Global Health

December 1, 2023

Save the Date: Radiology’s Climate Action and Sustainability Summit Dec. 7

The inaugural hybrid event will highlight decarbonization, climate-health research initiatives, and industry collaborations. Listen to speakers with various expertise from VUMC, WM, and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

The Department of Radiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is hosting its inaugural hybrid Climate Action and Sustainability Summit on Dec. 7 to spotlight initiatives and research about the disparate impact of climate change on health as well as projects designed to reduce the carbon footprint of health care. 

The Climate Action and Sustainability Summit is part of an initiative within the Department of Radiology to explore and operationalize climate-friendly business practices. VUMC and Royal Philips recently released early results from a collaboration announced in May to demonstrate that decarbonization efforts can be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

During the first year of Radiology’s initiative, the department awarded seven pilot grants of up to $2,000 to staff and faculty across the VUMC enterprise who developed projects to explore ways to make the enterprise climate focused or demonstrate potential to reduce its carbon footprint. The Summit and pilot grants are funded by WM, North America’s leading provider of comprehensive environmental solutions. 

The free Climate Action and Sustainability Summit on Dec. 7 is open to the public, which is encouraged to attend either in-person on the VUMC campus or virtually from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CST. The Summit features speakers from VUMC, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, and WM. 

“There is incredible work to reduce the carbon footprint of health care in all parts of VUMC. However, many of us are not aware of efforts on sustainability or familiar with those outside of their departments. The vision of this first summit is to shine a bright light on the issue and people who are involved as a way to spark broader collaboration and conversation. I hope the Summit is a launching point for more future projects and initiatives,” said John Scheel, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair of Global Health and Sustainability for the Department of Radiology. 

“WM is committed to working with leaders like Vanderbilt University Medical Center to strengthen the resiliency of our communities through innovative approaches to increasing recycling and reducing emissions,” said Don Gentilcore, WM’s Mid-South Area director of disposal operations responsible for Middle Tennessee. “The inaugural Summit is an exciting result of our collaboration to date with the Department of Radiology around its sustainability vision, and I’m looking forward to a great evening of presentations and conversation.”   



The summit features recipients of the pilot grant, panel discussions as well as remarks from:

  • Eva Parker, MD, Department of Dermatology and Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, on “Climate Change and Infectious Disease.” 
  • Don Gentilcore, Mid-South area director of Disposal Operations responsible for Middle Tennessee, WM. 
  • Tina Hartert, MD, MPH, director, Center for Asthma Research, Vice President for Translational Science on “Disparities in Exposure to Fossil Fuel Related Air Pollution and Impact on Maternal and Child Health in Tennessee.” 
  • D. Borden Lacy, PhD, director, Center for Structural Biology, on “Greening the Lab Space.” 
  • Diana Carver, PhD, Department of Radiology on ”Measuring VUMC Radiology’s Carbon Footprint.” 
  • Carol Ziegler, DNP, APRN, NP-C, APHN-BC, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, co-founder of the Climate, Health, and Energy Equity Lab (CHEEL) at the W’Ondry, on “The Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab: Local Innovations Promoting Health Co-Benefits.” 


Learn more about the Summit agenda. 

Registration is preferred for both in-person and virtual attendees.