June 6th, 2024

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Sustainable Health Care for Serious Illness and End of Life Care

PEACH Health Ontario in collaboration with the Hamilton Family Health Team and McMaster University Department of Family Medicine, has created a new toolkit!

The information provided in this toolkit will assist family physicians and primary care teams in overcoming barriers when engaging in Advance Care Planning (ACP) and in providing patient centred care throughout a life-limiting illness trajectory, from diagnosis to End of Life (EOL). It will provide insight into the palliative approach and how environmentally sustainable practices can be integrated into patient care and health care delivery.

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Trees as a 'health-care ally': How medical facilities are using plants to heal patients and the planet

CTV News

When most people think about hospitals, they picture what goes on inside them. But what’s outside is important, too. A growing body of research suggests the greenery that surrounds medical facilities can have a significant impact on human health – and help diminish the greenhouse gases emitted by the health sector itself.

Studies also show green spaces can help boost a person's well-being while working as a carbon sink for surrounding communities, absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they release.

“Trees are often overlooked as a health-care ally,” says Dr. Myles Sergeant, the Coalition’s executive director. “But they’re an incredible resource.”

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SFU air filter workshops protect people from dangers of wildfire smoke

Simon Fraser University

The SFU-led Pacific Institute on Pathogens, Pandemics and Society (PIPPS) has led 25 workshops helping people build more than 500 air filters to clean the air in their homes and reduce exposure to fine particulates from wildfire smoke, which can cause lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, exacerbate asthma and make life miserable for people with existing lung disease.

“Indoor air quality is often overlooked,” says Anne-Marie Nicol, associate professor of professional practice in the Faculty of Health Sciences. “We are very concerned about the pollution that exists outside, but we often pay less attention to the air we breathe indoors, which is unfortunate as most of us spend 70-90 per cent of our time inside.”

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Governments must disaster-proof Canada's hospitals against climate change: experts

Canadian Underwriter

Last month, the Canadian Medical Association warned that Canada’s health-care facilities are among the oldest public infrastructure in use. Half were built more than 50 years ago, making them especially vulnerable to extreme climate events. 

The fix could mean moving electrical workings of the hospital out of the basement to avoid floodwaters seeping in, or upgrading the ventilation systems so they aren’t overpowered by smoke drifting in from nearby wildfires. It could also be as simple as installing air conditioning to combat extreme heat, as high temperatures become increasingly common. 

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Doctors want to know where NWT's clean air shelters will be

Cabin Radio

The NWT’s doctors’ association is asking governments in the territory to identify and equip clean air shelters ready for the next severe wildfire season.

Smoke gave the NWT some of the world’s worst air this summer – often for extended periods. Experts have said the long-term effects of that smoke on human health aren’t well understood.

In a letter to NWT Premier RJ Simpson and health minister Lesa Semmler this week, the NWT Medical Association, which represents the territory’s physicians, said the research that is available suggests smoke is “increasingly understood to pose major risks to health.”

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New Canadian Poverty, Health Equity, and Climate Change Initiative

The Canadian Poverty, Health Equity, and Climate Change Initiative, funded by the McConnell Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), aims to improve Canada’s climate change mitigation and adaptation responses as they relate to individuals, families, and communities that are experiencing poverty.


This initiative has established networks of experts, policymakers and community organizations and provides research, policy, education, and service direction based on the best available evidence on the climate change-poverty-health nexus in Canada. 

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38 case studies, 17 countries, 1 goal: Decarbonize health care

Health Care Without Harm

Health Care Without Harm and its strategic partners convened health care institutions from 17 countries around the world to share their stories of proven practices and step-by-step guidance for dramatically reducing greenhouse gasses while prioritizing patient care, health equity, and resilience. 

Their stories have been showcased in the Health Care Climate Learning Initiative: 38 case studies, featuring videos, photos, and graphics that illustrate their challenges, successes, and lessons learned on their journey to achieve net zero by 2050.

Access the resource


Hospital food has a bad reputation. A chef reimagined it - with a focus on healing


You might be familiar with some of the less-than-appetizing meals that get served in hospital if you, or a loved one, has ever had an extended stay. But a recent pilot project at a Vancouver hospital aimed to replace unappealing mush with something that's both appetizing and nutritious.

