Celebrating the 2021 Emerging Physician Leader Award recipients

The Emerging Physician Leader Award, established by the Health Care Without Harm Physician Network in 2018, recognizes medical students, residents, and fellows who have demonstrated a passion for sustainable health care or a commitment to climate and health leadership. Awardees receive complimentary registration to CleanMed Connect and a grant to support a project that aligns with the goals of the Physician Network. 

Join us in celebrating this year’s four awardees chosen out of a large, exceptionally strong, and talented applicant pool: Raj Fadadu, Dr. Ryan Hall, Casey Patnode, and Miranda Ricart.  

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wear down health professionals, our patients, and communities, I have been trying to focus on what gives me hope for a healthier future,” says Amy Collins, M.D., senior clinical advisor for Health Care Without Harm. “Nothing inspires me more or gives me more hope for a brighter future than the work that the next generation of health professionals are doing to address the climate crisis and promote climate-smart health care on top of their training.” 

Raj Fadadu
Raj Fadadu, MS, is an M.D. candidate at UCSF School of Medicine who was chosen for his commitment to climate justice and the many ways he has demonstrated climate leadership as a student through education, research, and advocacy. For his project, he will create a variety of evidence-based patient educational materials about the health impacts of wildfires for use online and in clinical settings throughout the country. 

“I am committed to ensuring that all stakeholders in the health care sector, from practitioners to patients to administrators, understand the dynamic intersection between the climate crisis and human health. In collaboration, we can develop solutions that improve systems and processes to promote public health and climate justice, which are topics I am excited to learn more about at the interdisciplinary CleanMed conference. For my project, I will integrate my leadership experiences with environmental health research, community activism, and education to create patient-oriented educational materials on the health effects of wildfires.”

Ryan HallRyan Hall, M.D., is a surgical resident at Tufts Medical Center who was selected for his potential to become a climate-smart surgeon leader and researcher, along with his commitment to reducing OR-associated emissions at his facility. For his project, he will be performing a comprehensive OR climate footprint assessment intending to ultimately implement strategies to reduce the impact of the operating rooms at Tufts. 

"I am honored and humbled to receive the support of the Health Care Without Harm and to have the opportunity to participate in this year's CleanMed conference. As a surgical resident, I play an important role in the delivery of quality health care. However, we cannot accept that this be to the detriment of our planetary well-being. Cultural shifts do not come easily, and I look forward to working with this thoughtful and dedicated community to improve the environmental stewardship of our surgical activities.”

Casey PatnodeCasey Patnode is a M.D./MPH candidate at the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health, chosen for his interests in environmental justice, protecting the health of underserved patients, and sustainable health care. For his project, he plans to improve the care of emergency department patients at high risk of heat-related illness through patient and staff education and the development of an electronic medical record screening tool to identify patients at high risk of heat-related illness. 

“I am incredibly honored to be selected for the Emerging Physician Leader Award. Climate change is the greatest public health threat of the 21st century, disproportionately affecting vulnerable and underserved populations, and it requires deep engagement from the healthcare field. It is truly an honor to be granted the opportunity to learn from my colleagues and mentors through CleanMed, and to combat an aspect of this crisis through my project."

Miranda RicartMiranda Ricart is an M.D. candidate at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine who was selected for her commitment to protecting the health of vulnerable Florida residents and the ways she is helping to integrate education about the health impacts of climate change both inside and outside of the classroom. For her project, she will provide screen door patches and repair kits for low-income communities in Florida at risk of vector-borne illness, along with patient education materials about the health impacts of climate change on Floridians. 

"I am so appreciative of Health Care Without Harm for their financial and professional support of student doctors like myself. My project to educate and protect South Florida residents from vector-borne diseases through the use of screen door patches would not have been possible without their funding. I am so excited to complete this project and learn about more ways to protect my community by attending CleanMed.”