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BMH Board of Directors adopts resolutions on climate change, social justice

BRATTLEBORO—Members of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s (BMH) board of directors unanimously voted to support efforts to fight climate change and strengthen hospital initiatives that promote the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

According to a news release, BMH recently signed on to the Health Care Climate Action Pledge — a leadership pledge being made by hospitals; health centers; health, professional, and academic organizations; and health systems from around the globe.

By signing the pledge, BMH agrees to take part in efforts to reduce its own climate footprint, prepare its infrastructure to withstand extreme weather events, respond effectively to potential changes in the spread of infectious diseases, and encourage policy, development, and investment strategies that move our society away from dependence on fossil fuels.

“The transition to a zero-emissions economy benefits both our climate and human health,” said board chair Rhonda Calhoun. “We believe healthcare organizations have an obligation to reduce their climate footprint and take leadership roles in advocating for a healthy environment based on a foundation that promotes a more equitable economy.”

“An effective fight to protect our climate must also include efforts to promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as human values that are commonly known and widely accepted,” said Christopher Dougherty, BMH president and chief executive officer.

BMH board members have included their support for the hospital’s in their pledge to advance a workplace culture that embraces these values. The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) committee’s mission is to promote acceptance, respect, and a welcoming environment for all people who either work at BMH or receive care there.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #706 (Wednesday, March 15, 2023). This story appeared on page A5.

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