Getting Healthcare Right

Phyllis Barber

Phyllis Barber

I’m a native Pittsburgher who came home in 2000 after living in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve led Highmark’s sustainability initiatives since 2007 but my interest in the environment goes way back. Before curbside recycling, I used to pull cans and bottles from family and friends’ trash. I’d even bring my own plastic bag to parties and ask that all partygoers separate recyclables from the rest.

By working in this field I’ve learned a lot about the link between the environment and people’s health, and many ways to improve both. As an example, recycling is great but reducing and reusing has a much greater impact. Whether we recycle or not, our individual use of materials and energy still affects the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. It affects the health of the environment and everyone in it.

I’m fortunate to represent Highmark in a fabulously supportive and innovative network of peers, Champions for Sustainability. Our group, founded in 2008, consists of a variety of businesses, universities and government organizations in the Pittsburgh region.

When I have free time, I love to be in my garden planting and weeding, followed by some time in my kitchen, throwing together whatever ingredients I’ve grown with those from my Penn’s Corner farm share.

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At the Highmark Health blog, we believe that personal storytelling is a healthy way to learn, inspire and build stronger connections. We're fortunate to have had contributions from well over 100 different people. You can learn more about any post's author by clicking their name, or you can meet the whole community at once.

Almost all our posts have a personal voice, and you'll find plenty of expert quotes and Q&A interviews as well. If you enjoy reading stories like this one, you can find more in the "Our Stories" category and by clicking topic tags like "inspiration" and "making a difference."

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