International group working on Sustainable Healthcare Education

Following a workshop at AMEE 2016, medical educators and students from around the world have been working together to develop approaches to developing and delivering Sustainable Healthcare Education (SHE).

The group includes representatives from Denmark, Brazil, South Africa, Canada and USA. So far, we have:

- worked to further explore the relevance of the SHE core learning objectives (developed in UK consultation by the SHE network) internationally, drawing on outcomes from the workshop, which included international participants

- discussed best practice for SHE, and how this may vary between different countries

- discussed approaches to assessment for SHE

We are hoping to continue the collaboration to further our practice locally and to disseminate our findings through academic outputs such as conference presentations and papers.

If you'd like to find out more, you could join our email group - contact Email and let us know who you are and how you might like to be involved!

SKYPE CALL 9pm GMT on 28th February - ten people were on the call. We discussed:

- Discussion of potential submission of abstract / workshop proposal about how to assess environmental sustainability for Ottawa conference.

- E-collaboration for environmental sustainability - how are we doing? how could we improve our communication (internally and with other educators, students, )?

- Implementation locally - how are we applying our learning and the educational objectives and approaches in our local settings? how do we best support each other to do this? (including continuing the discussion about writing up 'best practice' case studies)

- The idea of carrying out a survey of medical students' opinions and desires regarding SHE (also could explore what's already being taught)

- Publications in progress

- 'Any other business' and next meeting date



Hi Sarah, keen to find out

Kim Croasdale's picture

Hi Sarah, keen to find out more about this but sentence doesn't seem to be finished...! Can you let us know more info?



Sarah Walpole's picture

Hi Kim, Thank you for being in touch. Great to hear that you may be willing to be involved with the international group. I've included my email above and please do get in touch if you're still interested. We'll be meeting by skype tomorrow and you're welcome to join. I'll add a note above about the skype.

Best wishes,



US Group

Arianne Teherani's picture

Hi Sarah

Sorry to be late in time for this call. There is a USA group (small one - about 10 people) that has self formed to which I belong with colleagues from UCSF (myself), Mt Sinai, Harvard, Colorado, Georgetown, Texas, and George Mason. Our group is struggling with ways to incorporate this teaching into the curriculum and have drawn mostly on the work in the UK including yours.

I will forward on your message to the groupand it would be great for at least one or more of us to join this group to learn and share. 


Green Nephrology in ANZ

John Agar's picture

While I haven't contributed to this conversation to date, the wheels are finally turning here in ANZ - especially in my own interest area of nephrology.

Rather than the other more whole-of-healthcare sustainability efforts that are emerging in ANZ through the Royal College of Physicians, the universities (eg: the University of Melbourne) and other like peak bodies, my own niche interests have centred to date on the environmental impacts of dialysis and, in this, we have made recent significant progress.

This email is not intended to advise about the introduction of environmental teaching into undergraduate or graduate medical courses ... though I fully agree that this is an essential future course to take and I have already opened some early discussion locally with others in the Deakin University Faculty of Medicine on this issue  ... but rather, I wanted to let you know of some nephrology-specific progress we have made.

The Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology has now officially established a tripartite environmental subcommittee of the Society with additional representatives from the Renal Society of Australasia and Kidney Health Australia with a view to planning and overseeing protocol development in, research into, and implementation of eco-dialysis practices and other environmentally sustainable pathways in nephrology at a national level.

This is a significant step forward as this committee now has formal support and resourcing from the ANZSN. If others in this group would like me to, and as we establish programs and protocols going forward, I could keep you aware of any progress we make. 



Antipodean developments!

Adi Vyas's picture
Hi John Great to hear about your work - I work at NSW Health and there are some climate change developments afoot that may interest you. It's all in the public domain ( but if you'd like to give me a call, we can see how our work might link up. I'm on (02) 94617568 during work hours. Best wishes, Adi

LInking education to current practice - Green nephrology example

Sarah Walpole's picture

Dear John,

Many thanks for your post and i'm glad to see that it may lead to you linking up with Adi Vyas in Australia.

I think it is really important and makes teaching much more engaging for students when we can link current practice to current medical education - when medical education demonstrates to students the relevance and applicability of sustainability through real life examples. It is also fantastic that through an international network we can support and motivate each other by hearing about examples from afar.

So in summary, I think it would be fantastic if you can keep us up to date with your progress and we can use your examples to discuss and explore approaches to sustainable clinical practice with our students. Would there be any reciprocal benefit on your side, e.g. if we come up with useful ways of exploring a new sustainable approach might you be able to use it for brief 'training' at the start of a team meeting, ?

Looking forward to being in touch

Best wishes,



Dear Arianne

Stefi Barna's picture

Dear Arianne

I did a little bit of work with you and Amin Azzam a few years ago.  I'm currently based in England and India but I'll be in the Bay Area during the week after Easter and would be happy to meet with you and brainstorm how to incorporate the SHE perspective into curricula. Let me know if you'll be around 19-22 April.

Best, Stefi


Yes i will be and would love

Arianne Teherani's picture

Yes i will be and would love to talk. Thanks much for letting me know. Let me know your schedule and i will work around it. my email is


Hi everyone, here are the minutes from the most recent meeting.

