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The path to climate-smart, net-zero emissions health care: A grand rounds series
Climate, health care and the Race to Zero: A call to action
Presented with the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education, this grand rounds session will highlight how the Global Roadmap for Health Care Decarbonization can help the health care sector meet the goals of the Race to Zero – to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 – and why clinician leadership is critical in meeting this goal.

In this session participants will:

1. Be inspired by a call to action to the health care sector about the imperative to reduce emissions to protect public and planetary health
2. Learn about the high-impact actions necessary to reduce health care emissions
3. Hear from two clinicians on why their institutions joined the Race to Zero

Visionary health systems understand that reducing health care emissions and creating climate resilience are at the core of their mission to improve health. Two such systems are Providence (US) and Aravind Eye Care System (India), who have both signed onto the Race to Zero and committed to reduce emissions across all scopes in line with the Paris Agreement.

In this call to action session, Gary Cohen, president and founder of Health Care Without Harm, will be joined by clinical leaders from Providence and Aravind Eye Care System, who will share why their institutions are taking action to achieve net-zero emissions, along with the role of clinicians in meeting this goal.

In addition, Dr. Schenk will discuss Providence’s bold commitment to become carbon negative by 2030 using their WE ACT framework. Dr. Venkatesh will share how Aravind Eye System is challenging conventions about surgery and showing the world that surgery’s environmental footprint can be decreased through efficiency and decreasing waste without compromising quality.

Jan 27, 2022 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Gary Cohen
President and founder @Health Care Without Harm
Gary Cohen has been a pioneer in the environmental health movement for more than 35 years. He has helped build coalitions and networks globally to address health impacts related to climate change and toxic chemical exposure. Cohen is co-founder and president of Health Care Without Harm, created in 1996 to help transform the health care sector to be environmentally sustainable and support the health and climate resilience of the communities they serve. Since its inception, the nonprofit has grown to lead and partner in groundbreaking initiatives in more than 72 countries. Cohen was awarded the Champion of Change Award for Climate Change and Public Health by the White House in 2013. In 2015, Cohen received a MacArthur Fellowship and a “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. For more about Cohen and his work, view the MacArthur Award video.
Beth Schenk, PhD, RN, FAAN
Executive director of environmental stewardship @Providence, assistant research professor at Washington State University College
Dr. Schenk has spent more than two decades working to decrease the environmental impacts of healthcare. Her research focus is on environmental stewardship in nursing and healthcare, including NEAT, Co-PI of CHANT (Climate and Health Tool), author of the WE ACT Framework, and co-author of the concept of Nurse-Sensitive Environmental Indicators. Dr. Schenk is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and serves on the Academy’s Expert Panel of Environmental and Public Health. She was given the Charlotte Brody Award for environmental contributions, and honored as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Montana.
Rengaraj Venkatesh D.O., D.N.B
Chief Medical Officer @Aravind Eye Hospital
Dr. Venkatesh plays an active role in low carbon eye care at Aravind Eye Care Institute. He is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Climate Action Working Group. He has published several articles related to eye care and environmental sustainability and presented grand rounds about the Aravind model of environmental sustainability. Dr. Venkatesh’s video on High-Volume, High-Quality, Cost-Effective Cataract Surgery for the Developing World: Sutureless ECCE bagged the Best of Show Award in the AAO, 2004 at New Orleans. He has also been awarded the ASCRS Research Grant in the year 2006. Twelve of his presentations have won awards at prestigious forums, including the conference of American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS).