• (000) 123 458 789
  • office@worldpatientsalliance.org
Home Events Workshop on Sustainability

Workshop on Sustainability

Workshop on Sustainability

The Joint Workshop on Sustainability, organized by the World Patients Alliance (WPA) along with partner International Hospital Federation and its Geneva Sustainability Center, commenced with an illuminating introduction by Andrew Spiegel, the Chair of WPA. He provided a comprehensive overview of the WPA’s global mission to empower patients and ensure access to safe, quality, and affordable healthcare. With 462 member organizations spanning 123 countries, the WPA’s commitment to inclusivity was evident, offering a platform for patients to actively engage in all facets of healthcare. Mr. Spiegel then set the agenda for the workshop, outlining key topics such as sustainability in healthcare and patient involvement. The subsequent report delves into the detailed presentations by Sylvia Basterrechea and Hussain Jafri, shedding light on their insights into climate change, sustainability, and the integral role of patients in fostering eco-friendly practices within the healthcare sector.

Sylvia Basterrechea’s Presentation: Climate Change, Sustainability, and Patient Involvement in the Healthcare Sector
Introduction: The inaugural presentation of the Joint Workshop on Sustainability featured Sylvia Basterrechea, the Program Lead of the Geneva Sustainability Center. Her presentation focused on the intersection of climate change, sustainability, and the role of the healthcare sector in addressing these challenges.

Background: Sylvia Basterrechea provided context on the International Hospital Federation (IHF), a global organization representing over 130 members and connecting with more than 25,000 healthcare organizations worldwide. The IHF envisions a world where healthy communities are served by well-managed hospitals and healthcare services. In 2022, the IHF established the Geneva Sustainability Center to support healthcare services in tackling current and future sustainability challenges, providing leaders with the necessary tools and skills for transformative change.

Climate Change and Healthcare: The presentation began by highlighting the significant environmental impact of the healthcare sector, contributing to 5.2% of global net emissions, as reported in The Lancet Countdown (2022). Visual aids, including a World Emissions and Carbon Map, emphasized the global scale of the issue. The speaker underscored the critical link between climate crises and health crises, exploring vulnerability factors, exposure pathways, and health system capacities.

The presentation included a quote from Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Director of Public Health, emphasizing the high health burden of polluting energy sources. Dr. Neira framed climate change mitigation as an opportunity rather than a cost, stressing the importance of considering health in the transition to cleaner energy, transport, and food systems.

Strategies for the Healthcare Sector: Sylvia Basterrechea outlined decarbonization pathways and emphasized the need for healthcare to integrate climate change considerations into its delivery. The presentation articulated sustainability objectives for the healthcare sector, advocating for low-carbon, equitable, and resilient healthcare. This included transforming operational and clinical practices, fostering committed leadership, and engaging collaboratively to enhance community health outcomes.

Tools and Examples: The Geneva Sustainability Accelerator Tool was introduced as a practical resource for healthcare organizations. Specific examples were provided, such as recognizing the health benefits of low-carbon clinical care and prescribing practices, integrating sustainability into hospital design, and engaging patients and communities through participatory sustainability strategies. The report highlighted initiatives like investing in communities, reinforcing environmental sustainability commitments, and partnering across sectors for mutual benefits.

Conclusion: In conclusion, Sylvia Basterrechea’s presentation elucidated the urgent need for the healthcare sector to address climate change and embrace sustainability. The Geneva Sustainability Center’s role in equipping healthcare leaders and the actionable strategies presented serve as a roadmap for hospitals facing the challenges of today and tomorrow. The examples showcased underscored that sustainability is not only a responsibility but also an opportunity for hospitals to enhance patient care and community well-being. The Joint Workshop on Sustainability provides a crucial platform for ongoing discussions and collaborations aimed at achieving a sustainable and resilient healthcare sector.

Hussain Jafri’s Presentation: Sustainability in Healthcare and How Patients Can Contribute to Environmental Sustainability

Introduction: Hussain Jafri, Founding Director of the World Patients Alliance (WPA), delivered a compelling presentation on “Sustainability in Healthcare and How Patients Can Contribute to Environmental Sustainability." He shared key insights during the session, highlighting the importance of sustainability in healthcare and the role patients can play in promoting eco-friendly practices.

Overview: Hussasin covered various aspects related to sustainability, focusing on its definition, relevance in healthcare, the environmental impact of the healthcare sector, and the integral role of patients in fostering sustainability. The talk concluded with key takeaways emphasizing collaboration and partnerships for a sustainable healthcare future. The presentation began with an explanation of environmental sustainability and its importance in the global context. Hussain highlighted the interconnectedness of sustainability with various environmental factors, establishing a foundation for the subsequent discussion.

Sustainability in the Healthcare Sector: The environmental impact of the healthcare sector was thoroughly examined, encompassing areas such as waste management, energy consumption, emissions, and climate change. Hussasin stressed that sustainability in healthcare is a collective responsibility involving everyone, including patients.

Ways Patients Can Contribute: The core of the presentation centered on the active role patients can play in promoting sustainability. Specific actions were outlined, including proper medication disposal, reduction of plastic waste, adoption of telehealth services, use of eco-friendly transportation, medication adherence, engagement in preventive care, advocacy for eco-friendly practices, and responsible resource use.

Positive Impacts of Sustainability in Healthcare: Hussasin elucidated the positive outcomes of integrating sustainability in healthcare practices. These encompassed reduced healthcare costs, healthier communities, long-term resource preservation, improved air and water quality, and enhanced patient experiences. The impact of sustainability on patient outcomes was also discussed, emphasizing reduced exposure to harmful substances, improved air quality for respiratory patients, and the promotion of overall well-being.

