15 Doctors Announced as 2022 Climate and Health Equity Fellows

Climate and Health Equity Fellowship grows with new support from medical societies.

Feb 24 2022 – The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health announced today the launch of the second year of its Climate and Health Equity Fellowship (CHEF) program with a class of 15 Fellows from across the U.S.

The Fellowship was launched in 2021 in partnership with the National Medical Association (NMA) in recognition of the fact that climate change is both a health emergency, and a major health equity issue. Throughout the U.S. there is a need for more diversity in climate and health leadership and a sharper focus on equitable climate solutions. The goal of the Fellowship is to empower doctors of color from populations that face greater burdens from climate effects and are under-represented in medicine to become leaders in climate and health equity education, advocacy, and policy solutions.

“We’re thrilled to expand the Climate and Health Equity Fellowship this year after seeing the success of our first class,” said Dr. Mark Mitchell, the CHEF Fellowship founder and director.

Support for the expanded Fellowship is being provided by generous donations from the American College of Physicians, the Energy Foundation, and Johnson & Johnson, in cooperation with the National Medical Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the GLMA Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality and the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians. This expansion is intended to help increase the capacity and racial and ethnic diversity of climate and health leadership in these medical societies.

“Major medical societies recognize that patients of color and low-wealth patients are disproportionately affected by climate change, and want to assure that the doctors who provide care to them are fully informed so they can offer state of the art recommendations on climate resilience and speak knowledgeably with policy makers about protection of the public,”  said Dr. Mona Sarfaty, Executive Director of the Consortium.

The 2022 Fellows are: Drs. Gerri Cannon-Smith (Pediatrics, MS), Yvonne Collins (Gynecologic Oncology, IL), Ricardo Correa (Internal Medicine, AZ), Jessica Edwards (Family Medicine, TX), Tracey Henry (Internal Medicine, GA), Jessica Isom (Psychiatry, MA), Rondall Lane (Anesthesiology, CA), Nicole Mahealani Lum (Family Medicine, HI), Torrence Barry Nicholson (Family Medicine, AL), Nneoma Nwachuku Ojiaku (Obstetrics, CA), Pragya Rai (Pediatric Pulmonology, WA), Dorothy Russ (Family Medicine, FL), Francis Samonte (Pediatrics, MA), Jesus Saucedo (Family Medicine, CA) and Rene’ Settle-Robinson (Podiatry, WI).

This fellowship will engage the doctors over 10 months in intensive semi-monthly training and exercises. Fellows will meet virtually or in-person two days each month for 4 hours. In between monthly sessions, they will be tasked with specific practicum activities, such as conducting public outreach and education, identifying and assessing how to respond to an environmental or climate policy or regulatory issue in the region, developing their own climate and health equity presentations, developing testimony or writing letters to the editor.This Fellowship opportunity will help generate a network of physicians of color from across the country who are experts on climate, health and equity.

For more information contact Dr. Kimberly Williams (kimberlywilliamsphd@gmail.com) or Dr. Mark Mitchell (mmitch3@gmu.edu).

This program was made possible with generous support from Johnson & Johnson, the Energy Foundation, and the American College of Physicians.