A public talk about how climate change can impact people’s health and well-being is taking place in Penticton on Nov. 1.
Dr. Courtney Howard, an emergency physician in Yellowknife and president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, will speak on, “Climate change and your health and well-being”, this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Cleland Theatre.
“For too long we’ve put health and the environment in different boxes. The work of our generation is to bridge the two, to understand that in fact, they belong in the same box—that planetary health defines human health—and that as we improve one, we will improve the other as well,” Howard said in a media release.
According to the media release, Dr. Howard has been motivated by her work with Doctors Without Borders and by her study of climate-related health impacts on her northern patient population. Howard researched the respiratory and wellness impacts of Yellowknife’s extreme wildfire season of 2014. She has been involved in policy and advocacy work looking at the health impacts of different fossil fuels and seeking to integrate health impact assessments into environmental assessments.
Howard sits on the board of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and led the successful campaign to have the CMA divest its investments in fossil fuels and for MD-Financial to create fossil-fuel-free funds for Canadian physicians to invest in.
The mission of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) is to better understand how the environment affects human health, to educate physicians and health professionals, the public, and policy-makers about environmental health issues. As President of the CAPE board, Howard is involved in assisting medical learners in Canada and internationally to see climate change and health included in medical curricula.
The talk is organized by First Things First Okanagan and is the second annual Ritchie Lecture, named after the society’s founder, Fred Ritchie of Naramata.
The talk will be followed by questions and discussion. Admission is by donation of $10.