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Sustainability Top Of Mind At Intensive Care Conference

Sustainability will be front and centre at the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care society’s annual meeting in Napier next week.

Staff from Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are hosting this year’s event titled a ‘2020 Vision of our Environment’ which will provide quality professional development for 150 health professionals from around New Zealand and across the Tasman.

Speakers will talk on a range of sustainability-related themes such as the health impact of climate change, reducing healthcare pollution and becoming part of the climate solution.

Event co-convener and ICU Head of Department Louise Trent said sustainability binds the themes of the conference.

“As health professionals, we’ll look at improving our sustainability, which means looking after ourselves and our colleagues so we can look after our community. We’ll discuss how we can advocate for health equity - whether that be in organ donation, obesity prevention, or the adverse health impacts of climate change,” she said.

“The intensive care community certainly face challenging times ahead. We are learning from the recent mass casualty events - the Christchurch mosque shooting, the Whakaari eruption, bushfires in Australia and now the emergence of COVID19. How these affect and shape our craft group and work environment will depend on how we work together to build sustainable intensive care services for the future.”

“We’ll be sustaining our clinical knowledge and building the friendships and bonds that support our tight New Zealand intensive care community in an environmentally-friendly meeting.”

The conference is offsetting their carbon footprint with EKOS Native Forest Carbon Credits. Those flying to the meeting are also encouraged to purchase carbon credits under Air New Zealand’s Fly Neutral programme. The conference team are working with Napier Conference Centre to minimise the environmental footprint of the event including food waste and will donate any food left over to charities such as Nourished for Nil or Women’s refuge.

“If we take care of Earth, if we take care of people we will take care of the future,” Dr Trent said.

Internationally acclaimed climate scientist James Renwick and Dr Forbes McGain are keynote speakers at the conference and will also give a free public lecture on March 4 which is open to anyone with an interest in climate science and sustainable living.

Mr Renwick has four decades of experience in weather and climate research and is a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - he contributed to the IPCC that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Mr Renwick is Head of School for Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University. His passion for education was recognised when he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize last year. He will discuss the science of climate change and its implications for us all in Hawke’s Bay and beyond at the public lecture.

Dr McGain is an International leader in the push for greater sustainability in the health system.

The Intensive Care Physician and Anaesthetist from Melbourne also has a PhD in hospital environmental sustainability. He is honorary associate professor at the Sydney University School of Public Health in the field of Planetary Health. In his lecture, Dr McGain will explore why doctors (and all who work in healthcare) are integral to carrying our community on to a better path towards prolonged sustainability.

People can turn up on the day to these free talks but it is recommended you register your interest at to guarantee a seat. There will be a box for a voluntary gold coin donation which will go towards sustainability-orientated charities in Hawke’s Bay.

Public Lectures

The Napier Conference Centre

Wednesday 4 March 7.00pm-8.15pm

Professor James Renwick - Climate change emergency, so what?

Honorary Associate Professor Dr Forbes McGain - The climate crisis everyone’s medical emergency; so what are you doing about it Doc?

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