Elizabeth Erica Hansen, MD, PhD

Elizabeth Erica Hansen, MD, PhD

Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine

On staff since September 2017

Children's Title: Attending Anesthesiologist

Academic Title: Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology

"I am passionate about sustainability in anesthesia and efforts to green the operating room as part of my commitment to environmental justice and equity. I am the principal investigator for Project SPRUCE Forest, a pediatric anesthesia quality improvement consortium. This work began at Seattle Children's hospital and resulted in an 87% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from inhaled anesthetics, which were responsible for 5-7% of total hospital emissions. "

  • Biography
    • Related Pages

    • Project SPRUCE Forest

      What is Project Spruce? We are anesthesiologists dedicated to reducing the environmental footprint of our care, and we have come together to reduce emissions from anesthetic gasses using proven implementation science methods. We are thrilled to invite anesthesia groups to consider joining our

    • Mass General tries performance reports to cut greenhouse gas use in anesthesia

      Dr. Elizabeth Hansen at Seattle Children’s Hospital says the monthly reports she began sending to anesthesia colleagues in December of 2021 are making a difference there too. With the emails, an earlier education campaign and new protocols, Seattle Children’s has cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with anesthesia by 87% as compared to five years ago. Hansen says her colleagues feel an urgent need for change. Last fall, smoke from wildfires blanketed Seattle with some of the worst quality air in the world. “People are really motivated to reduce the harm associated with health care and address the climate crisis because it’s a health care crisis as well,” she said. Hansen is launching a national network of children’s hospitals that will show clinicians the climate impact of their work as a tool to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Seattle hospital puts patients under without overheating the planet

      Doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital say they’ve managed to tame one of the hospital’s biggest environmental impacts.


      Several Pacific Northwest sustainability leads were inspired by the collaborative research, assessment, and solutions developed by Dr. Brian Chesebro and Andy Mason from Providence St. Vincent Medical Center that was presented during the 2022 CleanMed Conference. With continued interest, the group convened a collaborative to expand their solutions across the region with the goal of transforming the delivery method of nitrous oxide within hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to radically reduce leaks and resulting greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Uncommon Thinkers: Elizabeth Hansen uses her job as an anesthesiologist to cut carbon emissions

      Around five years ago, Dr. Elizabeth Hansen, an attending anesthesiologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), lay awake in bed. She thought of her patients: sick, vulnerable kids whose airways became more reactive during wildfire season. She worried about her own young kids and whether there would be snow to play in when they were adults. What would the world be like for them? Editor’s note: This is part of a series profiling six of the Seattle region’s “Uncommon Thinkers”: inventors, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs transforming industries and driving positive change in the world

  • Patient Testimonials
  • Awards and Honors
    Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    Husky Green Award for Sustainability 2022 University of Washington
    Geekwire & Greater Seattle Partners Uncommon Thinker Award Uncommon Thinkers — the inventors, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs who are transforming industries and driving positive change throughout the world Geekwire & Greater Seattle Partners
  • Publications

    Manuscripts in Refereed Journals

    • Feldman J, Lampotang S, Hansen EE
      Low Flow Anesthesia 100 Years and Counting
      Anesthesiology News, 2023
    • Hansen EE, Chiem JL, Righter-Foss K, Zha Y, Cockrell HC, Greenberg SLM, Low DK, Martin LD
      Project SPRUCE: Saving Our Planet by Reducing Carbon Emissions, a Pediatric Anesthesia Sustainability Quality Improvement Initiative.
      37145976 Anesthesia and analgesia, 2023 Jul 1 : 137(1)98-107
    • Cockrell HC, Maine RG, Hansen EE, Mehta K, Salazar DR, Stewart BT, Greenberg SLM
      Environmental impact of telehealth use for pediatric surgery.
      35918239 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2022 Dec. : 57(12)865-869
    • Martin LD, Chiem JL, Hansen EE, Low DK, Reece K, Casey C, Wingate CS, Bezzo LK, Merguerian PA, Parikh SR, Susarla SM, O'Reilly-Shah VN
      Completion of an Enhanced Recovery Program in a Pediatric Ambulatory Surgery Center: A Quality Improvement Initiative.
      36384014 Anesthesia and analgesia, 2022 Dec 1 : 135(6)1271-1281
    • Groenewald C.B., Rabbitts J.A., Hansen E.E., Palermo T.M
      Racial Differences in Opioid Prescribing for Children in the United States.
      Pain, 2018 May : PMCID: 29794611
    • Mikacenic C, Hansen EE, Radella F, Gharib SA, Stapleton RD, Wurfel MM
      Interleukin-17A Is Associated With Alveolar Inflammation and Poor Outcomes in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
      26540401 Critical care medicine, 2016 March : 44(3)496-502 PMCID:PMC4764422
    • Hansen EE, Lozupone CA, Rey FE, Wu M, Guruge JL, Narra A, Goodfellow J, Zaneveld JR, McDonald DT, Goodrich JA, Heath AC, Knight R, Gordon JI
      Pan-genome of the dominant human gut-associated archaeon, Methanobrevibacter smithii, studied in twins.
      21317366 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011 Mar 15 : 108 Suppl(Suppl 1)4599-606 PMCID:PMC3063581
    • Lewis AL, Desa N, Hansen EE, Knirel YA, Gordon JI, Gagneux P, Nizet V, Varki A
      Innovations in host and microbial sialic acid biosynthesis revealed by phylogenomic prediction of nonulosonic acid structure.
      19666579 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2009 Aug 11 : 106(32)13552-7 PMCID:PMC2726416
    • Samuel BS, Hansen EE, Manchester JK, Coutinho PM, Henrissat B, Fulton R, Latreille P, Kim K, Wilson RK, Gordon JI
      Genomic and metabolic adaptations of Methanobrevibacter smithii to the human gut.
      17563350 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2007 Jun 19 : 104(25)10643-8 PMCID:PMC1890564
    • Sonnenburg ED, Sonnenburg JL, Manchester JK, Hansen EE, Chiang HC, Gordon JI
      A hybrid two-component system protein of a prominent human gut symbiont couples glycan sensing in vivo to carbohydrate metabolism.
      16735464 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2006 Jun 6 : 103(23)8834-9 PMCID:PMC1472243

    Other Publications

    • Tunc E, Brown JC, Hansen EE
      A Call for Immediate Action in the Emergency Department: Reduce or Eliminate Use of Nitrous Oxide to Lessen the Environmental Impact of Care.
      37665977 Pediatric emergency care, 2024 Jan 1 : 40(1)e1
    • Cockrell HC, Hansen EE, Gow K, Fecteau A, Greenberg SLM
      The intersection of pediatric surgery, climate change, and equity.
      36792419 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2023 May : 58(5)943-948
    • Cockrell HC, Anderson JE, Hansen EE, Waldhausen JHT, Greenberg SLM
      An imperative for the pediatric surgical community to prioritize climate change.
      34895739 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2022 April : 57(4)782-783
    • Hansen E.E
      Overview of Pediatric Anesthesia Emergencies
      Anesthesia Toolbox (Pediatric Advanced Curriculum Study Guide), 2019
  • Presentations
    Presentations Title Event Location Date
    The Joint Commission: Achieving Sustainable Healthcare Practices in Voluntary Certification 2024
    Climate and Health Care: Decarbonizing Our Health Care Systems Institute for Healthcare Improvement Annual Meeting Hansen EE, Chesebro B, Thomson J, Gerwig K Orlando FL 2023
    Update on Project SPRUCE Forest Invited Speaker Presentation, Pediatric Anesthesia Leadership Council 2023 Fall Meeting Chicago, IL 2023
    Reducing the Environmental Impact of Anesthesia Gases with Real-World EMR Data Beckers Hospital Review webinar 2023
    No Laughing Matter - Harm and Waste from Nitrous Oxide Invited Speaker Presentation, Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) 37th Annual Meeting “Challenging the Status Quo,” San Francisco, CA 2023
    Green Hospital Innovation Sharing & Learning Invited Speaker and Panelist, AHSN Network 2023
    Decreasing the Environmental Impact of Anesthesia Gasses with Project SPRUCE Forest Guest Lecture for Institute for Healthcare Improvement course Harvard School of Public Health. 2023
    The Intersection of Surgery, Climate Change and Equity American Surgical Congress Houston, TX 2023
    Wake Up Safe Workshop: Using Real-time Data to Drive QI Projects SPANZA Conference Sydney, Australia 2022
    Intersection of Anesthesia and Climate Crisis Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group (MPOG) Annual Retreat New Orleans, LA 2022
    Project SPRUCE: Saving Our Planet by RedUcing Carbon Emissions, an anesthesia sustainability initiative Professional Development presentation Anesthesia Department at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 2022
    How Seattle Children’s Leverages EMR Data to Improve OR Efficiency, Clinical Effectiveness, Equity and Reduce Harm to the Planet Operating Room Directors Forum, Children’s Hospital Association Meeting Phoenix, AZ 2022
    Project SPRUCE: Saving Our Planet by RedUcing Carbon Emissions, an anesthesia sustainability initiative Grand Rounds, Department of Anesthesiology, Pediatric Division Boston Children’s Hospital 2022
    Successes in Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Healthcare - on the Way to Carbon Neutral Washington Pediatricians for Climate Action Meeting Seattle, WA 2022
    Project SPRUCE: Saving Our Planet by RedUcing Carbon Emissions, an anesthesia sustainability initiative Departmental Presentation Anesthesia Department at Royal Children’s Hospital, University of Melbourne 2022
    Optimize Surgery: How Seattle Children’s used their real-world data to add 150,000 minutes of OR capacity, reduce length of stay and improve racial equity Becker’s Hospital Review Webinar 2022
    Workshop: Greening the Operating Room: Easy Sustainability Projects that Decrease Environmental Impact and Decrease Costs, Recycling in the Operating Room Society for Pediatric Anesthesia Conference 2021
    Anesthesia and the Environment Visiting Scholar in Pediatric Anesthesia Program exchange Grand Rounds presentation to OHSU Division of Pediatric Anesthesia 2021
    Muscular dystrophies, Mitochondrial Disease, Developmental Delay Resident Lecture Seattle Children's, Seattle, WA


Board Certification(s)

Pediatric Anesthesiology

Medical/Professional School

Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO


University of Washington, Seattle, WA


Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA