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Planetary Health Dialogues: Sustainable healthcare

Date Tuesday 5 May, 2020
Time 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM AEST
Venue Online webinar - please note, there are limited places available.
Cost Free

Planetary Health Dialogues: Sustainable healthcare

Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) invites you to the online launch of the Medical Journal of Australia's (MJA) themed issue on Sustainable Healthcare. This is the first in a series of Planetary Health Dialogues.

Now, more than ever, healthcare needs to be sustainable on multiple levels: economically, socially and environmentally. This includes energy efficiency and renewable energy, more sustainable food and transport systems, reduced hospital waste and the future of sustainable production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical commodities for health.

Sustainable healthcare is more than economic viability. It also concerns the impact of healthcare on the environment, and how the environment itself can impact on human health.

Dr David Pencheon, the Founding Director of the Sustainable Development Unit in NHS England and Public Health England will join Australian experts to launch the MJA themed issue on sustainable healthcare and discuss co-benefits from health, environmental and climate change efforts in the context of the recent bushfires and the current pandemic.

You can access the MJA Sustainable Health issue here.


Dr David Pencheon (UK)

Founder and former Director, Sustainable Development Unit, NHS England and Public Health England

David Pencheon is a UK trained doctor and founder Director of the Sustainable Development Unit for NHS England and Public Health England, established in 2007. He left the SDU on 1st January 2018 and is now an Honorary Professor at the Medical and Health School at the University of Exeter, UK. He has held an honorary professorial appointment at University College London (UCL), is now a visiting Professor at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES) at the University of Surrey, and in 2018 was a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney, Australia.

He was previously Director of the Public Health Observatory in Cambridge from 2001 to 2007. He has worked as a clinical doctor in the NHS, a joint Director of Public Health in North Cambridgeshire, a Public Health Training Director, with the NHS R&D programme, and in rural China in the early 1990s with Save the Children Fund (UK).

His main interests and areas of research are public and planetary health, climate change and sustainable development, and large-scale change. His current area of research is how we get practical and radical on promoting equitable environmental, social and economic sustainability for life promoting planetary systems.

Dr Selina Lo

Event Moderator

Selina is a Senior Research Fellow at MSDI helping to advance the Institute's work on sustainable development and health from research, capacity development and engagement perspective. She is also Consulting Editor for The Lancet medical journal where she was Senior Editor based in London and Beijing, with responsibility for global health commissions including Planetary Health, Transgender Health, Investing in Health, Political, and Legal Determinants of Health.

Selina trained in medicine in Melbourne and public and international law. She worked from 1996-2005 with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Afghanistan, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and China. She was then the Clinton Foundation clinical advisor seconded to the national HIV AIDS treatment programme for China CDC. Selina was Medical Director for the MSF Access to Medicines Campaign based in Geneva and after her return to Australia three years ago, the inaugural executive officer for Doctors for the Environment Australia.

Selina is presently affiliated as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, School of Population and Global Health.

Distinguished Laureate Professor Nick Talley

Editor In Chief, Medical Journal of Australia

Distinguished Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley is a researcher, educator, clinician, academic leader and an international authority in the field of neurogastroenterology. He specialises in unexplained gut disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux and gastroparesis and is credited with several seminal contributions that have enhanced our understanding of these diseases.

Nick is the chief investigator of an NHMRC Investigator and Centre of Research Excellence grant for digestive health, in 2018 Nick was honoured with the Companion of the Order of Australia, and in 2017 was named Australia's most cited academic by Google Scholar. He has an appointment at University of Newcastle, is a senior staff specialist in gastroenterology at the John Hunter Hospital, and holds adjunct research appointments at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Mayo Clinic in the USA.

Professor Lynne Madden

Inaugural Professor of Population and Planetary Health, School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Australia

Lynne is the inaugural Professor of Population and Planetary Health at the School of Medicine, Sydney, at The University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA). She was Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching from 2012-2020, and continues to support this role. She is Chair of the Climate Change and Health Working Group for the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand.

Lynne was the President of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine and a member of the Board of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians from May 2016 - May 2018. Prior to this she was President elect for 2 years and Chair of the Faculty Education Committee for 8 years. As Manager of the Population Health Training and Workforce Unit at the NSW Ministry of Health for 18 years she was responsible for the NSW Public Health Officer Training Program, the NSW Aboriginal Population Health Training Initiative and the Editor of the NSW Public Health Bulletin. A Trustee of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation of the Australian Museum, she helps support research into the Great Barrier Reef and marine ecosystems.

Professor Tony Capon

Director, Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Member, MJA Editorial Advisory Group

Tony Capon directs the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and holds a chair in planetary health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. A public health physician and authority in environmental health and health promotion, his research focuses on urbanisation, sustainable development and human health.

Tony is a former director of the International Institute for Global Health at United Nations University (UNU-IIGH), and has previously held professorial appointments at the University of Sydney and Australian National University. He is a member of the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health that published its report Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch in 2015, and the International Advisory Board for The Lancet Planetary Health.

Scott McAlister

Sustainability expert and PhD candidate, Melbourne University

Scott is currently a PhD candidate at the Centre for Integrated Critical Care at the University of Melbourne. Scott is investigating the environmental and economic impacts of unnecessary routine preoperative testing.

Scott originally undertook a BSc in physiology and a MSc in pharmacology at Otago University in New Zealand. In the early 2000s he became interested in sustainability and did further postgraduate study on energy systems and water resource management. He worked as a research fellow at RMIT University for five years performing LCAs, and subsequently started his own consultancy for a variety of industries including water, chemical, building and food. In 2009 he also started undertaking healthcare LCAs, and in particular single use vs. reusable medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, the footprint of Australian healthcare, and the impacts of treating patients undergoing specific treatments.

Dr Forbes McGain

Intensive Care Physician and Anaesthetist, Western Health

Forbes is an anaesthetist and intensive care physician at Western Health, Melbourne, Australia and Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Sydney, and the University of Melbourne. He is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia/New Zealand. He is engaged in ongoing research collaborative projects particularly focussed on the environmental, social and financial sustainability of anaesthesia and intensive care medicine.

A member of the Doctors for the Environment Australia, Forbes has been a national leader in the push for greater sustainability in the healthcare system. Concerned about the amount of plastic medical products going to landfill, Forbes created the PVC Recovery in Hospitals Program in conjunction with Western Health and the Vinyl Council of Australia. Forbes was also involved in the push to switch the anaesthetic gases used in Western Health to more environmentally friendly options.