Earlier in the week I blogged from CleanMed on the pleasure of being among hundreds of other people working towards sustainability in healthcare.
Now, with a bumpy plane ride and a couple of time zones to reflect (Denver, I love ya, but your mountain winds sure can make my head hurt), here are the moments that resonated.
It’s Dr. Ted Schettler speaking about his work on pollution and health, and the database that summarizes links between chemical contaminants and approximately 180 human diseases or conditions.
It’s Dr. Richard Jackson, formerly at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and current professor at UCLA, showing that many of the diseases putting strain on our healthcare system – diabetes, obesity, childhood asthma – are linked to the way we build, live-in and treat our environment…all detailed in the Designing Healthy Communities series on PBS.
It’s the physician who reminded us that 96% of scientists working on climate research agree that human activity is causing climate change…and pointed out that if 96% of pediatricians told us our child was sick, there wouldn’t be a “debate”, there would be action.
It’s the other physician on the same panel who drew the link between climate change and how it’s affecting the way we need to build and operate our hospitals and the care we provide within them…and the free book published by the Catholic Health Association of the United States that details all.
And it’s Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, CEO of Gundersen Lutheran Health System, who drew the link between someone turning on a light in one of the hospitals he oversees and the health of children worldwide…and how that realization has motivated him towards sustainability and millions of dollars in cost savings. He also spoke of an initiative that involved renewable energy, saving money and a brewery…sounds like the perfect job to me!
And it’s the speaker who said that to do nothing is to accept., and to accept something is to support it…which is why, as lonely as greening healthcare can be sometimes, it’s easy being green.
It really is.