For Lillian, sustainability is about health

Heat stress and food shortages due to heat, drought and the spread of infectious diseases. For prevention coordinator Lillian, public health and climate change are closely linked. “For me, being involved in sustainability really means promoting health.”

Originally, Lillian van der Veen, PhD in Community + Health (M + G doctor) and working as prevention coordinator at UMC Utrecht, was not fully aware of sustainability. “I’ve been trying this for several years: eat less meat, fly less. I do my best to be aware of it, but I’m nowhere perfect.”

Keeping people healthy as much as possible

Lillian is more interested in prevention and healthy living. As an M+G physician, but especially in her role as Prevention Coordinator at the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care. “Physician M+G’s field is about public health and prevention, so how do we keep people as healthy and happy as possible rather than making them better. As a prevention coordinator, I work to promote wellness: a healthy lifestyle and a healthy social and physical environment for patients, citizens, and staff. I don’t I do this on my own, of course, but with the prevention platform, which consists of representatives of departments, councils and spearheads.

There is a lot of common ground between my profession and sustainability

So it was no coincidence that Selina Kron, Sustainability Program Manager at UMC Utrecht, reached out to Lillian. Whether she wants to be responsible for one of the five topics from Green Deal Sustainable Care 3.0: health promotion. “Well, I think sustainability is an interesting thing, but I didn’t immediately make the connection to prevention. Until I started reading and saw how much my work and sustainability overlap: It’s also about keeping people as healthy as possible, a healthy living environment, and a healthy lifestyle. After all, The most sustainable care is the care you don’t have to give.”

See also  How did life begin on Earth? Three scientific theories

Provide sustainable care for these people in particular

And that’s how Lillian became really passionate about sustainability in the business. “For me, sustainability is really about promoting health. My motivation is that I want to contribute to reducing health inequalities. It’s very hard to stay healthy and happy if you don’t have money to buy healthy food, or if you’re under constant stress. We also know that those They often need more and faster care. And so it is precisely these people that we must make an effort to do if we want to provide less – and therefore: more sustainable – care. Together with Selina, I take a look at how other colleagues at UMC Utrecht can be included in this story. Because we see how much Its importance, but also how much fun it can be. We want people to want to start with it. Without it becoming pedantic, without it feeling like an extra burden.”

Do something about your health and sustainability at the same time

Lillian finds it unfortunate that talk of healthy and sustainable living often ends in negativity and spartan living. According to her, it can also be done differently. “Find your own personal motivation to change something, and come up with actions that fit that and are feasible for you and preferably also enjoyable. You can find it in the little things: it helps to eat vegan once a week or go to work by bike once a week.” You’re getting a double win: With so many actions, you can do something about your health and your sustainability at the same time.”

See also  Watch: When the astronauts on the International Space Station celebrate Christmas in space and Santa visits them

At UMC Utrecht we work every day to improve health. We want to contribute to a healthy life and a healthy society, as well as to future generations. However, offering our care has a negative impact on the climate. We want to break this contradiction. By making our care, research and education more sustainable, now and in the future. In this summer sustainability series at UMC Utrecht, fellows with a green heart talk about what motivates them to make their work more sustainable. Read all stories from Sustaining the Summer Series.

Questions, comments or tips for editors?

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *