Gary Cohen and Host Michael Lerner

The Evolution of the Modern Health and Environmental Justice Movement

Join Host Michael Lerner in a conversation with Gary Cohen, founder of Healthcare without Harm. They trace the evolution of the modern health and environmental justice movement over the years, starting in 1996, when Gary founded the organization after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified medical waste incineration as the leading source of dioxin, one of the most potent carcinogens. You can hear a past conversation with Gary here, one of the first conversations at The New School.

Gary Cohen

Gary is a co-founder and president of Health Care Without Harm, the international campaign for environmentally responsible healthcare. HCWH is working to prevent disease and illness in society by assisting the healthcare sector to understand the links between a healthy environment and healthy people and helping hospitals become more environmentally sustainable as well as anchors in their communities for resilience, equity and community wellness. He is president of Practice Greenhealth, a U.S. membership affiliate of HCWH with over 1300 hospital members. He is also the co-founder of Greenhealth Exchange, a sustainable purchasing cooperative in the U.S. healthcare sector. Gary is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, India, which provides free medical care to the survivors of the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal. Gary was awarded the MacArthur “Genius:” award in 2015, and the Champion for Change for Climate Change and Public Health by the White House in 2013. He was also awarded the Skoll Global Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2006 and the Frank Hatch Award for Enlightened Public Service Award in 2007.

Host Michael Lerner

Michael is the president and co-founder of Commonweal. His principal work at Commonweal is with the Cancer Help Program,, the Omega Resilience Projects, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, and The New School at Commonweal. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Prize Fellowship for contributions to public health in 1983 and is author of Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Therapies (MIT Press).