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 and a grant to support a project that aligns with the goals of the Physician Network. This year, the award is offered in collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Join us in celebrating this year’s Emerging Physician Leader awardees chosen from a large, exceptionally strong, and talented applicant pool.
Tina Bharani, M.D., a general surgery resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, was selected for her varied academic interests including surgical nutrition, climate-friendly diets in health care, value-based health care, and sustainable health care, especially minimizing surgical waste. For her project, she will identify unused instruments in surgical trays and evaluate inter-surgeon variability related to surgical instruments for three commonly performed laparoscopic abdominal procedures: cholecystectomy, hernia repair, and sleeve gastrectomy.
“I am deeply honored to receive the award because this opportunity will help me build lasting connections with leaders in the field whose wisdom and guidance will be instrumental in my future efforts. I am most excited to attend CleanMed because I will get to learn about the challenges that leaders in the field have faced in promoting environmental sustainability in medicine first-hand. This will provide me with invaluable lessons to tackle the challenges that I will face in my journey.”
— Tina Bharani, M.D.
Taylor Diedrich, a medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine, was selected for her leadership role as the co-director of the Planetary Health Report Card, efforts to integrate planetary health education into the medical school curriculum, and interests in climate-smart health care and low-emissions inhalers. For her project, she will implement climate-smart inhaler practices at a pediatric clinic.
“It is such an honor to receive this award. As a future physician, I believe it is essential for the health care sector to create a healthier world for patients by adopting climate-smart practices. I am grateful to Health Care Without Harm for supporting my project, and I look forward to connecting with professionals in sustainable health care at CleanMed.”
— Taylor Diedrich
Gwyneth Sullivan, M.D., M.S., is a resident physician at the Rush University Medical Center Department of Surgery. She was selected for her passion for reducing the environmental impact of pediatric surgery, track record of leading successful sustainability initiatives in the OR, climate-smart surgery research experience, and the sustainability-related work she has done with surgical professional societies and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For her project, she will conduct a life-cycle assessment of laparoscopic methods for appendectomy with Blair and Georgia Sadler Fellowship recipient Hayley Petit.
“Receiving this award is an absolute honor, and I am looking forward to connecting with other leaders in sustainable health care at CleanMed this year. The operating room is a major source of both waste and greenhouse gas emissions with many opportunities for improvement. I plan to focus my career on reducing the environmental impact of surgery, and the support from Health Care Without Harm is instrumental as I work toward this goal.”
— Gwyneth Sullivan, M.D., M.S.
Emily Yamron is a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She was selected for her interest in the link between extreme heat and cardiac disease and leadership as a medical student, including her roles on the executive board of the Einstein Sustainability Club and as curriculum co-chair of Medical Students for a Sustainable Future, and for her recognition that creating resilience to extreme heat is a climate justice issue.
For her project, she will create educational resources about the intersection between heat, health, and health care with a goal of mitigating health disparities and creating climate resilience among vulnerable groups in the Bronx community who face a disproportionate burden of disease due to extreme heat events.
“I’m honored and humbled to be receiving this award in order to undertake a project that will help practitioners, community organizations, and individuals protect themselves and their communities from the harms of extreme heat. I’m thrilled to be able to meet sustainable health care leaders at CleanMed and am excited to see how our collective efforts can improve the impact the health care sector has on climate change mitigation, resilience, and leadership.”
— Emily Yamron
Introducing our 2023 Blair and Georgia Sadler Fellows
The Blair and Georgia Sadler Fellowship, established in 2022, provides an opportunity for a cohort of early-career clinicians to work together on equitable, climate-smart health care in their hospitals and communities with the support of subject matter experts and Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth partner health systems. Each year, fellows receive a scholarship to attend CleanMed and a $1,000 grant to complete a project that aims to demonstrate scalable solutions.
Join us in celebrating this year’s Blair and Georgia Sadler Fellowship awardees chosen from a large, exceptionally strong, and talented applicant pool.
Divyansh Agarwal, M.D., Ph.D., is a general surgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and a postdoctoral affiliate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was selected for his academic interests in reducing the environmental impact of surgical care, and in addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and its intersection with climate and health care.
For his project, he will lead an initiative to replace single-use disposable scrub caps with reusable cloth caps embroidered with surgical staff members’ names, credentials, and roles, with a goal to reduce waste and emissions, and to reduce misidentification of health professionals, usually women and people of color due to systemic biases.
“I am thrilled to connect with like-minded peers as well as mentors, who can advise me as I seek to merge sustainability efforts in my future career as a surgeon-scientist. Integration of climate and planetary health in the decisions we make in the operating room remains poorly studied and often neglected. I look forward most to bringing first-hand knowledge back with me that can help me address this gap during my residency training and beyond.”
— Divyansh Agarwal, M.D., Ph.D.
Channing Hou, a medical student at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, was selected for his passion for creating a more equitable and sustainable health care sector and commitment to advocating for systemic changes to create health resilience in disadvantaged communities, including the community surrounding his medical school, which is disproportionately impacted by I climate and toxic exposures.
For his project, he will calculate cost, waste, and emissions reductions from optimizing cataract surgical trays by reducing unused instruments from the trays.
“I am incredibly honored to receive this award and to join a community of dedicated changemakers at CleanMed. My passion for the intersection between the climate crisis and health began as an undergraduate studying environmental science and health, and has continued as a medical student. I am eager to contribute and learn from this collaboration of sustainability and medical professionals to advance climate efforts in our health systems.”
— Channing Hou
Dalia Larios, M.D., a radiation oncology resident at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program and DACA recipient, was selected for her commitment to addressing educational and health inequities, along with her interests in policy, advocacy, and climate-smart research, all grounded in her passion to protect the health of patients, communities, and our planet for future generations.
For her project, she will conduct a life-cycle assessment comparing environmental footprints of conventional versus hypofractionated radiation therapy regimens having clinical equivalency in early-stage breast and prostate cancers.
“I am incredibly humbled and honored to receive this award and fellowship opportunity. It is very exciting to have the support of Health Care Without Harm in advancing climate health, sustainability, and equity efforts in oncology. Although challenging, this is incredibly important work that stands to benefit our patients and systems across the cancer care continuum. I look forward to attending CleanMed, forging new collaborations, and learning from colleagues and mentors in this space.”
— Dalia Larios, M.D.
Hayley Petit, a medical student at Rush Medical College, was selected for her research interest in reducing the environmental impact of surgery through quality improvement initiatives and commitment to advocate for sustainable surgery to protect health and vulnerable local and global communities.
For her project, she will conduct a life-cycle assessment of laparoscopic methods for appendectomy with Emerging Physician Leader recipient Dr. Gwyneth Sullivan.
“I am incredibly honored to receive this award. As a medical trainee, I was shocked to see how much waste was generated by surgical cases, and I am fortunate that Health Care Without Harm has given me the tools to create change. Our surgical centers hold a responsibility to protect not only their patients, but disadvantaged communities who are impacted the most by climate change. I look forward to learning about how I can successfully implement my current and future projects to reduce operating room waste through the connections I make at CleanMed.”
— Hayley Petit