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Perspectives from a CHEF Fellow

L-R: Dr. Mona Sarfaty, Dr. Brianna Clark, Dr. Roberta Gebhard

by Brianna Clark, DO

The Climate Health Equity Fellowship Program ( CHEF Program) is supported by The Medical Society Consortium of Climate & Health. I utilized my passion for rural primary care and lactation medicine to work on projects directly impacting gender equity and physician education. During the program, I was able to work with other physicians across the country who are invested in true Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work that has a practical and sustainable impact.

As a part of the program, I met with my cohort via Zoom two times a month for 10 months to review climate change research and discuss with scientists and advocates the practical impact that climate change is having on human health. Although melting polar ice caps and the state of endangered animal species are important, this training program helped explore the impact of climate change on human health. This training program gave me practical solutions in assisting patients who report to the hospital with repeated asthma exacerbations due to poor air quality and patients struggling with extreme heat exposure.

During the training program, we learned practical advocacy skills, such as speaking to elected officials and writing op-eds. My interest in rural health and breastfeeding led to the article Could Extreme Heat Make It Harder to Breastfeed, published in MedPage Today. Perhaps the most impactful part of the training program is the practical knowledge I gained by talking to other physicians and leaders about climate change and how it impacts our most vulnerable patients. The fellowship has empowered me to play an active role in creating practical solutions to a complex problem.

Learn more about the CHEF Fellowship and apply HERE.

(Pictured: Dr, Mona Sarfaty (Emeritus Executive Director, Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health), Dr. Brianna Clark, Dr. Roberta Gebhard (AMWA Past President)


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