Environmental Sustainability and Your Practice


Planning Committee

Vivian Ip, MBChB, MRCP, FRCA; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Meeting Chair
EB Fouts-Palmer, MD; Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY
Deirdre Kelleher, MD; Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY
Rachel Outterson, MD; Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Timur Ozelsel, MD; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Rakesh Sondekoppam, MBBS, MD, FRCA; University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA


(subject to change)

EB Fouts-Palmer, MD; Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY
Jen Fraser, BBA; Island Health, Victoria, Canada
Molly Herr, MD; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Vivian Ip, MB ChB; 
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Deirdre Kelleher, MD; Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY
Rebecca Knagg; Cumbria Youth Offending Service, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Forbes McGain, PhD; Western Health, Melbourne, Australia
Matthew Meyer, MD; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Hugh Montgomery, OBE, FMedSci, MBBS, BSc, FRCP, MD, FRSB, FFICM, FRI; University College London, United Kingdom
Ariana Nelson, MD; University of California, Irvine, CA
Rachel Outterson, MD; Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Timur Ozelsel, MD; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Jason Saleh, MD; Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Cliff Shelton, MBChB, MSc, PhD; Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom
Rakesh Sondekoppam, MBBS, MD, FRCA; University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Jon Utech, MS-OD, MBA; Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Harry Vandermeer, PEng; Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Canada
Kamen Vlassakov, MD; Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Karin Zuegge, MD; University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI


Dr. Elizabeth Fouts-Palmer

E.B. Fouts-Palmer, MD, is an assistant professor of clinical anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY. Her interests include environmental sustainability and physician wellness, and she is particularly passionate about the role of anesthesiologists as advocates for patient safety and public health. 

Jennifer Fraser

Jen Fraser, BBA, is the sustainability coordinator with Island Health in Victoria, Canada. She has more than five years’ experience in the environmental sustainability space for organizations. As a consultant, she worked with numerous businesses on implementing climate-driven initiatives and she developed a circular economy incubator program for start-up businesses from across British Columbia. This is Jen’s first time working in health care, and she is excited to tackle new initiatives and inspire change. 

Dr. Molly Herr

Molly Herr, MD, is a pediatric anesthesiologist in the department of anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Clinical interests include anesthesia/healthcare sustainability, climate change and health, and the education of medical students and residents in sustainable healthcare practice. Dr. Herr is chair of the Mayo Clinic Rochester Green Subcommittee and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Ad Hoc Committee on Environmental Health.


Vivian Ip, MBChB, MRCP, FRCA, is a clinical professor in the department of anesthesia and pain medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. She is a practicing anesthesiologist with fellowship training in regional anesthesia and pain medicine, and ambulatory anesthesia. she is the director of regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine, and the director of the ambulatory regional anesthesia program at the University of Alberta Hospital. She is the chair of the ASRA Pain Medicine Green Anesthesia Special Interest Group and the chair of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society Environmental Sustainability Section. She is the vice chair and editor of the ASRA Pain Medicine Newsletter Committee. She is active in research and her research interests include environmental sustainability, regional nerve block catheters, and neuromodulation.


Deirdre Kelleher, MD, is a regional and acute pain anesthesiologist and chair of the Anesthesiology Sustainability Committee at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, NY. She is passionate about finding sustainable alternatives to current anesthetic and healthcare practices and reducing the environmental footprint of care while simultaneously improving its safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. She shares these best practices as the newsletter liaison for the ASRA Pain Medicine Green Anesthesia Special Interest Group.

Rebecca Knagg

Rebecca Knagg is a patient representative from Cumbria, United Kingdom. She has previously chaired a National Health Services forum for maternity service users, practitioners, and commissioners and has worked in patient engagement for a statutory healthcare watchdog. Rebecca is currently on the steering group for Greener Operations, a James Lind Alliance priority setting partnership on sustainable perioperative practice, and has a keen interest in supporting environmentally sustainable health care.

Dr. Forbes McGain

Forbes McGain, PhD, is an anesthetist and intensive care physician at Western Health, Melbourne, Australia, and an associate professor at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne. He enjoys being involved in research, teaching, and education at the hospital, university, and beyond. Forbes remains passionate about making seemingly small environmental sustainability changes to how we practice medicine that become magnified through every nation’s hospitals. His love of nature affects everything he does at work, home, and well, anywhere…

Dr. Matthew Meyer

Matthew Meyer, MD, is a sustainable healthcare researcher, writer, and advocate. He is an assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of Virginia (UVA), steering-committee member of Virginia Clinicians for CIimate Action, and co-chair of the UVA Health Sustainability Committee. He cofounded Periop Green (periopgreen.com) to develop technology to reduce operating room waste to the least amount possible. He works clinically as an anesthesiologist and intensivist and is an assistant professor at the UVA.

Dr. Hugh Montgomery

Hugh Montgomery, OBE, FMedSci, MBBS, BSc, FRCP, MD, FRSB, FFICM, FRI, is professor of intensive care medicine at University College London (UCL) where he also directs the Centre for Human Health and Performance. Among other things, he discovered the first “gene for human fitness,” has published more than 550 scientific research articles, and has won more than 8 (inter)national awards. He has also worked in the field of climate change and health for more than 20 years. He co-chaired the two Lancet Commissions on health and climate change, and, now, the 5-year, 32-country annual Lancet Countdown on health and climate change. He has written and lectured extensively on the subject and has briefed policymakers (inter)nationally. He was appointed London Leader by the Greater London Authority, has attended many of the international Conference of the Parties negotiations, leads the children’s climate education program Project Genie, and co-led the ITV documentary on Floods and Climate Change (2020). He is helping to lead action to decarbonise the health sector in the UK - and the world. He was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) and appointed to the Faculty of Medical Sciences in 2022 in part for his work on climate change and health.

