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LETTER: To fellow healthcare professionals

From reader Judith Fearing

Dear friends and colleagues in healthcare:

Firstly, thank you for all you are doing during this pandemic. As a nurse, I can appreciate the increased workload and stress you are experiencing and value immensely your commitment to keeping the health care system working during this challenging time.

I’m writing now, during COVID, because scientists are reminding us that we face an even larger crisis, that of climate change. The World Health Organization stated that climate change is the greatest threat to global health. With that in mind, it made me wonder “What can or should we be doing as healthcare providers?” Whether we like it or not, we will be on the frontlines dealing with the health effects of climate change. It’s time to integrate climate action into our practices and use our influence to change policy.

Scientists say we have 10 years to turn this around. For me, the way to counter despair and overwhelm around the immensity of the problem is to get involved. I’ve found that integrating purposeful work on climate change into my daily life makes me hopeful. It helps me to know that I am doing something for my patients, my children and grandchildren. It’s inspired me to mobilize a network of healthcare professionals in the Kootenays who are interested in climate action.

You can have a tremendous impact, from educating your patients to influencing policy makers. We are the most trusted professionals by the public. What we do and say is hugely influential. If you are interested, I’m confident you can find a way to get involved. By working together, we can help shoulder this responsibility for taking action for a healthy future. Please join us in creating a network of healthcare professionals for a healthy climate. For more information contact: judith.fearing@gmail.com.

Judith Fearing, RN

West Kootenay Healthcare Professionals for a Healthy Climate

Nelson

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