Elizabeth Crossley's picture

Minutes for meeting of international group working on Sustainable Healthcare Education

28/2/17 21:00 GMT


- Introduction of participants and discussion of individual and collective aims

  • Discussion of potential submission of abstract / workshop proposal about how to assess environmental sustainability for Ottawa conference

- World summit on social accountability takes place in April, student group and 4 thematic groups - hopefully an opportunity for some members of group to meet
- Ideas requested for Ottawa conference in Abu Dhabi 2018 (Conference originating in Ottawa, for medical education process and evaluation process. Sustainability workshop at AMEE (Association for Medical Education in Europe) conference in Barcelona 2016 stood out as a topic specific intervention, and since then group has written a paper. Group aims to plan next steps beyond AMEE conference in Helsinki August 2017, with opportunities to present)
         - Can ideas from work in Helsinki conference be taken forward and magnified to be part of future events?
        - The World Congress on Public Health takes place in Melbourne in April 2017, in which there are several events on sustainability, one outcome is that Doctors for the Environment (Australia) have put up panel of medical presidents with the aim of influencing those in responsible positions to emulate some work on sustainable healthcare ongoing in the UK and to facilitate collaboration internationally for teaching across curriculum on climate change and health, find opportunities for implementation and facilitate sharing of examples. 

  • E-collaboration for environmental sustainability - how are we doing? how could we improve our communication (internally and with other educators, students, )?
    - HCWH(Healthcare without harm) or SHE (Sustainable Health Education Network) websites initially discussed, HCWH felt to be most useful option, but it currently appears they are unlikely to be able to set this up, so SHE network now being more closely examined- this has the advantage of a broad audience already in existence, users can collaboratively edit posts,  for example pages can be set up for ‘Assessment for SHE’, ‘Best Practices’ and ‘Case Studies’- and there is opportunity for discussion on the forum. There is also an e-mail group for SHE network- there could be an international group mailing list, and interested participants email facilitators if they would like to be added. Forums could be used for discussions/overviews and smaller groups work within for example google documents.
    - Opportunity for using discussions for proposals for grant applications- for example the Green Climate Fund- currently funding capacity building, potentially applicable in this group.
    - Opportunities for sharing of teaching materials 
  • Implementation locally - how are we applying our learning and the educational objectives and approaches in our local settings? how do we best support each other to do this? (including continuing the discussion about writing up 'best practice' case studies)
    - Involving students- IFMSA(International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations)- felt to be an easy way to connect with students on a broader scale, otherwise students can be contacted directly through other student networks. Research opportunities may incentivise involvement
    - In the UK exists the ‘Healthy Planet’ network of students who aim to educate/involve/take action on health/climate change.
    -There is also a plan in the UK to collect examples of case studies (different ways UK medical schools have begun implementing teaching on Healthcare SustainabIlity) and for this to be written up as a paper, led by Maryam Omar. This will include perspectives, take-up and differences in ways it is taught. Case studies are to be categorised by type of project, which may provide ideas for research projects for students
  • The idea of carrying out a survey of medical students' opinions and desires regarding SHE (also could explore what's already being taught)
    - Potentially to use survey monkey for this, or alternative tool that could collect more responses.
    - To focus on what medical schools are currently teaching students, and what students would like to learn more about.
    - Healthy planet in Sheffield has begun work on this- there is an opportunity for collaboration here. Natasha Askaroff is to communicate with the group over email regarding this

A Google doc with a list of projects and who is leading each one is to be set up, with details of who to email if you would like to be involved, and as opportunities arise, to add these to the list. Small working groups can then form
- Members of group requested to submit short bio for this document
- An E-mail list is to be set up on SHE network

  • Nursing and other professionals are welcomed and are to be actively involved in group
  • Group encouraged to make comments/adjustments to wiki on SHE network
  • Publications in progress
    - AMEE(Association for Medical Education in Europe) conference 2017- abstracts submitted, awaiting acceptance
    - Assessment/best practices may continue afterwards, but groups can be set up in mean time on SHE network
  • 'Any other business' and next meeting date
    -Next meeting to be held in 1 month (20th March-5th April approx.)

am interested in being part of SHE, MOH - Zambia

Evans Tembo's picture

Hi Elizabeth,

In the advent of devastating climate impacts and other confounding factors, incoperating SHE in medical cirriculum is the best way to go. I am an Environmental Health Lecturer for the Ministry of Health (Chainama College of Health Sciences) who has been advocating for th inclusion of climate change aspects in the environmental health cirriculum in Zambia from 2011. This has finally been been. However, biomedical and nursing professionals feel that issues of Sustainable Healthcare and climate change Education only concerns environmental and public health desciplines.

you can also video on our climate change and health in Zambia: 

I will be glad being actively involved on this very timely topic.


Evans Tembo (MSc, MPH, BEng), Lecturer Environmental Health / Deputy Dean Chainama College of Health Sciences (MOH), Box 33991, Lusaka, Zambia,



Hi Evans,

Elizabeth Crossley's picture

Hi Evans,

Great to hear about your work in Zambia, and thanks for sending the video! Would you like to attend the next meeting of the international working group? It takes place tomorrow evening at 20:00 (Time here is England). If you can't make that meeting, there should be another one next month. 

If you're interested in finding out more about the Sustainable Healthcare Education network, it is probably worth contacting the organisers - their details are on this page :

Kind regards,




Climate, health and medical peace work

Stefi Barna's picture

Medical Peace Work is an emerging field of practice about the vital role healthcare plays in violence prevention and peace-building.  An upcoming free online course (MOOC) looks a the health effects of climate change as an example of structural (societal) violence.  The taught course starts 1 May 

All the materials are available for self-study here:

Lesson plans are available on request from the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare or