How Canadian Nurses are Advancing Planetary Health: From the Local Stage to the International Arena

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Collaborative event hosted by CCGHC with participation from ONE, CANE and PEACH. Panel discussion.


Join us in celebrating nurses’ week by engaging with several nursing leaders who are actively advancing planetary health. From international action all the way to local advocacy, we are bringing together four incredible nurses who are working hard to protect the health of both people and the planet.


  • Xiru Li, Planetary Health Research Nurse

    Xiru Li is a Planetary Health Research Nurse with the Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation Department. Her clinical experience includes pediatric oncology, hematology, and hematopoietic stem cell transplant. She also has experience coordinating community, palliative, and respite care for children with medical complexities. Xiru is passionate about exploring the interconnectedness of human and planetary health to nursing practice. Her role as the planetary health research nurse will support front-line nurses at BC Cancer to implement sustainability initiatives in their clinical settings. Xiru's goal is to promote human health through advocating for the health of our planet.

  • Vanessa D’Aquila, BSc(N) MSc(A)N, Assistant Nurse Manager

    Vanessa D’Aquila, BSc(N) MSc(A)N, is the recipient of the 2021 Stephanie Davis Waste Reduction Award and Scholarship. She formed a Pediatric Intensive Care unit (PICU) Green Team in 2018 in order to limit waste consumption and advocate for sustainable initiatives across her institution. During her MSc Nursing graduate degree at McGill University she helped form McGill's Nurses for Planetary Health (MNPH) group, and created a Vice President of Sustainability role while serving as the Nursing Graduate Student Association (NGSA) President (2021-2022). She encourages all healthcare professionals to use their voices and social influences to promote effective changes regarding planetary health into their immediate and global environments. As the current Assistant Nurse Manager at Shriners Hospital for Children - Canada, she recognizes how nurses’ role in addressing climate change could also impact the health of our patients (and all of us as part of the public). In 2020, her work received encouragement from the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ).  

  • Teri Forster, Registered Nurse

    Teri Forster uses she/her pronouns and advocates for planetary health through many roles. She is a nurse, an elected regional council member for the BC Nurses Union and a city councillor for Prince Rupert. She also is the Climate and Planetary Health contact for the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) in addition to work advocating with many social justice and animal rights causes. She recently completed her thesis which explored “Applying an appreciative process to explore environmentally sustainable resource use in Northern Health Authority”. She graduated from a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University in Fall 2023, achieving honors distinction and receiving the Governor General of Canada’s Gold Medal.

  • Rob Samulack is a registered nurse working as a community visiting nurse in Ottawa. Rob has also worked in emergency, medicine/surgery, public health immunization and camp nurse settings. He is the chair of the Ontario Nurses for the Environment with the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario where he is working on various projects including sustainable healthcare procurement policies, greening nursing schools and policy responses to various proposed legislation. He speaks to various groups about how the climate crisis is a health crisis and has represented RNAO at COP28 in Dubai.
May 8, 2024 12:00 PM through  1:00 PM
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