Campaign Green Me! Launches with a Team of Over 20 Primary Care Medical Professionals Committing to Environmental Stewardship in Medical Practices

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Movement towards sustainable health care goes public in Bay Area with core group of activist practitioners.

More than twenty health care professionals from throughout the Bay Area, including medical doctors, nurses, chiropractors and a diverse range of health practitioners, have joined the first round of The Teleosis Institute’s Campaign Green Me! -- an unprecedented venture aimed at implementing a new model of health care where health practitioners serve as environmental advocates, educators, and stewards.

The core group of activist practitioners are aligned with Teleosis and recognize that the current health care system can become healthier for people and the environment without significant additional costs to the system.

“The reality of widespread environmental degradation and the presence of environmental health hazards in many aspects of our day-to-day life pose a significant and increasing challenge to human health,” says Teleosis Institute’s Founding Director Dr. Joel Kreisberg.

The improper disposal of commonly used pharmaceutical drugs is one example of how conventional medicine directly contributes to a deteriorating environment and human health threats. The Toxic Substances Hydrology Program at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that “nearly 50% of water samples collected across 30 different states in 1999 and 2000, [contained] at least one antibiotic…. .” There is growing concern that these antibiotic residues can cause adverse effects, including antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption. Proper drug disposal programs can be found at several local retailers. Safe Medicine Disposal Days are organized through BayWise (http://www.baywise.info).

As part of the Campaign Green Me! health care providers are working with Teleosis to: Green their Workplace, Become Environmental Health Advocates, and Provide Sustainable Medical Care—medical care focused on prevention, precaution and wellness.

Campaign participant Calista Hunter, MD, says “If a respiratory physician can be encouraged to take a stand to decrease pollutants in the air, and therefore decrease respiratory illnesses in the patient, we will all benefit. If physicians can see that the antibiotics, hormones, chemotherapeutic agents, etc., that we use potentially harm our patients, our planet, and the quality of life for our grandchildren, most would stand behind policies that support both the immediate patient and the rest of the earth.”

As part of the Campaign, Hunter plans to educate more medical doctors about sustainable health care by offering a series of continuing medical education classes at local hospitals. The first of these classes took place at the San Ramon Regional Medical Center on April 27, 2006.

Another participant -- McKinnon Institute, a professional massage school in Oakland -- has already refurbished its workplace with natural wool-blend carpet with recycled padding, non-toxic paints, full spectrum, energy-efficient lighting, and a solar-powered garden water fountain. Next it will educate its staff and students about energy conservation and healthier “green” spaces. “People are looking for Green Health Care; providing working models and ways to see a greener health care system in action can heal the world,” proclaims McKinnon’s Executive Director Selena Lee.

The Teleosis Institute provides Campaign participants with practical tools, resources, coaching and leadership forums, which provide medical professionals the opportunity to hear from environmental and health thought leaders and develop a shared vision for Green Health Care in the Bay Area.

Teleosis plans to enroll 30 or more Bay Area health care practitioners in the program annually -- or 150 professionals -- in its five-year Campaign Green Me! Graduates are expected to reap several benefits including: a safer and healthier office for clients, staff and the health care provider; improved morale among employees and patients in the workplace; savings in money for patients, clients and the provider; and certification as a Bay Area Green Business through the Bay Area Green Business Program.

Several “green” efforts exist today in the health care field focused on addressing the negative environmental impacts of hospital resource use and disposal. “What has been overlooked is the important role of primary health care practitioners operating in small- to medium-sized clinics,” says Teleosis Institute’s Kreisberg. “Teleosis is partnering with this influential and important group to transform health care as we know it.”

Initial Bay Area Campaign Green Me! participants are:

Physicians:

  • Calista Hunter, MD – Medical doctor and environmentalist. San Ramon.
  • Len Saputo, MD at Health Medicine Institute – Medical center integrating mainstream, alternative and complementary medicine. Lafayette.
  • Laura Fletcher, MD – Emergency medicine, environmental medicine. Berkeley.

Dentists:

  • Andrew Marshall, DDS & Lynne Martz, DDS – Dental practice. Walnut Creek.
  • Fred Pockrass, DDS and Ina Pockrass at Transcendentist TM – Dental practice specializing in eco-dentistry TM; Bay Area Green Business Certified. Berkeley.
  • Namrata Patel, DDS – Dentist, advocate and educator. San Francisco.

Chiropractors:

  • Steven Bretow, DC and Ann Honigman, DC – Chiropractic practice; Bay Area Green Business Certified. Berkeley.
  • Joel Kreisberg, DC – Chiropractor, homeopath, and health educator. Berkeley.
  • Mitchell Corwin, DC – Applied kinesiology and chiropractic, including treatment of heavy metal toxicity. Berkeley.

Nurses:

  • Dorisse Neale, RN – Nurse and respiratory educator. Sebastopol.
  • Deanne Emmons, RN – Nurse and traditional medicine education. Berkeley.

Therapists:

  • Cambria Lowe, MFT – Somatic Psychotherapist and educator. Berkeley.
  • Michael Anne Conley, MFT – Marriage, family, child and individual therapist. Lafayette.

Naturopaths and Homeopaths:

  • Marianne Marchese, ND – Naturopathic doctor, environmental medicine specialist. Albany.
  • Cory Reddish, ND – Naturopathic doctor and educator. Mill Valley.
  • Latifa Tabachnick, CCH – Homeopath. San Rafael, CA.

Educators:

  • Kay Sandberg, MA – Environmentalist and peer educator. Palo Alto.

Health Care Clinics:

  • McKinnon Institute – Professional massage training school and clinic. Oakland.
  • Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic – Complementary and alternative medical clinic serving low income women with cancer. Oakland.

About The Teleosis Institute:

The Teleosis Institute is an educational not-for-profit organization devoted to developing effective, sustainable health care provided by professionals who serve as environmental stewards.

http://www.teleosis.org

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Joel Kreisberg
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