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Fellowship helps doctors and nurses take action on climate change » Yale Climate Connections


Doctors and nurses are increasingly worried about how climate change is harming people’s health. And some are learning how to translate that concern about their patients into community advocacy.

Basu: “Our approach in this fellowship is really to help people find their voice, find their community, and help them realize that they can be very impactful in making change.”

Dr. Gaurab Basu helps lead the Climate Health Organizing Fellowship, a program run by Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance.

The program teaches doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals, skills in community organizing and communication, which they then apply to a project.

One group of fellows got their hospital in Pittsburgh to commit to cutting its carbon pollution in half. Another group in Illinois planted trees to help reduce urban heat.

Basu says that health professionals are trusted voices on climate change.

Basu: “You’re kind of an ambassador of this work, to explain how climate change impacts the health of the people you love.”

And as a doctor, he feels responsible for protecting his patients both in and outside the clinic.

Basu: “We really want health professionals to understand the power they have as effective agents of change.”

Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman / ChavoBart Digital Media


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