Summer internship at CSH

I once heard an American clinician who works on climate advocacy describe the NHS as “the 800 pound gorilla in the world” regarding sustainability. 

That comment piqued my interest. I’m studying the history of science and global health policy at Harvard University, and I had been involved with sustainability issues but I knew next to nothing about what was happening in the UK.  I hope to enter medicine after I graduate and I was delighted to receive an offer for an internship.

In the couple of months that I’ve been with CSH, I have engaged in a wide variety of activities. First, I drafted educational materials on topics ranging from infection control to sustainable supply chains and procurement (most of this has already been incorporated into teaching materials, which I’m thrilled about!)  I also helped organise a monthly planetary health journal club for students in the healthcare field; I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to conduct high-quality research in this area and have gotten a better understanding of the research background in healthcare sustainability.  

Besides that, I helped create and edit presentations summarising both planetary health concepts and success stories of sustainable healthcare in action, lent a hand with a sustainable quality improvement ( SusQI) research project, written up multiple case studies on regional sustainability initiatives, connected CSH with various AHSNs (Academic Health Science Networks) doing work on sustainability around England, and prepared materials for the Green Health Wales launch event. 

Most importantly, I’ve met so many brilliant, kindhearted individuals who are dedicated to promoting this field. I draw so much inspiration from them and wish that my home country can be as energised in the near future.   Even though my internship was conducted remotely, without leaving home in the States, working with an organisation in a different country it has been eye-opening to see what’s possible... and what has already been done. 

I now see how I can fit this passion of mine into my future career. I am so grateful for the opportunity, loved every minute of it, and would highly recommend working with CSH even if you’re remotely interested in sustainability, healthcare, or both!

Michael Xie

History of Science and Global Health student at Harvard University

Summer Intern at CSH