CHEF Webinar – November 11, 2022
Who (or What) is a UN COP & Why Does it Matter for Health & Climate Justice?
In this webinar, entitled “Who (or What) is a UN COP? & Why Does it Matter for Health & Climate Justice?”, Dr. Mark Mitchell, Director of the Climate and Health Equity Fellowship (CHEF), will provide a brief background and context of the aspects of the Conference of the Parties (COP). He will be followed by our panel of speakers, Dr. Laalitha Surapaneni, who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine, and Ms. Patricia Cochran, Inupiaq Elder, who serves as Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission. As recent COP participants, they will share unique insights and answer questions regarding their personal experiences, the value of attending COP, and the role that health professionals and climate justice advocates can fulfill with their involvement.
Speaker Bio – Dr. Laalitha Surapaneni
Dr. Laalitha Surapaneni is an Assistant Professor of the Department of General Internal Medicine with a public health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a practicing hospitalist at the East Bank campus of M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis. Dr. Surapaneni’s areas of interest are the impacts of climate change on health equity, sustainable healthcare delivery, and the role of physician advocacy in developing science-based policy. At the University, she co-chairs the Climate Health Action Program, a sustainability initiative within the Department of Medicine and is an associate at the Institute on the Environment. She is a member of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change United States Brief workgroup through the University’s Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility. She is the faculty advisor for Health Students for a Healthy Climate, an inter-professional health student group focused on climate action.
Speaker Bio – Ms. Patricia Cochran
Patricia Cochran, Inupiaq Elder, serves as Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission, an organization that brings together research and science in partnership with Alaska Native communities. Ms. Cochran also served as Chair of the 2009 Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Global Network on Climate Change. She is the past Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, an international organization representing 160,000 Inuit of Alaska, Canada, Russian and Greenland; former Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat to the 8 nation, Arctic Council; and former Arctic Representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She currently serves as Treasurer and Past Chair of the American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Caucus of the American Public Health Association, President of the Arctic Health Foundation, Board Member of the Alaska Forum on the Environment, member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Advisory Committee for Health and Climate Solutions and a member of the American Academy of Sciences Accelerating Climate Action Commission.
Speaker Bio – Dr. Michael Charles
Michael Charles is Diné, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, and a Provost’s New Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor with the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. His research focuses on computational sustainable design and community engagement, particularly with Indigenous communities. As part of this work, he often looks to include public health-based metrics within engineering, expanding from traditional approaches focused on private industry costs. Michael is an affiliated faculty with the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program and works on the Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession Project. Along with his research, he works with the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (since 2017) to advocate for Indigenous rights, leadership, and self-determination within UN Climate Negotiations.