In this episode of the Age of Adoption podcast, we had the privilege of hosting Dr. Eric Cioè-Peña, MD, MPH, an emergency physician and the vice president and founder of the Center for Global Health at Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider and private employer in New York State. Dr. Cioè-Peña shares Northwell Health’s Age of Adoption story, with insights into Northwell’s vision for transforming the healthcare system into a more decarbonized and sustainable model. Below, we outline how the healthcare system has begun to do so. You can also listen to or watch the episode to hear our guest’s insights. 

1. Adopting Sustainable Healthcare Practices

Northwell Health is working globally to build sustainable healthcare in collaboration with partners in countries like Guyana and Ukraine. Northwell’s focus is on areas most negatively affected by climate change, addressing issues such as supply chain, equipment, and single-use disposal products. Dr. Cioè-Peña emphasized the need for a more environmentally friendly approach in healthcare, challenging the traditional use of single-use metal products and advocating for reuse. To reinforce this commitment, Northwell Health has appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer.

2. Engaging Suppliers for Positive Impact

Recognizing the power of its size, Northwell leverages its purchasing influence to inspire suppliers to adopt more decarbonized and sustainable practices. The organization acknowledges sustainability as no longer a fringe topic but an integral part of healthcare. By using its market influence, Northwell is actively contributing to transforming the healthcare sector into a more environmentally conscious industry.

3. Improving Access to Care

With around 2 million patients and 6 million visits annually, Northwell Health strives to grow access to care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they successfully re-routed low emergency calls to 911 to a telemedicine system run by the hospital system, addressing capacity issues for 911 calls. This initiative not only improved health equity but also reduced the carbon footprint associated with unnecessary transport to hospitals.

4. Taking a Global Approach 

Dr. Cioè-Peña shed light on the challenges faced by countries like Guyana, where geographical barriers, infrastructure limitations, and climate-related issues hinder healthcare access. He discussed innovative solutions, such as using telehealth during the escalation of the Ukraine war to provide expertise to general medical officers in regional hospitals, and more.

5. Climate Change and Global Responsibility

Highlighting the disparities caused by the carbon economy, Dr. Cioè-Peña emphasized the responsibility of more prosperous nations and companies in the Global North to assist smaller countries adversely affected by climate change. He stressed the need for a multi-modal response, including capital, technology, and collaborative efforts, to ensure these nations can progress towards prosperity without being hindered by climate-related challenges.

Learn more about Northwell Health’s Center for Global Health

Learn more about Antenna Group.

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