Grand Rounds: What’s the Connection between Integrative Medicine and Climate Change? A Cross-Disciplinary Exploration

Event Date: July 2nd, 2019

Osher Center

Grand Rounds: What’s the Connection between Integrative Medicine and Climate Change? A Cross-Disciplinary Exploration

We are pleased to be hosting a special installment of our Grand Rounds series, exploring the interface of integrative medicine and climate change.

“If the U.S. health care system were a separate country, its $3.3 trillion GDP would give it the fifth-largest economy in the world. It is also the world’s seventh-largest producer of carbon dioxide, making it a major contributor to air pollution. The environment shapes our health system as well: recent catastrophes have shown how climate change can adversely affect the health care system’s ability to meet patients’ needs. These links suggest that health care organizations have both an opportunity and an obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and take action to prevent harm to patients that occurs during climate-related catastrophes.” To the Point, The Commonwealth Fund

Date/Time: Tuesday, May, 7 | 8-9am (followed by coffee hour)
Venue: Bornstein Family Amphitheater, BWH, 45 Francis St. Boston, MA


Renee N. Salas, MD, MPH, MS is a Clinical Instructor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an emergency medicine physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She received her Doctor of Medicine from the innovative five-year medical school program to train physician-investigators at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. She concurrently obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Research from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Subsequently, she received a Master of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with a concentration in environmental health while completing a Fellowship in Wilderness Medicine at MGH. She now has a sole academic concentration on climate change and health. As a 2018 Burke Fellow, she is addressing the current research gaps in this field. She served as the lead for the 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change U.S. Brief and is a nationally recognized leader on this subject.

Bill Ravanesi MA, MPH, is the senior director of the health care, green building, and energy program of Health Care Without Harm. HCWH is a Massachusetts-founded organization that campaigns for environmentally responsible health care globally, a coalition of 450 health-related organizations from around the world “working to transform the health care sector, without compromising patient safety or care, to be more ecologically sustainable.” Mr Ravanesi has been with HCWH since 1997, and has received numerous awards, including the CleanMed Environmental Health Hero Award in recognition of his role in deepening our understanding of the critical links between health and the environment, and the USEPA’s Environmental Merit Award for outstanding efforts in preserving New England’s environment. Bill has a master’s degree in environmental health from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and produced the national traveling exhibition and monograph Breath Taken: The Landscape & Biography of Asbestos.


Peter M. Wayne, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is the Director of Research for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, and also the Interim Center Director.

The primary focus of Dr. Wayne’s research is evaluating how mind-body and related complementary and alternative medicine practices clinically impact chronic health conditions, and understanding the physiological and psychological mechanisms underlying observed therapeutic effects. He has served as a principal or co-investigator on more than 20 NIH-funded studies. Dr. Wayne’s PhD is in the field of evolutionary biology, and prior to studying medicine, his research focused on understanding the physiology of temperate forest ecosystems and their biological role in climate change.

More details to follow

photo credit: NASA