is currently involved in research to reduce the regulated medical waste (RMW) at GW Hospital through staff training. Related projects include contributing to monthly newsletters from UCSF highlighting climate change’s impact on human health, collaborating on developing national medical school modules on the effects of health care on inflammatory dermatologic conditions (Climate Resources for Health Education), and served as a Climate Health Ambassador for Physicians for Social Responsibility. She believes that it is a part of promoting human health for health care facilities to lead by example and operate with sustainability as a core guiding tenant. In addition to supporting projects that build sustainable operations into the healthcare industry, she hopes to make similar opportunities and models for promoting climate-smart healthcare accessible to all interested students.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Emily Yamron is a third year medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a member of the Einstein Sustainability Club executive board. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University where she studied Public Health and Biology. After getting introduced to the relationships between climate and health in a class she took her junior year of college, Emily decided she wanted to make the relationship between climate and health a central part of her medical career. She’s particularly interested in climate and health education and mitigating the negative impacts extreme heat has on heart health. In her free time, she enjoys distance running, kayaking, crosswords, and talking about urban forests. She looks forward to working with the MS4SF team to support development and evaluation of planetary health curricula at all levels of medical education, and supporting health care worker action on climate.
Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University
Kanika is a 3rd year medical student at Brown who is also pursuing a Masters’ in Population Medicine. Prior to medical school, she received her undergraduate degrees in Anthropology, Spanish, and Molecular Biology at UConn, and completed her thesis on the effect of climate change on food and water-borne diseases. At Brown, she worked as part of the Planetary Health Report Card team and helped restructure Brown’s curriculum to increase longitudinal exposure to planetary health education. She was also a TA for a preclinical elective entitled “Global Environmental Change and Emerging Infectious Disease.” She is interested in education, health policy, and environmental justice in her future career. In her free time she enjoys baking, being outside, painting, and eating spicy food. She is excited to work as part of MS4SF to aid in the development of broad planetary health education throughout medical schools nationally and globally.
University of Washington School of Medicine
Kate is currently a third-year medical student at UWSOM. Her interest in climate change and health developed when she was an undergraduate at UW studying Environmental Health. Through courses, internships, and research experiences, she was able to appreciate the immense breadth of climate change impacts on the health sector. In medical school, she became involved in the Planetary Health Report Card and is actively engaged in incorporating climate change into her school’s curriculum. She’s thrilled to join MS4SF and continue advocating for curricular change on a broader scale. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, and getting lost in a good book.
Western University of Health Sciences
Rebecca is an osteopathic medical student at Western University of Health Sciences, located in Southern California. She received her B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley. She then worked as a research technician prior to starting medical school. She is passionate about the production of quality data to use to support policies to decrease exposures that negatively impact health. Aiming to apply her research interest and background to engage fellow students in climate health, she joined MS4SF as the Research Database Sub-Chair last year. She plans to continue this work this year as one of the Research Co-Chairs.
City University of New York School of Medicine
Sehrish is a second year medical student at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Medicine in New York. She is completing a 7-year BS/MD program at the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program and received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science. She is Vice-President of her school’s climate-health chapter, Green for Gaea, and works with the Climate Resource for Health Education (CRHE) to develop climate-health curricula content on a national scale. With the aging population and climate crisis growing alongside each other, Sehrish is passionate about understanding how the climate crisis exacerbates health inequities and worsens health outcomes, especially in vulnerable populations. She also has interests in global health and ethics, and has launched humanitarian fundraising campaigns for global health crises. In her free-time, Sehrish is an avid nature enthusiast, photographer, hiker, and enjoys cross-country road trips to national parks in her RV. She is actively involved in clinical research and received NIA-funded training in aging research. She believes research is a pivotal tool to create productive solutions towards understanding and responding to the growing climate-health crisis.
Donald De Alwis
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Donald is a second year medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in Baltimore, mD> HIs undergraduate training as in Environmental Science and Public Health, and he has a research background in toxicology/environmental health. Donald is passionate about quantifying the health and economic costs of climate change, and prior to his arrival at UMSOM he spent time as a consulting research analyst for the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. He is a founding member of the University of Maryland MS4SF chapter and is excited to help students find research opportunities at the climate-health nexus.
Tufts University School of Medicine
Erin Mooz is a second year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine. Born and raised in Colorado, she grew up playing outdoors and learning about sustainability from a young age. She graduated from Princeton University in 2019 where she interned in the Office of Sustainability EcoRep program. After college, she spent two years as a Business Analyst with McKinsey & Co., primarily focused on the healthcare industry. Now at Tufts, Erin is the professional school student on the University-wide Sustainability Committee and looks forward to leading the Planetary health Report Card effort at Tufts. She’s excited to learn from students across the country in MS4SF about broader sustainability, sustainability in healthcare and how we can improve our institutions as medical students and future physicians.
Keck School of Medicine at USC
Arthur is a second-year medical student at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Molecular & Cell Biology and Public Health, as well as a Master in Public Health. He aspires to become a primary care physician who advocates for health equity both inside and outside the clinic. He aspires to continue his involvement with cancer research and climate activism as he pursues his medical career. In his free time, he loves cycling, tennis, piano and traveling.