Dr. Ariana Nelson

Ariana Nelson, MD, is an associate professor in the department of anesthesiology at UC Irvine and has an appointment in the School of Medicine as a Dean's Scholar. Dr. Nelson earned her MD from University of Michigan Medical School and completed her residency and fellowship training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She works for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the Exploration Medical Capabilities Element on the upcoming Artemis expeditions for the orbital and surface lunar missions. She is an experienced academic physician with diverse research interests including aerospace medicine, climate change mitigation, clinical support systems, and development of an objective device for the measurement of pain. 

Dr. Rachel Outterson

Rachel Outterson, MD, is a regional anesthesiologist and assistant professor of anesthesia, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University. She focuses on resident education and is ever seeking to improve the sustainability of her own practice and help others to do the same. She is the parent of two awesome kids and two awesome dogs.


Timur Ozelsel, MD, DESA, is a clinical professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He is happily married and the father of three, all of whom are his stimulus for his engagement around sustainability, which is his primary passion and research interest professionally.

Dr. Jason Saleh

Jason Saleh, MD, is an assistant professor at Stanford University and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. He is a shoulder surgeon, husband, father, animal person, and lover of the outdoors. He works to forward sustainability in the field of orthopedic surgery via research, publication, speaking, and advocacy through the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Dr. Cliff Shelton

Cliff Shelton, MBChB, MSc, PhD, is a consultant anesthetist at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, United Kingdom, and a senior clinical lecturer at Lancaster Medical School. He is clinical lead for sustainability for his department of anaesthesia and a co-opted member of the Association of Anaesthetists Environment and Sustainability Committee. He is currently leading “Greener Operations,” a James Lind Alliance research priority setting partnership on sustainable perioperative practice. 

Dr. Rakesh Sondekoppam

Rakesh Sondekoppam, MD, is the division director of regional anesthesia and acute pain medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City. He heads the acute pain and regional anesthesia services at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) and continues to be involved in resident and fellowship training at the UIHC. He is also the founding member and current vice chair of the ASRA Pain Medicine Green Anesthesia Special Interest Group. 

Dr. John Utech

Jon Utech, MS-OD, MBA, is the senior director of the Office for a Healthy Environment at Cleveland Clinic, where he develops sustainability strategies to emphasis the triple bottom line. Jon directs the clinic's sustainability program covering energy demand reduction, carbon neutrality, climate resilience, green building, recycling, sustainable food, greening supply chain, engagement, and reporting. Jon leads the organization’s climate action, which includes policy engagement, climate resilience, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Jon is a carbon accountant and has calculated and published Cleveland Clinic’s carbon footprint since 2014. Jon serves on the Healthcare without Harm Climate Council, Healthcare Sector Steering Committee for the Better Climate Challenge, National Academy of Medicine Climate Collaborative Working Group, Sustainable Cleveland, and Evergreen Cooperatives. Jon’s team works to engage Cleveland Clinic caregivers and the community in this effort to support the overall goal of improving environmental health and human health. Jon has also led Cleveland Clinic’s Environmental, and Social Governance reporting since 2013 reporting annually with a hybrid United Nations Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative report.

Harry Vandermeer

Harry Vandermeer, PEng, is the executive director, Office of Sustainability and Energy Management with Alberta Health Services, the single health authority for the province of Alberta, Canada. Harry leads a team that is responsible for managing a $175M annual utilities budget, delivering energy and water retrofit programs provincially, and facilitates the organization’s sustainability efforts through coordination with various stakeholders at Alberta Health Services.

Dr. Kamen Vlassakov

Kamen Vlassakov, MD, is an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School, chief of the division of regional and orthopedic anesthesiology, and director of the regional anesthesiology and acute pain medicine fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Originally from Varna, Bulgaria, he graduated from the Medical University – Varna and trained in anesthesiology at the Penn State College of Medicine, in Hershey, where he found his professional romance with regional anesthesia. Following fellowship training in clinical research and regional anesthesia at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (1997-99), he continued working as attending anesthesiologist in his new home. He has also worked in Erfurt, Germany (2004-05) and Varna, Bulgaria (2005-06) where he revisited critical care medicine and cardiac anesthesia. In addition to his passion for our green anesthesia projects, Kamen’s professional and academic interests revolve mostly around regional anesthesia - clinical sonoanatomy, regional anesthesia teaching and innovation, peripheral nerve blockade for orthopedic patients, trauma, and cancer victims. Some of his original ideas are illustrated in his work on the ultrasound-guided retroclavicular brachial plexus block, the ultrasound-guided retrolaminar block, and proximal intercostal blocks. Dedicating most of his work time to clinical practice and resident and fellow training, Dr. Vlassakov also is leading several research efforts and has given several invited lectures, presentations, and workshops both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Karin Zuegge

Karin Zuegge, MD, is the first medical director of sustainability at University of Wisconsin (UW) Health in Madison. She obtained her medical degree in Germany where she gained interest in every-day sustainability practices. She completed her residency in Springfield, MA, in 2010, where resource conservation was emphasized from an economic standpoint. She came to UW Health in 2011 and formed an operating room green team. This group has tracked more a than 70% emissions reduction from anesthetic gasses compared with a 2012 baseline.

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