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Lunch & Learn: Healthy Planet, Healthy People — Climate and Ecological Action for Health Care Workers

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Early this year, news outlets announced that the world experienced a full year with an average temperature increase above 1.5 degrees, a scientifically significant number indicating warnings of ecosystem disruptions and implications to human health and wellbeing. Although there are numerous global commitments to stave off this increase, there is a clear need for more systemic interventions. This panel will discuss impactful policies, research and engagement campaigns from leading associations such as the Canadian Nurses for the Environment, Canadian Physicians for the Environment, Canadian Medical Association and Doctors for Planetary Health that support an equitable and sustainable future for all. Moderated by Dr. Ingrid Tyler, Chief Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health, panelists will also speak to opportunities for health care workers to learn and get involved from wherever you may be on this learning journey.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess the current state of our planet and the impacts on the wider determinants of health.
  • Describe examples of the transformations required in society to address the climate and ecological crisis.
  • Identify opportunities for health care workers to learn more and get involved to support an equitable and sustainable future for all



About the Panelists:

Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment
Agnes Black, RN MPH
Aggie is the Director, Research and Knowledge Translation at Providence Health Care in Vancouver. She supports clinicians in research and knowledge translation projects, and incorporates planetary health into her initiatives. Aggie is a facilitator of the Providence Health Care Environmental Stewardship Team, and serves on the national board of CANE, the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment. Aggie completed her BSN at the University of Washington, Seattle, and her Master of Public Health at Simon Fraser University. She is an adjunct professor at the UBC School of Nursing and Research Associate, Centre for Advancing Health Outcomes.


Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
Melissa Lem, MD

Dr. Melissa Lem is a Vancouver family physician who also works in rural and remote communities across Canada. President-elect of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, and Director of Parks Prescriptions for the BC Parks Foundation, she is a passionate advocate for the health benefits of time spent in nature. A senior writer for the CBC, she was the resident medical expert on CBC-TV’s hit lifestyle show Steven and Chris for four seasons and continues to educate diverse audiences on air. Her work has also been published by the Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, The Narwhal and National Observer. She was the inaugural winner of University College’s Young Alumni of Influence Award at the University of Toronto, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.


Canadian Medical Association
Kathleen Ross, MD MSc MCFP

Kathleen is a family physician in Coquitlam and New Westminster, BC, and is a recognized expert in physician leadership and quality improvement. She has held numerous leadership roles throughout her career, including president of Doctors of BC, and is committed to fostering inclusive, diverse and anti-racist practices in health care. With an interest in advancing technology in front-line clinical care, she served as physician lead and chair of the Pathways Patient Referral Association, an indispensable online clinical and referral tool for physicians in BC and the Yukon. She is an avid volunteer in her community and internationally and has received several awards for her global humanitarian work.


Doctors for Planetary Health — West Coast
Linda Thyer, MD

Linda is a family physician and mom to 3 youth on Coast Salish territories. She is an active member of several medical and community organizations working to improve our living home, including Doctors for Planetary Health – West Coast. She is grateful for the many revitalizing and healing gifts of Mother Earth and works toward restoring health and peace for all.


About the Panel Facilitator:

Dr. Ingrid Tyler
Ingrid is the Chief Medical Health Officer (CMHO) and the Vice President of Population Health at Fraser Health Authority. This portfolio includes infection prevention and control; toxic drug response and priority populations; emergency preparedness and management; planetary health; equity, diversity and inclusion; and population and public health. Dr. Tyler has been an integral member of the Fraser Health family since 2016, initially joining as a Medical Health Officer.