By Alli Benjamin, College of Nursing
SPOKANE, Wash. – An army of interprofessional healthcare providers could help “green” healthcare and health systems nationwide, a Washington State University professor told the White House Summit on Climate Change and Health last week in Washington, D.C.
Patricia Butterfield was one of three university professors participating in a panel discussion at the summit. She also suggested that agencies like Health Resources and Services Administration could continue supporting research and projects to expand greening healthcare efforts.
Butterfield is a nationally recognized public health nurse with expertise in environmental health interventions and sustainable nursing and healthcare practice.
The three panelists shared their thoughts on why climate change is relevant and important in their fields, the role of climate change training in curriculum, the role of healthcare leadership in addressing climate change, best practices in their field and more.
Butterfield also participated in a follow-up discussion at George Washington University.
About 150 summit participants also heard from Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about the effects of climate change on human health and watched a videotaped presentation from President Obama.
Butterfield served on the panel with the dean of the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Michael Klag, and the dean of the Howard University College of Medicine, Edward Cornwell III. The panel was moderated by the dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, Howard Frumkin.