SCCMA and MCMS Going Green
This section of our website has resources for physicians, office managers and hospital management to help you GO GREEN! We hope this is useful to you and your patients to enable you to understand the issues and take steps toward a cleaner and healthier future.
SCCMA has given support to an active Environmental Health Committee for over 40 years in addition to supporting public and environmental health resolutions through the annual California Medical Association House of Delegates where policy is made. You are welcome to join and add your ideas and energy.
"Vision without action is dreaming, action without vision is random activity, vision and action together can change the world", Joel Barker, futurist.
Public Health/Environmental Health: A physicians role
Cindy Russell, M.D. VP Community Health
Physicians have a unique obligation to understand and educate their patients about environmental exposures that may be harmful to their health. This is especially so today as we have an exponentially growing body of evidence connecting diet, climate change and a variety of global toxins in the environment to our modern illnesses such as obesity, infectious disease spread, cancer, asthma, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, endocrine and reproductive problems. This research inspires us to learn more and do more. Historically doctors have looked to public health experts who research topics of concern. It is no different today. Our focus on environmental health mirrors that of modern public health researchers.
In the earliest days of public health before 1914 efforts were focused on food and water sanitation, housing conditions and sewage control. From 1915 to 1950 the topics shifted to heavy metals, radiation and smoking. Air pollution and emission control helped to obtain new vehicle standards from 1951 to 1995 which were unfortunately short lived as more vehicles were added to the road. Today public health experts have a growing array of new challenges. Global toxic pollution, consumerism, ozone layer, resistant infectious diseases, genetically modified foods, wastewater pollution, nanoparticle pollution and now electromagnetic radiation from wireless and cell phones. These of course are related to the increasing overarching threat of global warming. Cities are now preparing for raising sea levels and more drought instead of denying climate change.
It may seem daunting but there is also great opportunity for change to a sustainable way of living; understanding we have limited resources and the earth has a limited ability to clean up our act. We need to continue to partner with our public health officials and act responsibly as well to assure a healthier future for our patients, our children and our grandchildren. Individual and global action matters. We invite you to read, research and become involved in this effort with the SCCMA/MCMS for your benefit.