Celebrating the 2022 Emerging Physician Leader Award and Sadler Fellowship recipients

Published: 04/29/2022 - 14:15

The Emerging Physician Leader Award, established by the Health Care Without Harm Physician Network in 2018, recognizes medical students, residents, and fellows who have demonstrated a passion for sustainable health care or a commitment to climate and health leadership. Awardees receive complimentary registration to CleanMed 2022 and a grant to support a project that aligns with the goals of the Physician Network.

This year, four of our Emerging Physician Leaders were selected as inaugural fellows for the new Blair and Georgia Sadler Fellowship at Health Care Without Harm, which was created to engage and empower emerging clinical health leaders who want to work on equitable, climate-smart health care in their hospitals and communities.

Join us in celebrating this year’s nine Emerging Physician Leader and Sadler Fellowship awardees chosen out of a large, exceptionally strong, and talented applicant pool.

“Despite another year of challenges to our health systems and grim climate news, I am given hope by the many ways health professionals – especially the next generation of physician sustainability champions – are taking action to address the climate crisis and create climate-smart health care.,” said Amy Collins, M.D., Health Care Without Harm’s medical director of physician engagement and education. “Every day I am inspired by their leadership and commitment to forging a healthier, sustainable, and more equitable future. Health Care Without Harm is honored to be able to support these leaders through our Emerging Physician Leader Award and Sadler Fellowship.”

Introducing our 2022 Emerging Physician Leaders

Laura Donahue, M.D., an internal medicine resident at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, was selected for her passion for sustainable health care and waste reduction, along with her strong research background. She has performed life-cycle assessment comparing reusable and disposable vaginal specula, an analysis of the carbon footprint of residency interview travel, and a retrospective waste audit of an inpatient pharmacy.

For her project, she will conduct a research study to identify opportunities to reduce inpatient pharmaceutical waste to decrease the climate impact of pharmaceutical use.

“I am humbled and honored to have been selected. Pharmacologic therapy is the backbone of internal medicine, yet little is known about the carbon footprint or solid waste production associated with medication administration, particularly in the inpatient setting. Health Care Without Harm has played an integral role in my development as a clinician and climate-smart health care advocate thus far. I am proud to have their support for my research. I am incredibly excited to meet and collaborate with like-minded clinicians and other interdisciplinary members of the health care team at CleanMed and to learn new ways to advocate for sustainability in my clinical practice moving forward.”

— Laura Donahue, M.D.


Karly Hampshire, a medical student at UC San Francisco School of Medicine, was selected for the many ways she has demonstrated climate-health leadership. This includes founding and co-directing the Planetary Health Report Card – a successful, student-led, metric-based initiative to inspire planetary health in medical schools, with adaptations underway for pharmacy and nursing programs.

For her project, she will lead Interview Without Harm, a research project and advocacy campaign calling for the permanent adoption of virtual medical school, residency, and fellowship interviews, to be more sustainable and equitable for people and the planet.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award and to have the opportunity to connect with like-minded leaders at the CleanMed 2022 conference. As health professionals deeply invested in the wellbeing of our communities, we must lead the way in decarbonizing health care and reimagining unsustainable, business-as-usual practices. With the support of Health Care without Harm, my project seeks to advocate for the rethinking of inequitable and emissions-intensive, in-person interviews for medical school, residency, and fellowship.”

— Karly Hampshire


Stella Protopapas, M.P.H. and Margaret Tharp, medical students at Indiana University School of Medicine, applied as a team and were selected for their commitment to advance sustainable health care at their institution along with their medical school leadership, including helping to start the school’s chapter of Medical Students for a Sustainable Future and participating in the Planetary Health Report Card.

For their project, they will be conducting a 24-hour waste audit at a multi-specialty, outpatient surgical facility to develop new purchasing protocols and educational interventions that minimize environmental impact and financial loss.

“It is such an honor to receive this award and to be able to attend CleanMed this year. I look forward to making connections and learning skills that will allow me to continue to develop climate-informed health care projects at my home institution. This will be directly evident in our waste audit project, which Health Care Without Harm has generously helped fund. With this type of professional and financial support, our health care systems can truly become institutions of healing.”

— Stella Protopapas, M.P.H.

"I am deeply honored to have been selected and thrilled about the impact this will have on our project and future projects in the state of Indiana and beyond. Climate change is the largest public health crisis facing our world today and central to inequity and strife across the globe. To be able to have a role in generating more climate-smart health care is a dream-come-true and a duty I feel grateful to take part in daily."

