• Harvard College Green Medicine Initiative

    The Harvard College Green Medicine Initiative is a student-run organization that combines medicine, sustainability, and global health to promote greener healthcare practices in the US.

  • Why we care

    Here are just some of the reasons why we work hard to make green a reality.

    13.2 million

    pounds of waste produced by the healthcare industry each day (source)

    4 billion

    pounds of waste produced by the healthcare industry each year

    (source)

    25%

    of a typical hospital's annual operating cost devoted to meeting energy needs (source)

    $14,700

    in annual energy costs saved by replacing traditional exit signs with energy-efficient LED signs in a typical large hospital (source)

    50%

    potential reduction of medical waste volume by reusing scrubs and jackets (source)

    $258 million

    in supply costs saved by
    single-use medical device reprocessing in 2014 (source)

  • Our mission

    We reduce medical waste by educating and connecting
    healthcare providers around the world.

    Education for sustainability and waste reduction

    Education

    Growing greener healthcare from the roots

    GMI transforms research and practical knowledge into presentations and guidelines for healthcare providers to implement every day. By raising awareness among health practitioners, we help hospitals save energy and materials - lowering costs and environmental impact!

    Recycling symbol for surplus medical supply collection

    Surplus supply collection

    One hospital's surplus is another's supply

    While GMI's goal is to help hospitals become zero-waste, we know that change doesn't happen overnight. When partner hospitals have surplus supplies that are still usable, GMI does the legwork to make sure they don't go to waste. We collect, sort, and donate to trustworthy organizations.

    Global health impact

    Global health

    Connecting with caregivers around the world

    GMI's mission is ultimately global. Our international work ranges from directly donating surplus supplies abroad to supporting other green medicine efforts around the world. With our global perspective, we make sure that changes at home go farther to make the world a greener place.

  • Our partnerships

    Meet the hospitals who work with GMI to make healthcare greener.

    MGH vascular center Dr. Michael Watkins

    Harvard Office for Animal Resources

    Cambridge, MA

    GMI has partnered with the Harvard Office for Animal Resources to start washing polypropylene lab coats instead of incinerating them.

    Image source

    Brigham and Women's Hospital Emergency Medicine Department team

    Harvard University Health Services 

    Cambridge, MA

    GMI has worked with HUHS to search for a new product distributor, keeping environmental sustainability and financial feasibility in mind!

    Image source

    Brigham and Women's Hospital Emergency Medicine Department team

    BWH | Emergency Department

    Boston, MA

    MGH vascular center Dr. Michael Watkins

    MGH West | Vascular Center

    Waltham, MA

    GMI has partnered with the Fireman Vascular Center in Waltham to reduce waste and collect donations

    ranging from everyday supplies to X-ray viewers!

    Image source

  • Our progress

    Here's what we've accomplished so far.

    Supplies donated

    Dec 2015 to date

    From syringes to patient gowns, electrodes, gloves, tourniquets, and catheter systems, we've recovered over 1800 items from our partner hospitals.

    Equipment donated

    Dec 2015 to date

    In addition to consumable supplies, GMI has recovered several blood pressure cuffs and 3 full-size x-ray viewers.

    Value saved

    Dec 2015 to date

    Putting our stats in perspective - we've hauled almost 200 pounds of supplies and equipment, and saved roughly $2000 worth of materials from ending up unused in storage rooms or landfills.

    Funds raised

    Mar 2016 to date

    In addition to working directly with hospitals and healthcare providers, GMI is now working with the Harvard community to support NGOs engaged in the practice of green medicine! Recently, we've supported the Afya Foundation by raising over $500 after two College fundraising events.

  • Publications

    Read about some of our past work.

  • Our team

    Meet the people who work hard to bring GMI's vision closer to reality.

    Uzochi Nwoko

    President

    Uzochi is a Junior concentrating in Integrative Biology with a secondary in African American Studies. Motivated by his strong interest in medicine, he is grateful to lead a team dedicated to improving sustainability in the sphere of health-care. In the future, Uzochi hopes to obtain a medical degree and continue to promote the eco-friendly methods for which GMI advocates - this time in his own practice! He furthermore enjoys playing sports and engaging with music.

    Eugene Oh

    Vice President

    Eugene is a Junior concentrating in Chemistry with a secondary in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights. He is passionate about helping those in need and working to improve all facets of healthcare systems. Eugene hopes to attend medical school and continue working on sustainability initiatives in hospitals. Outside of academics, he loves sports, watching Netflix, and all things Boston!

    Chris Hinojosa

    Treasurer

    Chris is a Senior concentrating in Neuroscience with a secondary in Government. Having previously been the president of GMI, Chris is passionate about sustainability in medicine and helping underprivileged communities obtain the care they deserve. One day, he hopes to work in health policy in order to continue advocating for more sustainable practices in U.S. healthcare, with the hopes of making medical care more accessible for all. Aside from medicine, Chris’s interests include politics and all things movies!

    Joyce Zhou

    Member

    Joyce Zhou is an undergraduate student of the Harvard College Class of 2022. As an excited member of the Harvard Green Medicine Initiative team, she seeks to take impactful steps to promote sustainable healthcare practices through service, education, and advocacy in the greater Boston area and beyond. Through spearheading initiatives to engaging in sustained public service projects, she ultimately strives to make the global medical community more environmental and inclusive as a collaborative whole.

    Nina Cao

    Member

    Nina is a first-year student planning to concentrate in Physics and Mathematics with a secondary in History of Art and Architecture. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school for theoretical physics and eventually become a professor. She strongly enjoys engaging in public service and working to promote environmental sustainability. She hopes to help make an impact through the Green Medicine Initiative, and raise awareness of the importance of the sustainable use of resources and green energy.

