Climate change is not just an environmental concern but an imminent threat to individual and population health and a major challenge to health equity. Moreover, the health sector significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Recognizing their roles as healthcare providers and contributors to the climate crisis, clinicians and health professionals have a moral obligation to emphasize the profound significance of climate impacts on human health and equity at the national level. This lecture provides an overview of efforts – from the US National Academy of Medicine and others – which address the intersection of climate change and health, with an aim to raise awareness about the immediate threats to patient health and build a proactive path forward for the health sector.

This webinar is co-hosted by the Center for the Environment and Health at Massachusetts General Hospital and the MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health.

Featured Speaker

Victor J. Dzau, MD
President, National Academy of Medicine

Victor J. Dzau is President of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and Vice Chair of the National Research Council. He is recognized globally for a long and highly decorated career as a physician scientist, administrator, and leader. Dzau is known for his seminal work on the renin–angiotensin system and pioneering research in gene therapy for vascular disease.

Dzau was a medical resident and chief resident at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and then a cardiology fellow at Mass General. In 1990, he became Chief of Cardiology and later Chair of Medicine at Stanford. In 1996, he returned to BWH as Hersey Professor and Chair of Medicine. During his term, he founded the Divisions of Global Health Equity and Women’s Health, among others.

Dzau served at Duke University from 2004-2014 as Chancellor and CEO of Duke Health System, and then became the President of NAM, where he leads a strategy of innovation and equity. Under his tenure, the NAM has launched important initiatives including the Global Health Risk Framework, the Human Genome Editing Initiative, and the NAM Grand Challenge in Climate Change and Health, which is aimed at reversing the effects of climate on health by mobilizing the biomedical community to drive changes. Among his many honors are the Gustav Nylin Medal from Swedish Royal College of Medicine, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and Henry Freisen International Prize. Dzau has received 19 honorary doctorates.

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