Dr. Jill Gustafson: Environmentally Minded Pediatrician #4
December 24, 2019
Today, I was humbled to be published in KevinMD https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2019/12/how-ocean-plastic-picking-made-me-a-better-pediatrician.html which is the top social-media site for physicians. I am humbled because I am surrounded by amazing colleagues who are talented and also environmentally minded. I feel lucky to live and work in this community. Part of the reason I blog is to show the world this microcosm of goodness exists and we are fighting for the environment. Thank you KevinMD for shining your spotlight on what we are trying to do.
The irony is that this blog is supposed to be semi-anonymous as all pediatricians can be Dr. Plastic Pickers or super-heros in their own communities. Well today, I wanted to continue our weekly series of interviews with pediatricians who are children-advocates and also advocates for the environment. I cannot think of anyone more suited than Dr. Jill Gustafson. She is literally somewhere in the photo as a semi-anonymous superhero.
I have had the great pleasure of working with Dr. Jill Gustafson for over 10 years. She is a graduate of Harvard College and The Boston University School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at the Naval Medical Center. She is well loved by her little patients, and has guided families for over 30 years. She is also half of a dual-physician household, and has raised three well-adjusted successful adult children as a working mother. I have personally always found her wise and rich in common sense and humour.
Dr. Gustafson, pictured above, is part of our state-of-the-art virtual medical care center, where she delivers virtual care. Can you imagine the carbon she is saving by helping parents keep their kids at home, when they don’t really need to be seen in the office? She also sees patients in clinic and is well loved by staff and patients.
Dr. Jill Gustafson is one of those humans who is giving. She has this passion for soap-making, where she usually avoids palm-oils (bad for the rainforest) and came by to lead my daughter’s girl scout troop in their soap-making badge. Hands down, at the end of the year recap, our Junior Girl Scouts said they loved their afternoon making soap with Dr. Gustafson best. That afternoon she weaved in stories about being a little girl and loving science, with the beauty of reusing plastic bubble wrap to mold fun soaps.
Thank you Dr. Gustafson for stopping by our blog and being our Fourth Environmentally Minded Pediatrician!
What kind of coffee mug did you use this morning? Ceramic mug, both at home and work.
Do you carry a reusable water bottle? Can you describe it? Yes, I use a reusable water bottle with our HMO logo. Freebie.
Your last trip to the grocery store, did you use a reusable grocery tote? Can you describe it? I use reusable fabric totes. I reuse the plastic sleeves that my newspaper comes in as kittie litter disposal bags. My grocery totes range from a couple I brought back from the UK as souvenirs to old painted bags my kids did as crafts at Vacation Bible School.
What kind of car do you drive and how many miles per gallon do you get? How far is your commute to work? I drive a minivan but like to keep my cars for a long time, as the environmental costs of making a new car cancel out a lot of the advantages of buying a new fuel efficient one. Husband drives a hybrid. My previous car, I kept for 14 years. My commute twice a week is 25 minutes each way. The other days I work from home.
What things have you done for the environment lately? I did make my very own beeswax wraps to replace plastic wrap!
(Dr. Jill Gustafson also teaches a free craft class for the community reusing many items). The craft class is once a month at the public library, mixed ages, we have regulars and one time drop ins. The kids in their private school uniforms work alongside the recent immigrants whose parents are still learning English. It is so nice to see the families cooperating and the parents helping not only their own kids but the other kids as well
What are your feelings about drplasticpicker? I feel great admiration for drplasticpicker, a very down-to-earth micro-project to save the earth!
Thank you Dr. Jill Gustafson for being a supporter of our blog. Thank you for being environmentally minded in your every day actions. It took me a while to finish this blogpost. Dr. Gustafson was one of the first pediatricians I wanted to interview, but I wanted to get this blogpost just right. I was waiting for the right picture to pop up on her Facebook feed. Dr. Gustafson has the least selfies of anyone I know! But when this picture of her with the Virtual Medical Center popped up – I knew it was meant to be. The timing was perfect, as Dr. Gustafson is a regular church-goer and I can wish her a Merry Christmas through our blog as well! We are such a secular society now, but since this is a semi-anonymous blog and not official at work – I can say this. I have always loved how your spirituality and belief in God has influenced your work. From convincing vaccine hesitant parents who are conservative Christians as a Christian yourself to demonstrating against detention of migrant children at the border – thank you for all that you do for our world. You help me believe there is indeed a Savior who will deliver us all.
Here is our next interview, Dr. Rachel Guest who presents a different way to be a pediatrician and environmentalist https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-rachel-guest-pediatrician-and-nature-defender-5/