    Andrew Zhang

    Member

    Andrew is a first-year student with an interest in healthcare, regenerative biology, and neuroscience. He joined GMI in 2018 with the goal of helping local hospitals achieve long-term objectives in waste-reduction and sustainability. Beyond his pursuits in the life sciences, Andrew is also a woodworker and magician!

    Michael Xie

    Member

    Michael is a Freshman considering concentrating in History of Science, as well as pursing a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. He is interested in promoting sustainable practices in medicine and mitigating the healthcare industry's environmental impact. He hopes to attend medical school in the future, as well as help make medical care more accessible, eco-friendly, and equitable for all - eventually delving into public health or health policy. Outside of academics, Michael is interested in running, writing, and photography.

    Becca Amesbury

    Member

    Becca is a Sophomore concentrating in Chemistry with a secondary in Integrative Biology. She has a strong passion for the environment and sustainability, and hopes to attend medical school following graduation. Additionally, she aims to implement sustainable healthcare practices to her work in the future. Outside of class, she enjoys playing intramural sports, spending times with friends, and cooking.

    Olivia Morris

    Member

    Olivia is a Freshman planning to concentrate in Biomedical Engineering or Neuroscience, with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. She plans to attend medical school for neurology and work with advanced prosthetics. Additionally, Olivia has a strong passion for reform in the accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of healthcare. Outside of academics, she loves to write, read, play basketball and tennis, and relax with friends!

    Patrick Koenigs

    Member

    Patrick is passionate about sustainability in medicine and wants to speak up and speak out about the ways we can make the world a greener place. In the future, Patrick would like to make the medical world more inclusive and accessible by working as a lobbyist. Besides the Green Medicine Initiative, Patrick is also working with the Harvard College Democrats and the AIDS Action Committee. Outside of academics, Patrick loves cooking, skiing, and perusing Twitter!

    Comfort Abuwa

    Member

    Comfort is a second year concentrating in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology with a language citation in Igbo. She has a strong interest in the future of gene targeting therapy and treatment, as well as environmental sustainability and health care inequality. In her free time she enjoys traveling and reading.

    McKenzy Wall

    Member

    McKenzy is a freshman planning to concentrate in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is passionate about both sustainability and medicine, and hopes to make an impact in both these fields through the Green Medicine Initiative. In the future, she plans to attend medical school and pursue an MD-Phd. Outside of class, she is a member of the Radcliffe Heavyweight Crew team and loves to read and spend time with her friends.

    Ben Chun

    Member

    Ben is a first-year student thinking of concentrating in Integrative Biology. He plans on attending medical school with the goal of becoming a trauma surgeon. Ben is passionate about the ways in which we can practice sustainability in medicine and hopes to make the world a greener place one step at a time. In his free time, Ben loves to work out, eat, and watch Netflix.

    Tanisha Martheswaran

    Member

    Tanisha is a Freshman from Salt Lake City thinking about concentrating in Integrative Biology with a Secondary in Global Health. She has a deep passion for community service, health care, and sustainability. She hopes to learn more about the intersections between medicine and green practices, and one day share her knowledge with the community. She plans on attending medical school and applying these sustainable practices in a health-related career. For fun, Tanisha enjoys watching Netflix, singing, and baking.

    Ryan Thrush

    Member

    Ryan is a sophomore concentrating in Environmental Science and Engineering. He feels strongly about the importance of sustainability, and hopes to contribute to the development and implementation of clean energy usage practices after graduation. He hopes that through his role in Harvard’s Green Medicine Initiative he can help raise awareness about sustainable healthcare practices. He also enjoys running, volunteering, and singing.

    Bella Beckett

    Member

    Bella is a sophomore concentrating in neuroscience with a secondary in chemistry. She is passionate about making sure that everyone has access to healthcare and about sustainability in all aspects of the medical field. She hopes to attend medical school after graduation. Apart from medicine, she enjoys cheerleading and comedy and loves watching the New England Patriots.

    George Nageeb

    Member

    George Nageeb is a first-year student potentially concentrating in Economics. He is interested in healthcare economics and is looking to combine this interest with sustainability. George hopes to attend medical school and become involved with improving medical administrations and helping hospitals run more efficiently. George is from medical-Mecca Cleveland, Ohio and is an avid Cleveland sports fan.

    Skylar Smith

    Member

    Skylar is a first-year student planning to concentrate in Psychology, with a secondary in Social Anthropology. She is passionate about promoting sustainability and equity in healthcare around the world. She plans to attend medical school and earn an MD/MPH to provide medical services to underserved populations in the United States and abroad. In addition to GMI, Skylar is a Resource Volunteer at MGH, a mentor for adolescents diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, and a health class teacher at a Boston high school. Outside of academics and extracurriculars, Skylar loves playing guitar, trying new restaurants with friends, and traveling.

    Michelle Wang

    Member

    Michelle Wang is a junior concentrating in chemistry with a secondary in economics. She hopes to attend medical school in the future and is passionate about healthcare and helping those in need. Outside of academics, she loves board games, hiking, and cheerleading.

    Leah Schwartz

    Co-Founder

    Leah came to GMI with a passion for global health equity and previous experience working with the Afya Foundation, a New York-based NGO that similarly aims to ethically redistribute medical supplies worldwide. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to engage with GMI since its nascence and is excited to support its continued growth. Ultimately, Leah hopes to pursue a career combining clinical practice and global health policy. Leah founded GMI along with Samantha Guhan in 2015.

  • Contact us

    If you're interested in working with us, we're interested in getting in touch!

    You can submit your message here, or reach us via email at greenmedinitiative@gmail.com.

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