Linda Varangu – Executive Director
Linda Varangu has been helping health care go green for the past 20 years. She is currently the Executive Director for the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care.
Linda has delivered workshops and training sessions across Canada on pollution prevention and sustainability issues including several health care related sessions for organisations such as Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, Canadian Administrative Housekeeping Association, Canadian Hospital Association, Ontario Hospital Association, Alberta Hospital Association, Nova Scotia Department of the Environment and Labour, Atlantic Support Services Alliance, and the City of Toronto.
She has written several pollution prevention plans for health care facilities, is the primary author of the first Canadian hospital waste audit guide – Hospital Waste Audit Manual, and instructed a core course for a Certificate in Environmental Management at Dalhousie University for five years. Authoring over 50 manuals and research documents on waste minimisation, waste management and pollution prevention, Linda has also undertaken over 100 waste assessments and detailed audits for various industry sectors including health care facilities.
Over her career Linda has spent: six years as senior advisor at a national organisation focused on pollution prevention; seven years as Executive Director of a newly minted organisation which supported municipal waste reduction and recycling staff during the rise of municipal recycling and other waste reduction programs; three years at a provincial research organisation working on waste minimisation programs and two years at a municipal government, where she initiated the first municipally based industrial and institutional waste reduction program in Canada.
Her education background includes a Bachelor of Science degree (Chemistry and Biology) and a Masters in Environmental Engineering (Biochemical Engineering/Environmental Engineering). Linda and her husband Rob designed and built their environmentally friendly home from the stone and timber off their 93 acre organic farm. They currently have virtual offices at their home, which they share with their son Valen (our in-house techy), 28 chickens and two roosters.
Kent Waddington – Communications Director
Kent Waddington, a freelance environmental coach and communicator, is a co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care and is currently the Coalition’s Communications Director. An environmentalist since high school, Kent has spent much of the past fifteen years engaged in coaching members of the Canadian health services sector as they develop and adopt more environmentally responsible practices within their organisations.
For seven years he developed programme content and educational collateral for the Canadian government’s Energy Innovators Initiative (NRCan) from within a health care framework as the Energy Efficiency Coordinator for the Canadian College of Health Services. Throughout that time, Kent created sector-specific initiatives related to environmental sustainability including National Health Care Energy Efficiency Awareness Week, Energy Perspectives, the sector’s first energy management newspaper, A Resource Guide for Energy Efficiency Awareness Champions, the CCHSE/OEE National Energy Management Award, and coordinated and assisted in the design, deployment and analysis of the first national research study to assess energy efficiency practices and awareness levels in the Canadian health services sector.
He has also developed materials and written for the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society, the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, the Royal Ottawa Hospital, and Natural Resources Canada’s CBIP Programme. Kent continues to author newsletters, web content and develop environmental stewardship Initiative materials for one of Canada’s largest Fortune 500 companies supporting health care sites across Canada. He has spoken on energy efficiency and the greening of health care at conferences across Canada and his writing and photography have appeared in local, national and foreign publications/websites including Healthcare Forum, Hospital News, Canadian Society of Nutrition Management News, Senor Care Canada, Canadian Property Management, Stride, Air Canada’s Enroute magazine, and Substance (UK).
Kent is also a past research team associate with Royal Roads University’s School of Environment and Sustainability and a founding Board member of the National Environmental Treasure, a people’s trust fund devoted to the exclusive funding of Canadian environmental organizations.
Samantha Putoš – Sustainable Health Care Programs Manager
Samantha Putoš graduated from a Master of Science in 2015. Motivated by a growing concern for the wastefulness of scientific research, she co-authored an article entitled “Neglecting the Null: the pitfalls of under reporting negative results in preclinical research,” implicating poor reporting practices as one of the major sources of waste in translational medicine. After graduating she took a year off to complete a farming apprenticeship in Peachland, British Columbia and fulfill a long-standing ambition to travel the world. An avid SCUBA diver and hiker, her travels exposed her to many of the detrimental effects climate change and poor waste management are having on the Earth’s natural environments. Upon returning she was determined to refocus her career to combine both her interests in health care and sustainability.
Samantha is particularly interested in the relationship between small-scale agriculture and mediating greenhouse gas emissions and waste production. One of her goals is to see hospitals invest more in locally grown food and increase the nutritional quality of their meals. In her spare time she has a hard time sitting still and can be found cycling, running, swimming, rock climbing, playing squash, or attempting to make healthier versions of conventionally unhealthy treats.
Natasha is a Graphic Designer and Digital Marketing Specialist. At the end of the day, her goal is to push boundaries when it comes to digital design and marketing it. She is a highly determined, spontaneous, hard-working, curious, open-minded, friendly and creative individual. She specializes in having interpersonal skills and analyzing how a product can be the most inovative while meeting both the needs of the user and the company. She is working towards getting a bachelor’s degree in Global Business and Digital Arts at the University of Waterloo and will be graduating in June 2018. Being in GBDA has allowed her to gain 4 years of UX/UI design experience and marketing techniques. This includes forming mockups and prototypes, user testing and usability assessment. She also has 4 years of Graphic Design experience using Adobe Creative Suite software. It has spiked her interest for a career in graphic design, marketing and/or user experience. She has learned how to think strategically under a short amount of time and being able to work with companies and other schools has given her a sense of how to be innovative and successful in the real world.
Alejandra is motivated to work in the sustainability field with industry, government, and communities to address the behavioural drivers of green lifestyles. To that end, she is completing a Master’s Program in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University with a focus on development and behavioural economics. This follows undergraduate focus in Environmental Studies and Economics at the University of Toronto where she researched how to incorporate natural capital into economic models to create the incentives for industry to produce socially desirable environmental outcomes. Having worked with NGO’s in the past, she looks forward to using her experience to build partnerships and explore similar incentives at the institutional and individual level that can spur the sustainability transformation of Canada’s health care system.
Jonathan Bolai is expected to graduate with a Masters of Climate Change from the University of Waterloo at the end of August, 2017. As an international student, he has developed a keen interest in climate adaptation and mitigation. His research focuses on issues circulating with water quality, land-use practices, and health – particularly focusing on sustainable development. Jonathan is also pursuing and studying for his PMP exam to become a certified project manager by the end of the year. As a newly added intern within the CCGHC, he will be working on the climate change resiliency mentoring program, where he will be helping Canadian health care providers become greener, less carbon intensive, and more resilient in the face of a changing climate. Jonathan enjoys playing water polo, swimming, football, gardening and travelling.