UTHealth pediatrician honored by The White House

HOUSTON – (July 17, 2013) – Susan E. Pacheco, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, was among a group of individuals recently honored by The White House as “Champions of Change.”

Last week, The White House honored people who are working to protect public health in a changing climate. Pacheco and 10 others were recognized for raising awareness about health consequences and helping their communities prepare for climate-related health impacts.

Pacheco is a health representative for the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, a group of climate scientists who provide prompt information about the climate to the media and government in an effort to narrow the gap between what scientists know about climate change and what the public knows. She also trained with the Climate Reality Project in 2006 and has focused on educating others about the threats to human health associated with climate change.

In addition, Pacheco founded The Alliance of Health Professionals Against Climate Change and the Texas Coalition for Climate Change Awareness. These organizations are bringing together groups from different sectors in the community to create awareness and provide education on the adverse effects of climate change in Texas.

Pacheco, who is in the UTHealth Pediatrics Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, says climate change is not a political entity; instead it is a global problem that is eroding our society’s structure and health. “It is our job to educate the public, students, residents, fellows and other health providers on the real facts about the changing climate,” she said.

“We are very proud of Dr. Pacheco’s receipt of the President’s Champions of Climate Award,” said Eric Eichenwald, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the UTHealth Medical School. “Her advocacy for children goes well beyond the excellent clinical care she provides every day at UTHealth and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.”

President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan recognizes the need to cut carbon pollution and prepares the country for the impacts of climate change. This year’s Champions of Change honorees have all taken leadership roles in the fight against carbon pollution.    

Alexandria Bland
Media Contact: 713-500-3030