CSL Conference: Learn How Public Health and Our Planet’s Health is Intertwined

San Antonio, Texas — The 17th Annual Community Service Learning Conference — “One Planet. One Health. We are all connected.”— is pleased to host Teddie M. Potter, clinical professor and director of planetary health at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, as this year’s keynote speaker.   

The Mayor of San Antonio Ron Nirenberg will give a lunch plenary titled, “San Antonio’s 21st Century Challenge: Balancing Sustainability and Growth.” 

The annual conference is an opportunity to network and share best practices and scholarship in community service learning (CSL), with a unique focus each year. The event is taking place on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio).  

“There are many, many ways human are disrupting the Earth’s natural systems. Climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, and water, soil and air population are impacting agriculture, fishing and hunting, many forms of outdoor recreation and human health,” Potter said. “These human-cause disruptions are reversing decades of public health gains and threatening the survival of future generations. 

The theme for this year’s conference was selected by an interprofessional committee of CSL stakeholders, including students from UT Health San Antonio.  

CSL Conference
The One Planet. One Health. We are all Connected conference is taking place on Feb. 3.

“Our students, like many future and practicing health care professionals, are concerned about the state of the planet, and want a better understanding of how it connects to our overall health,” said Melanie Stone, director of UT Health San Antonio’s CSL program through the Charles E. Cheever, Jr. Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics. “We are excited to have esteemed guest speakers including the mayor and Dr. Potter to lead these timely, solutions-oriented discussions.”       

Potter plans not only to discuss the planet’s challenges but also the opportunities to get the planet and our health back on track.  

“All is not lost. I’ll be speaking about planetary health, a solutions-oriented trans-disciplinary field social movement focused on analyzing and addressing the impacts of human destructions to earth’s natural systems,” Potter said.  

“I’ll share the global vision for a great transition, an emerging solutions particularly for the health sector. More than anything, I plan to share a word of hope because the actions that restore the health of the planet are good for our health too,” she added. 

The Annual CSL Conference at UT Health San Antonio originated in 2008 as an opportunity to learn from the CSL experiences of students, faculty, staff, and community partners in San Antonio and across Texas.  Each year, the conference focuses on a theme relevant to service-learning and hosts experts and guest lecturers, provides skill-building workshops, and showcases CSL projects through students’ poster presentations. 

The conference, which is free and open to the community, is presented by the Cheever Center in conjunction with an interprofessional planning committee.  

For conference agenda and registration details, visit www.texashumanities.org/CSLconference. 

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