Press Release: 2023 Climate and Health Equity Fellows Graduate

Blog > Members in Action > Press Release: 2023 Climate and Health Equity Fellows Graduate

Shaneeta Johnson, MD
Climate & Health Equity Fellowship Director

Climate & Health Equity Fellowship Celebrates Graduation of Third Cohort of Fellows Prepared to Become Change Leaders to Improve the Health of Communities Impacted by Climate Change.

Washington, D.C.  –  Today the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health graduated 12 Climate and Health Equity Fellows (CHEF) from the Class of 2023. This cohort is the third graduating class of physicians of color from underrepresented groups in medicine from throughout the U.S. The CHEF fellowship equips these physicians with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to become leaders in advocacy for equitable climate policy.

The Fellows complete an intensive education over 10 months from more than 40 leaders in environmental health and climate justice. Each cohort of fellows has written and published newspaper opinion articles and blog posts, presented at conferences, authored book chapters, and recorded videos about how climate affects people at the highest risk across medical specialties and how equitable solutions can provide the most health benefits to these same people. 

Fellows also produced capstone projects of state, national, or international significance. Examples this year include:  

  • Building the capacity of New York State agencies for rapid response to climate emergencies and development of a blueprint for climate change resilience in communities and healthcare organizations
  • Electronic Health Record Toolkit And Guides On Climate Change and Health to improve patient and clinician use and knowledge of topics relevant to climate and health
  • Publication discussing modern-day impacts of climate change in Native American communities
  • Population survey of physicians of three regions of Mississippi to ascertain, knowledge base, needs, resources, and solutions in climate change and health equity
  • A study on the response of milk production in relation to extreme weather specifically extreme heat in humans

The Fellows will continue to engage with local, state, and national organizations to advocate for equitable climate solutions through presentations at community events and professional conferences, publications, joining advisory committees, participating in media interviews, meeting with policymakers, and posting on social media. They will also participate in the new CHEF Alumni Engagement Network (CAEN) which represents the more than 30 alumni of the program and features a speaker’s bureau and engagement platform with the fellowsi. 

Building on the success of the CHEF fellowship and the graduates, we are pleased to announce a new full-time fellowship focused on Policy Experience in Equity, Climate, and Health (PEECH) starting February 2024.

The CHEF fellowship is a program of George Mason University’s Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health and the National Medical Association in partnership with the National Hispanic Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the Association of American Indian Physicians, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians. It is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Energy Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American College of Physicians, the Northlight Foundation, and the American Medical Association. Contact Dr. Shaneeta Johnson ( or Dr. Kimberly Williams ( for more information.