New center launches to restore planetary health
November 13, 2023
Above: Teddie Potter
The School of Nursing announced the launch of the Center for Planetary Health and Environmental Justice to educate future planetary health leaders, promote planetary health practice and advance innovative research.
The center will build local to global partnerships to advance both planetary health and environmental justice.
“Nurses need to take an active leadership role in planetary health and environmental justice so others realize they need to be paying attention to this environmental crisis,” says Teddie Potter, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, the center’s inaugural director who also serves as the director for planetary health at the school. “By establishing the center, we are proudly claiming our leadership in this space.”
The school has long been a leader in planetary health, from creating interprofessional curriculum that explains the connection between climate and health to developing partnerships with local, national and global collaborators that are advancing the understanding of the interconnectedness of health and the environment.
The establishment of the center creates another avenue to engage faculty, students and staff in planetary health and environmental justice at the school.
“Our goal has always been to encourage all faculty, staff and students to see themselves in this work. It is a foundation of who we are. By creating a center it solidifies our values and commitment even further so that future permutations of the school see we’ve established this as a pillar of the school,” says Potter.
Potter is currently identifying external and internal advisers for the center who are recognized as environmental justice and planetary health leaders locally, in rural Minnesota and national partners, including partnerships with the Planetary Health Alliance, Health Care Without Harm, and Alliance of Nurses for Health Environments.
Partnership, solidarity, and an orientation toward solutions and actions are some of the core values of the center.
“In the past, centers could be launched and their work became proprietary. That’s not our intention. The center will demonstrate how we can thread planetary health and environmental justice through our research, education, policy work and practice as an example for other schools to do so similarly,” says Potter.