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Golisano Children's Hospital / Children's Environmental Health / URMC MSST - Medical Student Sustainability Team


URMC MSST - Medical Student Sustainability Team

Tree planting at UR President Mangelsdorf home

MSST 2nd yr. Med Students Nicholas Contento and Valentina Sedlacek
- Tree planting at UR President Mangelsdorf home.

The Medical Student Sustainability Team (MSST) is a group of medical students at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry dedicated to addressing climate change and fostering sustainability in healthcare. MSST is a registered chapter of Medical Students for a Sustainable Future (MS4SF).

We care deeply about these issues because:

  • The health of our patients depends on the health of the planet
  • Climate change affects everyone, and disproportionately affects our most vulnerable patients
  • The United States healthcare system is responsible for ten percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions

Our Hippocratic Oath that physicians take to do no harm is violated by our healthcare system’s profound contribution to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, which, in turn, causes a warming planet, with myriad consequential health effects, such as heat-related illnesses, poor air-quality related illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pre-term and low birth weight.

Some activities of our group have included promotion of the Finger Lakes Children’s Environmental Health Center’s webinars and completion of our institution’s Planetary Health Report Card, a report on our institution’s contributions to environmental health and areas for growth.

We also hosted a book club to discuss Harriet Washington’s A Terrible Thing to Waste, which focuses on environmental racism, and engaged in advocacy to include more environmental health content in the medical school curriculum, which resulted in a new lecture this past year and a plan to add more content in coming years.

Medical Student Sustainability Team Members

Champion Academy at Genesee Valley Park

Champion Academy at Genesee Valley Park with Kristen Sportiello.

  • Lauren Eisner (MS2)
  • Erica Andersen (MS2)
  • Antoinette Nguyen (MS2)
  • Tori Valachovic (MS3)
  • Kristen Sportiello (MS3)
  • Kyle Martin (MS3)
  • Sarah Crowe (MS3)
  • Nick Contento (MS4)
  • Valentina Sedlacek (MS4)
  • Emily Rosenthal (2022 MS grad, now MD)
  • Shannon Cleary (2022 MS grad, now MD)
  • Camille Ezran (2022 MS grad, now MD)

Faculty Advisors

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