Presentation: #GreenHC – Environmental Stewardship in Health Care

Walking the walk, not through an airport (View on

Thanks to Howard Chiou (@medxanthro) at Emory University, I had the awesome opportunity to talk about Kaiser Permanente’s environmental stewardship work ( everything you need to know is here: ) at the Rollins School of Public Health (See: First, Do Earth No Harm).

Also thanks to Howard Chiou and his information technology partners, I had the awesome opportunity to give the talk after walking to work rather than walking onto a jet plane.

The Rollins School has a good setup, and it went really smoothly. I was excited to learn from the other presenters (see Facebook link above for more info) that ours is not the only health system with experts interested in environmental stewardship – and that includes physician and nursing leaders. I was excited overall to learn that curricula are developing in medical and nursing schools around environmental stewardship. As I mention in the slides below,

Not here to hug trees, here to hug these (View on

  • our patients see the waste in health care and want to know that we are not harming the world around them while we are healing them (quoting that @Jess_jacobs again!)
  • environmental stewardship is not cost saving in the long run – it is cost saving in the short run AND the long run – exploding one of the biggest myths (see this report for more info)
  • There’s a way to do this work with help – Healthier Hospitals Initiative. It’s all laid out in easy to accomplish steps.
  • we’re not here to hug trees, we’re here to hug these, and that’s why we’re doing this work

Did I say thanks to Howard yet for putting all of this together? I think I did but I’ll say it again – a thoughtful and dedicated (in this case, MD/PhD, but it could be nursing, pharmacy, college, high school) student can have a lot of impact, all it takes are a few tweets to people who are curious and some determination – no need to wait for graduation :).

Ted Eytan, MD