Since retiring as inaugural executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) last year, I have been happy as a new grandfather to Luca, our first grandson, though wondering what sort of world he is coming into! And happy to work on converting my woodwork hobby to a small business, making rustic and elegant furniture and artwork from reclaimed/recycled wood.

With 30 years of experience in global public health and facing public health emergencies, epidemics, disasters, and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), I have also been thinking and praying on what to do professionally and I feel strongly called to work on Planetary Health, which considers the health of human populations and the state of the underlying natural systems that support it.

I am happy to share that after much thought, I’m setting up Earth Medic as a new NGO ‘to raise urgent attention to and resources for action to improve planetary health, working with an informed and empowered health workforce globally, and through public-private-people-planet (PPPP) partnerships’, which focus on areas of co-beneficial action.

Climate threat represents a huge threat to health and the planet and a huge opportunity to improve health, if we act together. EarthMedic’s twin priorities are NCDs and Climate change, as two sides of the same coin, especially for small island developing states (SIDS). Immediate plans are a COVID-relevant activity and developing a Strategic plan in a participatory manner.

A local priority for EarthMedic is to join in the development of a civil-society-led forest fire prevention plan for Trinidad and Tobago, the scourge of which is getting worse as climate change leads to hotter, drier weather overall, with inundations of rain in the rainy season and unprecedented floods.

EarthMedic seeks to partner with individuals and organisations of like mind to address planetary health issues for mutual benefit…

Yours sincerely,

Dr C James “Jimmy” Hospedales

Founder of Earth Medic

Chair, the Defeat-NCD Partnership

Former Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency