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Podcast: Addressing climate change’s impacts on health


Colin Cave, MD, examines climate change as a public health crisis


In this special edition of the Permanente Medicine Podcast, host Chris Grant shares an American Medical Association interview with Permanente physician leader Colin Cave, MD. Speaking with AMA Chief Experience Officer Todd Unger, Dr. Cave discusses what the medical community is doing to treat climate change as a public health crisis.

Dr. Cave, a general otolaryngologist and medical director of External Affairs, Government Relations, and Community Health at Northwest Permanente, speaks on the responsibility physicians have in addressing the impact of climate change on public health. He also talks about how telehealth helps reduce health care’s carbon footprint and why health equity is a key component of the climate change conversation.

“Physicians are going to have to lead because we’re the ones that are in charge of the health care system and we’re the ones that can actually help bring down these emissions.”

— Colin Cave, MD, Northwest Permanente

Note: You can read a full transcript of the interview with Dr. Cave on the AMA website.

Related story: “Colin Cave, MD, discusses Northwest Permanente’s leadership in becoming a sustainable health care company”

In this episode

1:46 Effects of climate change in Oregon

3:40 Why climate change is a public health crisis

6:03 Professional responsibility of physicians to address climate change’s effects on human health

8:34 Physicians can be climate educators

10:00 Northwest Permanente: first physician-led medical group in the world to become a certified B Corp

11:36 What are the benefits of becoming a certified B Corp?

13:24 Advice for other health systems looking to do the same

15:18 How telehealth helps reduce health care’s carbon footprint

19:31 Why health equity is such an important part of the climate change conversation

21:05 What are Northwest Permanente’s plans for the future?

On Twitter, connect with Chris Grant at @cmgrant.

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