Feb 24, 2021  |  1:30pm - 5:30pm

Symposium on Climate Change and the Health of our Communities

Health in a changing climate symposium poster

Join us on February 24, 2021 for a virtual symposium on climate change and the health of our communities.

Climate change is now recognized as a health emergency. What can primary care providers and health professionals do to sustainably deliver care and help communities build resilience?

About the Symposium

This event will examine a variety of topics affecting patients and populations:

  • What is the evidence for health impacts of climate change?
  • What are practical opportunities to improve patient care and sustainability?
  • What can we learn from innovations in other countries?

 A detailed program can be found below.

Intended audience: family physicians, primary care providers, health professionals, students, residents, and interested health care providers.
This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Ontario Chapter for up to 3 Mainpro+ credits.

Co-hosted by:

Centre for Sustainable Health SystemsEmerging Leaders for Environmental Sustainability in HealthcareCanadian Association of Physicians for the Environment logo

Call for Green Ideas

Have you made your clinic more environmentally sustainable? Have you changed your clinical practice in order to decrease your impact on the planet? Maybe you eliminated exam table paper, promoted active transportation with your patients, or spoke with your MP about climate action for health.

We are inviting you to share your success stories and lessons learned in a 3-5 minute presentation. We are especially interested in stories of

  • patient engagement;
  • office, clinic, or institutional practice change;
  • systemic advocacy; or 
  • medical education.

Please submit up to 200 words by February 1st, 2021, to dfcm.climatechange@utoronto.ca. Please include the following information, if relevant:

  • Goal
  • Activities
  • Impact
  • Challenges
  • Lessons learned


1:30 PMOpening Address
1:40 PM

Keynote Address
Moderated by Samantha Green

Courtney HowardCourtney Howard, Past President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

Dr. Courtney Howard is an Emergency Physician in Yellowknife. She is a globally-recognized expert on the impacts of climate change on health. Her work has spurred an increasing recognition of the need for systemic and political action on climate and health, for the health of our country, our planet, or economy, ourselves, and our children.

2:05 PM

Panel Discussion
Making the Links - Experts examine global scientific evidence on the health effects of climate change, explore its impact on equity, and discuss opportunities to improve community health and resilience
Moderated by Toni Sappong

Deborah McGregorDeborah McGregor, Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Environmental Justice

Professor McGregor (Anishinaabe) is an Associate Professor with the Osgoode Hall Law School and Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Her research focuses on Indigenous knowledge systems, water and environmental governance, environmental justice, climate justice, and Indigenous food sovereignty.

Alice McGushinAlice McGushin, Programme Manager for the Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change

Dr. Alice McGushin is the Programme Manager for the Lancet Countdown, an international, multidisciplinary collaboration of academic and UN institutions that monitor the world’s response to the health effects of climate change.

Maya MenezesMaya Menezes, Program Director at climate justice organization, The Leap

Maya Menezes (she/her) is a climate and racial justice campaigner based in Tkaronto. She was an organizer with No One Is Illegal-Toronto. After two years of campaigning for a Green New Deal, she is now campaigning on care work as a COVID recovery model.

Claudel Pétrin-DesrosiersClaudel Pétrin-Desrosiers, Chair, Québec Association of Physicians for the Environment

Dr. P-Desrosiers, PGY-3 in family medicine, is completing a master in environment as part of a clinician scholar program at Montreal University. She has worked with the WHO on issues of climate change and health; was lead author of the Lancet Countdown Canada Brief 2020; and has advised the Québec government on their climate action plan.

3:05 PMBreak
3:15 PM

Panel Discussion
Knowledge to Action - Building on the evidence, our experts will propose interventions and innovations to reduce the health and environmental impact of climate change, including opportunities for education, scholarship and practice
Moderated by Edward Xie

Terry KempleTerry Kemple, RCGP National Representative for Sustainability, Climate Change and Green Issues

Dr. Terry Kemple is a retired General Practitioner in the UK and the Past President of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He continues to serve as the Co-Chair of the RCGP Climate Emergency Advisory Group and an Executive member of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change.

Fiona MillerFiona A. Miller, Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Health Systems, University of Toronto

Fiona A. Miller is a Professor of Health Policy. She holds the Chair in Health Management Strategies and is the Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Health Systems in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Aimée BoukaAimée Bouka, Vice-Chair of the section of residents for the College of Family Physicians of Canada

Dr. Aimée Bouka (she/her) is a second-year family medicine resident at University of Calgary. She is the chair of this year's Guide for Improvement of Family Medicine Training on Climate Change and Health and the co-chair of the Alberta chapter for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

4:15 PMBreak
4:20 PMBreakout Sessions
5:00 PMBreak
5:10 PMSummary
5:25 PMClosing Address


Registration is now closed. Thank you for your interest in this event. 

Health in a changing climate symposium poster