Wisconsin-based Gundersen Health plans to alter its fossil-fuel investment policy

By Bob Herman

Posted: October 3, 2014 

Modern Healthcare

Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, Wis., will freeze all future investments in fossil fuels as part of a strategy that executives said will help “set the standard for environmental stewardship in healthcare.”

Gundersen CEO Dr. Jeff Thompson, a pediatrician, said the health system's board and finance committee backed the decision, making Gundersen the first U.S. healthcare organization to publicly revise how fossil-fuel securities fit in its portfolio. 

Under the new plan, Gundersen will not invest any more funds in companies that extract fossil fuels, such as coal, gas and oil. However, it will not divest or reduce any current levels of investment.

Physicians, clinicians and public health advocates have recently urged hospitals and health systems to sell or freeze their fossil-fuel holdings. They've said the use of fossil fuels has been a major factor in the Earth's shifting climate, and several studies have shown that climate change can be linked to adverse health outcomes, such as higher numbers of asthma cases and vector-borne diseases. 

Read full article from Modern Healthcare