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- Geneva Sustainability Centre
The International Hospital Federation (IHF) is happy to announce that Sonia Roschnik has been appointed Executive Director at the Geneva Centre of Healthcare Leadership for Sustainability (the Centre), starting her new role in April 2022. As Executive Director of the Centre, Sonia will provide strategic leadership, holding principal responsibility for the development and implementation of its vision, goals and workplan, and management of its operations.
Sonia joins the Centre, which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, from Health Care Without Harm, where she has been International Climate Policy Director since July 2020. Sonia brings to the role a wealth of strategic experience in both healthcare and sustainability at national and international level. A senior figure in international action for sustainability in healthcare, Sonia is the author of the global roadmap to decarbonize healthcare (2021) and worked in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UK presidency of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to collate the commitments of 53 countries and 50 health systems globally to a low carbon journey.
Sonia currently serves on the Board of the Climate Action Accelerator and is an honorary member of the UK’s Faculty of Public Health. Previously, she was Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit (2018–2020), driving national policy and programmes to innovate for greener healthcare delivery across the UK’s health sector. Sonia has also worked as an expert advisor to global agencies including the WHO, UN Development Programme, and the World Bank on strategic approaches to sustainability in healthcare. She holds a
Master of Science degree in Systems Thinking and is a UK-registered occupational therapist. As she commences the Executive Director role, Sonia emphasized the distinct position of the Centre to support global healthcare leaders and reduce the sector’s impact on climate change:
“As climate action is accelerating, hospital leaders have a unique opportunity and responsibility to steer a course of decarbonization whilst supporting their communities to thrive. The Geneva Centre will focus on the leadership skills to drive climate-smart healthcare at scale as an integral part of delivering high quality and resilient services.”
Ronald Lavater, CEO of the International Hospital Federation, expressed his delight at Sonia’s appointment:
“With the launch of the Centre, we are responding to our members with practical advice on building the leadership competencies to manage their organizations in a sustainable way. We are very pleased and fortunate to have Sonia leading our efforts. She brings decades of experience fighting climate change and understands the uniqueness of the hospital leader’s role.”
In establishing the Centre, the IHF and its members recognize that reducing climate impact a priority. The Centre will tackle the lack of common standards within the healthcare industry, where different approaches and measurements prevent comparisons and benchmarking. The Centre will embed sustainability into decision making, accountability, and quality improvement:
- Establishing the message and communicating the urgency for action, and the call to lead.
- Building the platform for initiatives, communication, programmes, and collective action.
- Constructing long-term support to keep the work ongoing for the decade ahead.
The Centre’s Global Steering Committee will support the Executive Director to develop a detailed, multi-year work plan for the Centre, to include measurable objectives and indicators of success. Recruitment is underway for the Centre’s core team, with initial hires to include skilled professionals with responsibility for education and leadership development, and project management.