Student-Led Initiatives to greening healthcare
A section to shine a light on ongoing Canadian-wide student-led groups involved in greening our healthcare system!
Project Green Healthcare/Projet Vert la Santé (PGH) is the first-of-its-kind national community of practice of medical students leading quality improvement projects to advance ecologically-sustainable healthcare across Canada. PGH is administered by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students – Health and Environment Adaptive Response Taskforce (CFMS HEART) and funded by a CFMS Strategic Innovation Fund operating grant that equips student teams with up to $2000 of financial support and partners them with mentors from the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) and the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care (CCGHC). Teams are also informed of the best practices in sustainable healthcare quality improvement through an open-access ‘Primer on Greening Healthcare for Healthcare Students’. The current program includes nine teams of over 50 medical students distributed over seven Canadian medical schools working with interdisciplinary champions to effect change at their local healthcare institutions in five Canadian provinces. The PGH program aims to empower medical student-driven local innovation to permit timely wins in green healthcare delivery, and to inform the rapid scale-up of effective local quality improvement project designs on a national scale. For more information about our program and cohort teams, please see their website.
McMaster University Greener Gases Project
The Project Green Healthcare team at McMaster is excited to present the Greener Gases Project. We are working together with pharmacists, respiratory therapists, hospital administrators, and the McMaster Anesthesia Department in order to reduce the environmental impact of anesthetic gases. Our ‘intervention’ includes installing evidence-based labels on every anesthesia machine in every operating room of the Hamilton Health Sciences, to remind clinicians about the environmental impact of volatile anesthetics at the point-of-care, in addition to engaging the staff and residents with Grand Rounds presentations, training modules, email newsletters, and a sustainability committee. We will monitor the results of our intervention over the next couple of years by looking at quantitative changes in purchasing data, as well as qualitative changes in the attitudes and awareness toward environmental stewardship among the residents and staff. Our overarching goal is to support decision-making with evidence so that clinicians will consider both the clinical and environmental factors when planning an anesthetic, ultimately helping to create a lasting, cultural change from within the department. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Dalhousie Medicine Green Team
The Dalhousie Medicine Green Team was created with the intention of promoting green health care initiatives throughout the Maritime provinces. We are grateful to have received funding from the CFMS “Project Green Healthcare”, in support of our goal to establish a formal green team connecting Maritime hospitals. Green teams are interprofessional groups of healthcare practitioners and hospital administrators who work together to inspire and initiate sustainability projects within local/regional healthcare systems. Our team members are located in both NS and NB at Dalhousie Medicine’s two campuses. It is our goal that this green team will serve as a point of contact for students and other stakeholders who are eager to get involved with healthcare sustainability projects. Through interprofessional collaboration we hope to inspire change at all levels of health care both locally and regionally. Currently we are working on a medical school curriculum refresh, leading an interprofessional education mini course on healthcare and sustainability, and are finding solutions for PPE recycling on campus. If you would be interested in discussing ongoing projects, have suggestions for green healthcare changes, or would like to get involved in our advocacy or research efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Toronto Choosing Wisely
We are the “Choosing Wisely” team at UofT. Research by Choosing Wisely Canada has shown that up to 30% of all tests, treatments and procedures in Canada are unnecessary. Every unnecessary test or procedure consumes a number of resources including energy, plastic material, and chemicals, resulting in more environmental waste. We are aiming to support a more sustainable healthcare system by improving physicians’ understanding of Choosing Wisely with regards specifically to its impact on the environment. To do so we are creating a virtual educational modules that will promote education on Choosing Wisely through an environmental lens. Please reach out if you are interested in learning more about our work or participating. Our contact information is email@example.com.
University of Calgary x McGill University
Enhancing planetary health and green healthcare undergraduate medical education through the Climate Wise Slides. Climate Wise Slides website provides evidence-based educational material in a systems-based organization, allowing individual students to engage with planetary health teaching in topics of their interest, and for medical schools to utilize our material for longitudinal curriculum implementation.
Promoting active transportation to and from hospitals in Kingston, ON. More information to come!
University of Toronto Trainee Environmental Education Program
Our team is working with the Unity Health Toronto Green Team to develop a “point of disposal” education system of clearly labelled waste streams with instructional posters and an online repository that can be readily adapted to different hospital waste sorting systems. We are also working on incorporating a sustainability best practices checklist into the clerkship manual for UofT students, as well as on-site waste disposal training during scrub sessions. At the national level, we are developing a one-page guide summarizing actionable steps that clerkship students across Canada can take to promote sustainability in clinical practice. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.