"There's starting to be more recognition of the role that food plays in recovery," said Dr. Annie Lalande, a surgery resident at Vancouver General Hospital. "It's such an important part of healing. It's such an important part of the patient experience," she told The Current's Matt Galloway.

Vancouver General Hospital partnered with celebrity chef and TV personality Ned Bell to offer more than 20 new menu items in an effort to encourage more hospital patients to eat.

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E-bike incentives lead to significant decline in car use, UBC study says

Electric Autonomy

Incentives for purchasing e-bikes can be more impactful in reducing carbon emissions than electric vehicle rebates. This is according to the researchers of a new University of British Columbia study.

The study was released in March 2024. It found residents of Saanich, B.C. — a suburb of Victoria — who took part in a city-led e-bike incentive program in 2021/2022 reduced their automobile use by an average 49 kilometres per week.

Researchers found the incentive program attracted many new or marginal e-bike purchasers and purchasers have high satisfaction with their new e-bikes. They used them regularly, three to four days per week, travelling anywhere between 30 to 70 kilometres in that span.

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HVAC innovations to help achieve net zero and decarbonization goals

Healthcare Facilities Today

As healthcare facilities continue to modernize their HVAC systems, a concern has cropped up around making them more sustainable. There are two concepts that surround this concern: Net Zero and decarbonization. Net Zero is an overall goal of reaching zero emissions usually by a set year, while decarbonization aims to transition energy sources away from carbon-based sources. In this manufacturer roundtable, Healthcare Facilities Today speaks with HVAC manufacturers about the innovations helping healthcare facilities achieve both goals. 

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Release of RETScreen® Version 9.1

Version 9.1 of the RETScreen® Clean Energy Management Software platform is now available for download from the RETScreen website. This update has arrived with a number of salient new features to enhance the RETScreen experience!

One of the latest features is an automated Net Zero Planning Tool which further enables portfolio-wide decarbonization planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting – all available within one single multilingual platform. Learn more about the new tool HERE.


Mobilizing Circularity in Canada's Built Environment: From Concept to Best Practices

Date: June 18th, 2024

Time: 1:00pm-2:15pm ET

This 75 minute webinar will share the outputs from a multi-phased project led by Circular Economy Leadership Canada (CELC) and CSA Group, in collaboration with industry and government partners, to advance the circular built environment in Canada.

Register HERE.

2024 Reports from Canada's Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development

Date: June 21st, 2024

Time: 2:00pm ET

Sustainability Network welcomes back Canada’s CESD to discuss reports tabled in Parliament on April 30th, 2024. Commissioner Jerry V. DeMarco and Principals from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada will discuss the issues covered by these recent CESD reports

Register HERE.

Movement Building and Systems Change for Planetary Health

Date: June 12th, 2024

Time: 3:00pm ET

In this panel, organized by BC Cancer Planetary Health Nursing Internship, with support from PHSA, CANE, Providence Health Care, CAPE and CASCADES, panelists and moderator will come together to discuss the movement-building needed to solve our global environmental crises.

Register HERE.

Registration is Now Open! CHES 2024 National Conference - Sept. 8th-10th

The 2024 CHES National Chapter Conference & Trade Show will be held in Halifax Nova Scotia on September 8th-10th.

The theme for this year’s conference is: "Enriching Patient Experiences by Optimizing the Environment" 


Registration is now open!

Register here

Have you registered as an organ donor?

Contact your local organ donation agency and speak to your family about your wishes. You have the power to save and transform lives. Learn more and register to donate HERE.

The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care is Canada’s premier green health care resource network, leading the evolution of green in Canada’s health sector as a national voice and catalyst for environmental change. www.greenhealthcare.ca 

Some articles referred to in the Digest make reference to services and/or product offerings from specific suppliers. The CCGHC recommends that readers research the service and product offerings available through a wider range of suppliers for comparison purposes and in keeping with public sector purchasing guidelines. These articles should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any product or service.
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