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Climate change is having a direct impact on human health. Rising temperatures and increasing levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are impacting everything from the nutritional value of food, vector borne diseases, air quality, and mental and behavioral health. And as with many societal challenges, vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by these changes. Despite these connections, collectively the health care community has done little to address the health impacts of climate change. As an industry that has clear and simple communication of uncertain and complex science at its core, there is hope and there is opportunity. Research has shown that people pay attention when climate change is discussed through a public health lens. This workshop will bring together practitioners representing payers, providers and public health to share successful examples of engaging patients and members on climate change mitigation and resilience strategies, exchange communications tools and best practices, and brainstorm a collaborative path forward for the industry to stake a leadership position in community engagement around climate and public health.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the link between climate change and human health
  • Understand the link between climate change, health disparities and environmental justice
  • Develop strategies for engaging patients, members and communities on climate change resiliency and preparedness
  • Develop opportunities for providers and payers to collaborate on climate change advocacy and communications


Jackie Yerby, Sustainability Program Manager, Cambia Health Solutions

Jackie Yerby is responsible for sustainability strategy and implementation at Cambia Health Solutions, a health solutions company based in Portland, Oregon that is dedicated to transforming health care by creating a person-focused and economically sustainable system. Jackie's work touches on everything from recycling and waste reduction to promoting active transportation to addressing health disparities. She serves on the Multnomah County Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation (ACSI) and on the boards of the Community Cycling Center and Women in Sustainability and the Environment (WISE). She is a certified Master Recycler. Jackie holds an undergraduate degree in History from Yale University, and a Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is currently working toward a certificate in social entrepreneurship from Portland State University.

Monica Nakielski, Project Manager, Sustainable Initiatives, Partners HealthCare 

Monica Nakielski and the Partners Sustainable Initiatives team are responsible for providing vision and leadership in the development and implementation of the Partners sustainability strategy encompassing energy, waste, chemical, product supply chain and food. Nakielski earned her MBA from the Simmons School of Management and a BS in Medical Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. As former member of the United States Air Force she holds government security clearance and is fluent in Spanish, proficient in Portuguese. Prior to Partners HealthCare Nakielski led a management consulting firm specialized in sustainability. She was a management consultant and lead for sustainability at Palladium, (formerly Balanced Scorecard Collaborative) with Drs. Kaplan and Norton, developers of the Balanced Scorecard management system where Nakielski partnered with Fortune 1000 clients to make the link between sustainability principles and strategy, planning and alignment, performance management and communications and reporting.

Kari Lyons-Eubanks, Policy Analyst, Multnomah County Environmental Health Services

Kari Lyons-Eubanks coordinates policy advocacy and analysis efforts in the areas of local and state housing codes, regulations, laws and climate action plans. She serves on the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Climate Change work. She earned her Master in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training and her B.A. from the University of Rhode Island.

Kyle Cahill, Senior Manager of Corporate Citizenship, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Kyle is Senior Manager of Corporate Citizenship at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts where he is responsible for the company's sustainability strategy, programs focused on improving the environmental health of members and MA communities, and sustainability collaborations within the broader health care industry. Prior to Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kyle was Senior Program Officer at Oxfam America, leading the organization's work on poverty foot printing, a process for organizations to measure, analyze and improve their impacts on communities. Prior to joining Oxfam, Kyle was Director of Corporate Engagement at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) where he worked with the private sector on environmental initiatives addressing climate change, safer products and materials, water use and waste reduction. Kyle earned his M.B.A. focused in social responsibility from the Isenberg School at the Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst and his B.A. from Amherst College.

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