TWU Nursing professor Dr. Barbara Astle advocates for planetary and global health

Dr. Barbara Astle, Professor of Nursing and Director of the Master of Science in Nursing program, is passionate about planetary health, a transdisciplinary field that seeks to understand and find solutions to address the impacts of human activities on our planet’s ecological systems and human health.

Through partnering with many like-minded organizations, Dr. Barbara Astle works to ensure that the next generation of students and faculty are mindful of the importance of health equity and justice in planetary health. 

“I have been a committed nursing leader specifically in advocating for the development and integration of global and planetary health education that fosters key elements of the interconnectedness of the sustainability of our planet for the health and wellbeing of our population,” Dr. Astle says of her recent efforts.

Building resources for global health education and professional development

Dr. Astle has led the development of the second edition of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Global Health Competency Toolkit. The toolkit is based upon the seminal article in the Annals of Global Health (2015) defining levels of proficiency of desirable competencies for the improvement for global health education and professional development. Some of the key domains addressed in this toolkit focus on the importance of fostering and sustaining the environmental factors which are essential determinants of health.

Partnering with multidisciplinary scholars and practitioners 

For the past three years, Dr. Astle has partnered with an interdisciplinary, intergenerational, geographically diverse, and gender-inclusive group of scholars and practitioners to work alongside the Planetary Health Alliance on the development of the Planetary Health Education Framework. This framework is recognized as a foundational document for planetary health education.

More recently, Dr. Astle has been working alongside colleagues with the Canadian Nurses for the Environment, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Doctors for Planetary Health – West Coast and other allies to highlight the urgency of planetary health locally and federally.

Raising awareness for planetary health at TWU

To raise awareness for planetary health at TWU, members of the Nursing faculty and students in the Global Health course took the planetary health pledge in April, to honour World Health Day’s theme “our planet, our health”. 

See also — TWU’s School of Nursing faculty and students honour World Health Day by taking the Planetary Health Pledge:
TWU News

About TWU’s School of Nursing

The School of Nursing, within the ethos of a Christian university with liberal arts, sciences, and professions, engages students in the integration of faith, spirituality, and nursing. TWU Nursing is recognized as a leader in faith-integrated education and is accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. In addition to programs at the undergraduate (BSN) and graduate (MSN) levels, TWU’s School of Nursing is offering a ground-breaking PhD in Nursing program designed for nurses who are in or who want to be in academic positions, and those who work in or desire to work in health-care organizations. Learn more at TWU's PhD in Nursing

About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting research institution offering liberal arts and sciences as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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