Physicians help patients with various health challenges every day. Climate change is a threat to global human health.

From heat and respiratory-related illnesses to natural disasters and extreme weather events, the climate emergency’s impact touches communities everywhere. As members of the healthcare community, what can physicians do to address climate change? What resources are available to physicians who want to enact change in patients’ lives?

Hear from Dr. Courtney Howard, MD’05, Dr. Melissa Lem, and Dr. Andrea MacNeill as they cover all aspects of physicians’ roles in planetary health action – from high level advocacy and sustainable delivery of health services, to social prescribing and educating patients on the therapeutic value of nature. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask their questions at the end of the session.

This free webinar is presented by the UBC Medical Alumni Association.

Event Details

Date: Thursday, March 25, 2021

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm PST


Dr. Courtney Howard, MD’05
Clinical Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Community Research Fellow in Planetary Health, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, York University

Dr. Courtney Howard is an Emergency Physician in Canada’s subarctic, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, a Community Research Fellow in Planetary Health at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, and Past-President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). Dr Howard has researched menstrual cups and wildfires, and led policy work and advocacy regarding ecoanxiety, movement-building, active transport, plant-rich diets, divestment, carbon pricing, coal phase-out, hydraulic fracturing and with regards to Canada’s Oil Sands. She led the 2017-2019 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Briefings for Canadian Policymakers and was the 2018 International Policy Director for the Lancet Countdown. She sits on the boards of the Canadian Medical Association, Health in Harmony, and the Global Climate and Health Alliance, as well as the Steering Committee of the Planetary Health Alliance and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Lancet Planetary Health. As co-chair of the advocacy subcommittee of the WHO-Civil Society Working Group on Climate Change and Health, she helped launch a Healthy Recovery initiative asking G20 leaders to focus on low-carbon investments which gained the support of two-thirds of the world’s healthcare professionals.

Dr. Melissa Lem
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Practice, UBC Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Melissa Lem is a Vancouver family physician who also works in rural and northern communities within Canada. As Director of Park Prescriptions (PaRx) for the BC Parks Foundation, she is a long-time advocate for the health benefits of time spent in nature. President-elect of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, her writing on the environment and human well-being has been widely published by national media including the CBC, Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, Narwhal, National Observer and Alternatives Journal. She was the resident medical expert on CBC TV’s hit lifestyle show Steven and Chris for four seasons and continues to appear on air as a regular contributor to CTV News. Dr. Lem is the recipient of a 2020 Joule Innovation grant from the Canadian Medical Association for her work on PaRx, and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Andrea MacNeill
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, UBC Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Andrea MacNeill is a surgical oncologist at Vancouver General Hospital and BC Cancer, and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia where she specializes in sarcoma and peritoneal malignancies. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Change and Management and is the Principal Investigator of the UBC Planetary Healthcare Lab, a novel interdisciplinary collaboration committed to mitigating the environmental impacts of healthcare delivery. Dr. MacNeil is working with Vancouver Coastal Health on a transformational planetary health strategy to mitigate the healthcare climate footprint while creating health and social value.

Access the Webinar Recording