— Margaret Tharp


Katherine Velicki, M.D., an orthopedic resident at Oregon Health & Science University, was selected for her commitment to establishing herself as a leader in the sustainable surgery movement and dedicating a portion of her career to research that provides surgical professionals with the evidence-based data and tools they need to make operating rooms climate-smart.

For her project, she will conduct a multi-hospital cost analysis of disposable and reusable surgical gowns to address the belief that reusable gowns are more expensive.

“After scrubbing into my first cases as a medical student, I noticed a dissonance between my love of surgery and my love of the environment. I am humbled and grateful to have an avenue to reconcile these loves with support from this year's Emerging Physician Leader Award. I can't wait to attend CleanMed and apply the research skills I've developed in orthopedic surgery training toward projects that help surgeons make climate-smart decisions and drive innovation in operating room sustainability.”

— Katherine Velicki, M.D.


Introducing our 2022 Blair and Georgia Sadler Fellows

Thanks to a generous gift from the Sadlers, Health Care Without Harm will select an annual cohort of fellows to connect with each other, Health Care Without Harm subject matter experts, and our partner health systems to support their ideas and growth.

Priya Dave, a medical student at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Masters of Bioethics student at Harvard Medical School was selected for her commitment to environmental and energy justice and ensuring the transition to decarbonization is realized in a just manner and does not disproportionately burden the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities.

For her project, she will be creating a climate justice speaker series and health professional curriculum including content about energy justice, green space ethics, and the link between redlining and climate change.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to attend CleanMed and work on climate justice awareness through the Emerging Physician Leader Award and Sadler Fellowship. Taking a justice lens is vital to ensuring our climate change initiatives consider and include the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities. I am particularly excited to collaborate with voices not traditionally included to develop a climate and health justice curriculum and educational resources.”

— Priya Dave


Jacquelyn Piraquive, M.D., M.S., an otolaryngology-head and neck surgery resident at Boston Medical Center, was selected for her combined interests in advocacy, public health, research, and sustainable health care, along with her commitment to advancing a culture of climate-smart surgery at her institution and in the otolaryngology community.

For her research project, she will quantify the amount of open but unused disposable items in two common head and neck surgeries – thyroidectomy and endoscopic sinus surgery – to raise awareness about the financial, environmental, and public health implications of excess waste in the operating room.

“I am incredibly honored and look forward to the mentorship and potential networking opportunities offered through CleanMed to learn from like-minded individuals committed to delivering climate-smart health care. Surgeons are in a unique position to lead sustainability efforts through judicious use of resources, equipment, and supplies. Through my research, I hope to raise awareness and empower other surgeons to incorporate environmentally responsible practices in the operating room to elevate the quality and delivery of our care.”

— Jacquelyn Piraquive, M.D., M.S.


Peter Trinh, M.D, M.B.A., an internal medicine and primary care resident at Brigham & Women's Hospital, was selected for his commitment to building a culture of cost-effective, patient-centered, climate-smart health care by reducing low value, wasteful clinical practices.

For his project, he will use a team-based approach to reduce low-value, unnecessary lab tests on two general internal medicine teaching units and perform an analysis of the cost and carbon footprint of inpatient lab tests.

“This is an incredible honor. I truly believe that sustainable change in health care must address team behaviors and organizational culture, and I'm excited to engage in this hard work with the support of the Health Care Without Harm Physician Network. I am very much looking forward to CleanMed 2022 and learning vital lessons from this community that I can share and apply at my institution.”

— Peter Trinh, M.D, M.B.A.


Carter White, M.S., a medical student at UC Davis School of Medicine, was selected for his commitment to reducing medical waste and promoting sustainable surgery, along with his co-leadership of Second-Breath, a student-led program that collects unused medical supplies and redistributes them free of charge to individuals, communities, and international organizations in need.

For his project, he will be expanding Second-Breath with the goals of being able to accept and redistribute larger quantities of unused medical supplies and generating data to allow the organization to better serve its communities and partners.

“I am incredibly honored. The financial and professional support these distinctions provide will allow the Second-Breath team to dramatically expand our environmentally- and fiscally-conscious, community-oriented approach to reducing medical waste. I am excited to connect with and learn from my colleagues and mentors at the CleanMed conference.”

— Carter White, M.S.


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