Healthcare Without Harm, an international coalition of more than 500 organizations in 53 countries working to transform the health care sector to be more sustainable is pleased to announce that its President and Founder, Gary Cohen, has been named a Champion of Change in the category of Climate and Health by the White House.

The honor is bestowed on Cohen and others who are leaders in making the link between climate and health, and helping the health sector lead the effort to reduce their contributions to climate change and prepare their communities for the threats to health related to climate change.

Cohen’s efforts have been instrumental in turning the debate on climate change from one of politics to one of health. He has helped build coalitions and networks globally to address the environmental health impacts of our overuse of fossil fuels as energy and the resulting need to mitigate and adapt to climate change, with hospitals leading the way.

Besides leading Health Care Without Harm for the past 14 years, Cohen has been instrumental in the founding of Practice Greenhealth, a membership organization for hospitals and related businesses developing sustainable operations, and the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, which provides a variety of free tools, education and other resources for hospitals to use to speed their transition to sustainability.

Two of HCWH’s close allies were also selected as Champions of Change. They are Jeff Thompson, MD, CEO of Gundersen Health System of LaCrosse, WI, and Laura Anderko, PhD, RN. The White House will hold a ceremony to honor the recipients on July 9, 2013.

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