A widely published writer, Dr Lem’s work has appeared in media including the CBC, Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, The Narwhal and National Observer. As a climate change panellist on CBC Radio’s Early Edition, in-house medical columnist for CBC TV Vancouver and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, one of her major priorities is knowledge translation.
Dr. Lem was the inaugural winner of University College’s Young Alumni of Influence Award at the University of Toronto, a 2021 World Parks Week Ambassador, recipient of the 2022 Adult Nature Inspiration Award from the Canadian Museum of Nature, and sits on the Advisory Committee of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Health and Well-being Specialist Group.
Title: Prescribing Nature for Patient and Planetary Health
Nature prescriptions are being written by healthcare professionals across the planet, from Scotland to Japan to the United States. And rightly so: from improved blood pressure and immune function to reduced stress and ADHD symptoms, the evidence is growing about the health benefits of green time.
In November 2020 the BC Parks Foundation launched PaRx, Canada’s national nature prescription program, within British Columbia. Less than two years later it had spread to all ten provinces. Dr. Lem will discuss research highlights from the wide-ranging body of knowledge on nature and health, present an overview of PaRx, including its significant national and international influence, and reveal how prescribing nature can improve both patient and planetary health.
Dr. Melissa Lem is a Vancouver family physician who also works in rural and northern communities within Canada. President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and Director of PaRx, Canada’s national nature prescription program powered by the BC Parks Foundation, she is an internationally recognized leader in the field of nature and health.