• Harvard College Green Medicine Initiative

    The Harvard College Green Medicine Initiative is a student-run organization that combines medicine, sustainability, and global health to draw attention to the effects of climate change on human health and promote greener practices.

  • Why we care

    Here are just some of the reasons why we work hard to make green a reality.

    4 billion

    pounds of waste produced by the healthcare industry each year

    (source)

    250,000

    predicted additional deaths per year due to climate change between 2030 and 2050 (source)

    25%

    of a typical hospital's annual operating cost devoted to meeting energy needs (source)

    $14,700

    in annual energy costs saved by replacing traditional exit signs with energy-efficient LED signs in a typical large hospital (source)

    50%

    potential reduction of medical waste volume by reusing scrubs and jackets (source)

    0.15°F

    the average rise in temperature per decade since 1901 has increased rates of disease (source)

  • Our mission

    We reduce medical waste by educating and connecting
    healthcare providers around the world.

    Education for sustainability and waste reduction

    Education

    Growing greener healthcare from the roots

    GMI transforms research and practical knowledge into presentations and guidelines for healthcare providers to implement every day. By raising awareness among health practitioners, we help hospitals save energy and materials - lowering costs and environmental impact!

    Recycling symbol for surplus medical supply collection

    Surplus supply collection

    One hospital's surplus is another's supply

    While GMI's goal is to help hospitals become zero-waste, we know that change doesn't happen overnight. When partner hospitals have surplus supplies that are still usable, GMI does the legwork to make sure they don't go to waste. We collect, sort, and donate to trustworthy organizations.

    Global health impact

    Global health

    Connecting with caregivers around the world

    GMI's mission is ultimately global. Our international work ranges from directly donating surplus supplies abroad to supporting other green medicine efforts around the world. With our global perspective, we make sure that changes at home go farther to make the world a greener place.

    Global health impact

    Climate Change and Human Health

    The state of the environment directly impacts us

    GMI advocates for greener healthcare practices because they have an impact on the environment, which directly affects our health. Rising temperatures and erratic weather patterns due to climate change, have increased rates of disease as well as deaths due to natural disaster.

  • Our partnerships

    Meet the hospitals who work with GMI to make healthcare greener.

    MGH vascular center Dr. Michael Watkins

    Harvard Office for Animal Resources

    Cambridge, MA

    GMI has partnered with the Harvard Office for Animal Resources to start washing polypropylene lab coats instead of incinerating them.

    Image source

    Brigham and Women's Hospital Emergency Medicine Department team

    Harvard University Health Services 

    Cambridge, MA

    GMI has worked with HUHS to search for a new product distributor, keeping environmental sustainability and financial feasibility in mind!

    Image source

    Brigham and Women's Hospital Emergency Medicine Department team

    BWH | Emergency Department

    Boston, MA

    MGH vascular center Dr. Michael Watkins

    MGH West | Vascular Center

    Waltham, MA

    GMI has partnered with the Fireman Vascular Center in Waltham to reduce waste and collect donations

    ranging from everyday supplies to X-ray viewers!

    Image source

  • Our progress

    Here's what we've accomplished so far.

    Supplies donated

    Dec 2015 to date

    From syringes to patient gowns, electrodes, gloves, tourniquets, and catheter systems, we've recovered over 1800 items from our partner hospitals.

    Equipment donated

    Dec 2015 to date

    In addition to consumable supplies, GMI has recovered several blood pressure cuffs and 3 full-size x-ray viewers.

    Value saved

    Dec 2015 to date

    Putting our stats in perspective - we've hauled almost 200 pounds of supplies and equipment, and saved roughly $2000 worth of materials from ending up unused in storage rooms or landfills.

    Funds raised

    Mar 2016 to date

    In addition to working directly with hospitals and healthcare providers, GMI is now working with the Harvard community to support NGOs engaged in the practice of green medicine! Recently, we've supported the Afya Foundation by raising over $500 after two College fundraising events.

  • Publications

    Read about some of our past work.

  • Our board

    Meet the people who work hard to bring GMI's vision closer to reality.

    Comfort Abuwa

    President

    Comfort is a fourth year concentrating in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology with a language citation in Igbo. She has a strong interest in the future of gene targeting therapy and treatment as well as environmental sustainability and health care inequality. In her free time she enjoys traveling and reading.

    Joyce Zhou

    Co-President

    Joyce is a junior concentrating in Neuroscience and excited to help lead Harvard's Green Medicine Initiative. She seeks to promote sustainable and accessible healthcare through service, education, and advocacy in the greater Boston area and beyond. In her free time, she enjoys writing.

    Michael Xie

    Vice President

    Michael is a junior concentrating in History of Science, as well as pursing a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. He is interested in promoting sustainable practices in medicine and mitigating the healthcare industry's environmental impact. He hopes to attend medical school in the future, as well as help make medical care more accessible, eco-friendly, and equitable for all - eventually delving into public health or health policy. Outside of academics, Michael is interested in running, writing, and photography.

    McKenzy Wall

    Secretary

    McKenzy is a junior concentrating in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is passionate about both sustainability and medicine, and hopes to make an impact in both these fields through the Green Medicine Initiative. In the future, she plans to attend medical school and pursue an MD-Phd. Outside of class, she rows for the Radcliffe Heavyweight Crew team, volunteers at the Cambridge Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, and enjoys spending time with her friends.

    Rabsa Sikder

    Treasurer

    Olivia Morris

    Co-Director of Communications

    Olivia is a junior concentrating in Neuroscience, with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. She plans to attend medical school for neurology and do work with advanced prosthetics. Additionally, Olivia has a strong passion for reform in the accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of healthcare. Outside of academics, she loves to write, read, play basketball and tennis, and hang out with friends.

    CIndy Phan

    Co-Director of Communications

    Maddie Mauro

    Co-Director of Sustainable Development

    Maddie is a first-year interested in pursuing a concentration in Integrative Biology with a secondary in Classics. She sees a strong link between sustainability initiatives and the improvement of public health, and is honored to be working with the Green Medicine Initiative to manage healthcare-related waste and pollution. Outside of class, she plays flute and is a member of the Harvard Undergraduate Ethics Bowl team.

    Anna Peters

    Co-Director of Sustainable Development

    Anna is a freshman planning on concentrating in Neurobiology and earning a language citation in Chinese. With the Green Medicine Initiative, she is interested in exploring her interests in access to healthcare, sustainability, and medicine. Outside of academics, Anna also volunteers with CASP, is a member of Flyby and Harvard Yearbook Publications, and enjoys travelling and trying new foods.

    Brandon Kwon

    Co-Director of Education

    Eric Whisenant

    Co-Director of Education

    Claire lin

    Co-Director of External Outreach

    Marissa Zheng

    Co-Director of External Outreach

    Uzochi Nwoko

    Advisor, President Emeritus

    Uzochi is a senior concentrating in Integrative Biology with a secondary in African American Studies. Motivated by his strong interest in medicine, he is grateful to lead a team dedicated to improving sustainability in the sphere of health-care. In the future, Uzochi hopes to obtain a medical degree and continue to promote the eco-friendly methods for which GMI advocates - this time in his own practice! He furthermore enjoys playing sports and engaging with music.

    Leah Schwartz

    Co-Founder

    Leah came to GMI with a passion for global health equity and previous experience working with the Afya Foundation, a New York-based NGO that similarly aims to ethically redistribute medical supplies worldwide. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to engage with GMI since its nascence and is excited to support its continued growth. Ultimately, Leah hopes to pursue a career combining clinical practice and global health policy. Leah founded GMI along with Samantha Guhan in 2015.

  • Contact us

    If you're interested in working with us, we're interested in getting in touch!

    You can submit your message here, or reach us via email at greenmedinitiative@gmail.com.

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