Key Takeaways: The presentation concluded with key takeaways, reinforcing the vital role of sustainability in healthcare. Patients were acknowledged as significant contributors, and the importance of small changes for substantial environmental benefits was underscored. Collaboration and partnerships were emphasized as essential components for the successful integration of sustainability practices in healthcare.

Conclusion: Hussain Jafri’s presentation provided a comprehensive exploration of sustainability in healthcare, focusing on the active participation of patients. The detailed insights into patients’ roles and the positive impacts of sustainability on healthcare and patient outcomes served as valuable guidance. The call for collaboration and partnerships highlighted the need for collective efforts to build a sustainable and environmentally responsible healthcare sector. The presentation laid a foundation for ongoing discussions and initiatives aimed at fostering sustainability in the global healthcare landscape.

The Joint Workshop on Sustainability, orchestrated by the collaborative efforts of the World Patients Alliance and the International Hospital Federation, concluded with a dynamic Q&A session moderated by Sylvia Basterrechea and Sara Perazzi. This allowed for a nuanced exploration of key insights presented by speakers Sylvia Basterrechea and Hussain Jafri. The workshop’s closure featured a comprehensive wrap-up, key messages, and a conclusive summary delivered by Sara Perazzi, the Senior Partnership and Program Manager of the International Hospital Federation. The amalgamation of diverse perspectives, ranging from patient involvement to environmental sustainability in healthcare, not only underscored the critical intersections of these themes but also laid the foundation for ongoing collaborative efforts and initiatives within the global healthcare landscape.

The workshop’s success lies in its potential to inspire actionable change and foster sustained commitment to creating a more sustainable and patient-centric future in healthcare.



Sara Perazzi
Sara is Senior Partnership and Programme Manager for the International Hospital Federation (IHF), where she is responsible for strategic partnership liaison activities and in charge of designated IHF projects. She leads joint collaboratives with international partners, supports the organization of IHF events and pilots designated research studies. Sara is a member of the ALASS and associate editor of the International Journal of Hospital-Based Health Technology Assessment. Sara holds a Master's degree in International Relations and Political Sciences (University Nova of Lisbon, Portugal) and a graduate degree in Sociology (University La Sapienza, Italy).
Sylvia Basterrechea
Sylvia currently works at the Geneva Sustainability Centre as Programme Lead, where she supports the delivery of projects and programmatic initiatives focused on healthcare leadership for sustainability. The Centre was launched by the International Hospital Federation (IHF) to support hospitals in the transition towards low-carbon, resilient and sustainable healthcare. Prior to this position, she spend three years working at the IHF, where she was in charge of membership, governance, and healthcare leadership programmes. Sylvia graduated in global health and medical anthropology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Hussain Jafri
Hussain Jafri is the Executive Director of World Patients’ Alliance. He is also the Secretary General of Alzheimer’s Pakistan, the national association of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias that Hussain founded in 1999 as a result of his experiences as a care giver for his grandfather with Alzheimer’s Disease. He has been very active in the field of patient safety and has remined the Vice Chair of Advisory Group of WHO’s Patients for Patients Safety Program (PFPS). Hussain has also founded Pakistan Patient Safety Initiative and has been working towards several patient safety initiatives. The Government of the Punjab has also nominated him the Provincial Focal Person on Patients Safety & Quality and given the responsibility of developing patients safety and quality services in the health sector of the Punjab province. He has remarkable experience of working as a volunteer in the social sector and has had an opportunity of working with government, national and international non-profit organizations. Hussain is also a member of the Person and Family Centred Advisory Council (PFCAC) of International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). Moreover, he is also a taskforce member of Global Alliance of Partners for Pain Advocacy (GAPPA). He is an experienced speaker and a resource person and has been presenting nationally and internationally on different issues like patient safety, patients centred healthcare, care giving, advocacy, partnership in health, organizational development, etc. Hussain is a PhD from University of Leeds, UK on prevention of genetic disorders. He is currently working as the Deputy Project Director of Punjab Thalassaemia Prevention Programme and has published several publications in international indexed journals.
Andrew Spiegel
Andrew Spiegel has nearly two decades of experience in the patient advocacy arena. Spiegel co-founded the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, now the leading US based national patient advocacy organization dedicated to colon cancer. Mr. Spiegel, an attorney, besides being a co-founder of the organization and longtime board member of the Alliance became CEO in January of 2008 and he ran the CCA for nearly 5 years, before undertaking his next venture, the Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA). Currently, Spiegel is co-founder and executive director of the GCCA, an international patient advocacy organization. This organization is an international community of nearly 50 colon cancer patient advocacy organizations and stakeholders dedicated to end the worldwide suffering of the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths. In addition to his work in the colon cancer community, Spiegelis an active advocate for health care policies both in the US and now worldwide. He is a co-founder and currently serves on the steering committee of the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines (ASBM). He is on the Board of Directors, and in December 2014 was elected to Chair, of the Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC),a founding member of the Coalition to Increase Clinical Trial Participation and in May of 2016 he began a three year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Alliance of Patient Organizations (IAPO) where he chaired the fundraising committee. Spiegel has won multiple awards for his work in patient advocacy. Spiegel is a 1986 graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors in English and Philosophy. He is a 1989 graduate of the Widener University School of Law. After working for a Philadelphia litigation firm, Spiegel opened his own law firm in 1995.


Nov 16 2023


8:00 am - 9:00 am