On this episode, I talk with Joanne M. Conroy, M.D., CEO and president of Dartmouth Health. Conroy also is the Chair-elect Designate of the AHA Board of Trustees.

Joanne and I discuss the impact of climate change in the health care field and what hospitals and health systems can do to address environmental sustainability. At Dartmouth Health, which serves rural communities in New Hampshire and Vermont, a group called the Alliance for Health and Climate Change is focused on identifying big and small changes to decrease the organization’s carbon footprint. The group includes health system employees as well as community members. “Our employees have a lot of great ideas, and we try to deploy as many of those as we can,” Joanne told me.

She shares examples of a few of Dartmouth Health’s sustainability efforts, such as covering all parking with solar panels — which protects vehicles during the winter but also generates solar power for the facility. Another example: During a recent building project, the health system and vendor partnered to ensure all construction waste was recycled.

“Our hope is that working with the communities around here, we can actually be seen as a positive partner that gives energy back into the grid rather than taking energy off the grid,” Joanne observes.

I hope you find these conversations thought provoking and useful. Look for them once a month as part of the Chair File.

Watch the episode here.

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