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.
Neil Ritchie – Green Health Leaders Initiative (GHLI) Program Lead
Neil leads the Green Health Leader’s Initiative, a program of the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care that focuses on enabling executive leaders, physician leaders and board members to become better environmental stewards. Neil is an experienced health care executive who has worked as a CEO, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of large, multi-site academic teaching centers, regional health authorities and community hospitals in Canada. Neil has also worked with several health technology start-ups and investment funds who want to change the world of health and health care through innovation. He currently is President of Invicta Health, a contract management company focused on improving performance and sustainability in health care. Neil holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Dalhousie University and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Alberta.
JJ Knott – Healthcare Energy Leaders Ontario (HELO) Program Lead
JJ works tirelessly to inspire colleagues in health care facilities across Canada to embrace energy efficiency practices and to incite them to make energy management an integral part of their facility management protocols.
He helped develop the concept, framework and delivery model of the HealthCare Energy Leaders Ontario (HELO) program. JJ worked within the HELO framework to identify energy conservation measures, deliver training, and follow‐up on opportunities for sites across Ontario, ensuring that projects were planned and budgeted for, as well as implemented. For over 2 decades he served as the Director of Plant Operations, and Project Manager at Norfolk General Hospital. JJ also played an instrumental role in helping Norfolk attain the 2012 OHA/Coalition Green Award for Overall Leadership and the 2008 Wayne McLellan Award from CHES for energy and environmental stewardship accomplishments.
J.J. helped develop the Green Revolving Fund (GRF) pilot initiative so that healthcare facilities across Ontario could benefit from funds raised through the carbon cap and trade program. JJ has taught hospital building performance courses (such as the Building Operators Certification Course though the Canadian Institute for Energy Training) and is actively involved in improving the sustainability of Ontario Hospitals. In recognition of his accomplishments he was the recipient of the 2014 Green Health Care Individual Leadership Award.
Between 2011-2013, JJ acted as President for the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society (CHES) involving over 1000 members across Canada. JJ has remained a dedicated member of CHES for over 2 decades, and is also a member of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). He is Vice‐chair of the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care (CCGHC) and a member of the CCGHC’s National Energy Advisory Committee. He has also assisted the Coalition, and their partners, in the lobbying of senior levels of government to look at alternatives to conventional financing models that bring an environmental stewardship slant to the funding of energy and infrastructure renewal projects. Furthermore, he has helped create awareness with decision makers across Ontario and Canada, including the Ontario Environment Commissioner, Energy Canada, and others.
JJ was also past Chair of a local distribution company where he provided guidance which he has now brought to his position as HELO Project Lead, where he is an authority on hospital power needs and how health care facilities interact with energy supply companies.
Dan Ritchie – Sustainable Programs Coordinator
Dan Ritchie is the sustainable programs coordinator for Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare. He graduated from Acadia University in 2013 with a Bachelor in Environmental Sustainability Studies. Throughout and after his studies, Dan has helped communities foster a relation to the natural environment through experiential education. After university Dan took time to travel to India and South Africa, where he spent time in both dense urban and rural environments.
With ambitions to study a masters in Sustainability and Leadership in Europe, he hopes to return with skills to foster healthy communities in Canada. His environmental passions include reconnecting to our local food systems and expanding use of active transportation such as biking. Other than these focuses, Dan can be found playing pick up basketball, at improv comedy workshops and recording music.
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.
Surabhi Sheth – Climate Change Resiliency Intern
Currently a graduate student, pursuing masters of climate change from University of Waterloo, Surabhi expects to graduate in September 2018. Over the years, Surahbi has developed keen interest in vulnerability assessments and climate change adaptation. Her research has included areas such as water quality analysis, rural development, sustainable livelihoods, health and climate change adaptation. As an intern with CCGHC, Surabhi will be working on climate change resiliency mentoring. She really enjoys classical Indian dancing, travelling and water sports.
Zoe West – Climate Change Resiliency Researcher
Zoe West is a Wilfrid Laurier Alumni with a BSc in Health Sciences and International Policy and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Health: Science, Technology and Policy at Carleton University. Zoe’s research and background focuses on vulnerable communities in Canada and the political and social determinants which disproportionately affect these populations. As a new researcher within the CCGHC, she will be assisting on projects regarding sustainability of hospitals to promote climate resiliency for health care facilities. Some of Zoe’s past-times include playing soccer and being active outdoors.
Claire Barker-Sharp – Climate Change Resiliency Researcher
Currently, Claire is studying Honours in Urban Planning within the faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. She is set to receive her Bachelor’s of Environmental Studies in 2022, and aspires to specialize in environmental planning and management. During her first term of university, Claire became an executive member to the University of Waterloo Geospatial Club as the Communications Director. Aside from academics, Claire is a dedicated volunteer within her community and an advocate for climate change and sustainability programs. As a researcher at CCGHC, Claire will apply her passion for urbanism and the environment by assisting in numerous projects concerning climate change resiliency within various levels of health care services.
Linxi Mytkolli – Greening the OR Researcher
Linxi is currently pursuing her MSc. in Sustainability Management at the University of Toronto after completing her BSc. in Biopharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Throughout her undergraduate degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences, she was able to sharpen my perception of the healthcare sector as well as enhance her quantitative and communication skills by producing high quality work that was recognized in the Women in Science and Engineering National Conference and published in The Ottawa Citizen, as well as the University of Ottawa undergraduate science journal.
She believes that sustainability is the capacity to endure over time and healthcare is the field that aims to maintain and improve mankind’s health. They share the goal of improving quality and longevity of life. There are still many persistent challenges in directing the healthcare sector to commit to sustainability goals. As a research student for the CCGHC, Linxi is excitedd to support the healthcare sector’s transition to a greener future. She will be applying her passion for wellness and dedication to sustainability by researching current best practices and trends for greening the OR initiatives.