I’m expanding my repertoire a bit by representing Kaiser Permanente at Global Climate Change & Health , a free conference convened by American College of Preventive Medicine as part of their annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, on February 22, 2012.
The conference will enable preventive medicine physicians and other healthcare providers to come together to hear about the issues facing local and national leaders and to make a commitment to mobilize and actively participate in advocacy efforts targeting global climate change in their communities. This conference will include interactive working group sessions to develop communication messages and concrete plans for each participant to take back to their own community and work setting. The conference is free but you must register. See below for details.*
Featured speakers include:
· Cindy Parker, MD, MPH, ACPM Environmental Health Committee Chair and Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Environment, Energy, Sustainability, and Health Institute;
· George Luber, MA, PhD, Associate Director for Climate Change of the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention;
· Edward Maibach, MPH, PhD, Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication Distinguished University Professor, Department of Communication George Mason University; and
· A panel of experts to discuss greening your practice, tools and resources, and science-based advocacy
I am not in the class of experts featured above; instead, I am coming to discuss the Kaiser Permanente experience and commitment to make the “link between the health of our members, our community and our planet.”
It’s a pretty big (dare I say huge) commitment to the environment (that you can read about on the History of Total Health blog) that I first learned about during my work to understand the future of technology in integrated care when I first came to KP. The idea of a health care system being as responsive to the environment around it as it is to the patients and families it cares for was not taught to me in medical school, residency, and not integrated into my practice before I came to work here. I was immediately drawn to it.
It turns out that the green movement in health care has a lot of similarities to the patient empowerment movement from my review of things. If we disrespect our patients, their diversity, or the environment around them, we waste their time, our time, their lives, our lives. I *almost* chose preventive medicine as my medical specialty, but decided to train in family medicine instead, because of my interest in making things easier for people earlier rather than later in their health journey. It’s all related…
So here I am, taking this as a great opportunity to continue my learning, and learning a lot about what an individual health professional and a health system can do to make a difference. My short presentation will lead into great resource developed by Todd Sack, MD for the Florida Medical Association called My Green Doctor. I really like it because it breaks down all the things a system can do to make a difference into the things a medical practice can do, and it all adds up. This is what I hope to show.
How you can help me
I am a fan of crowdsourcing presentations before I give them, especially for new content, and would love ideas on what’s most important to share.
You can take a look at the Green Resource Center at the Kaiser Permanente web site and My Green Doctor at the Florida Medical Association web site. Feel free to let me know what jumps out at you for the medical practice and patients who are wondering the “why?” and “how” of delivering care that’s healthy for people, healthy for communities.
This can be everything from the impact of electronic health records on the environment (KP published a study on this), to the challenges you see in medical practice to being green, or your reflections as a patient about a practice that works at being green. Just post in the comments.
And if you’re in Orlando, stop in, you can register at http://www.acpm.org/?ClimateChangeConf