Her mission? To stop the creep of light pollution. It “keeps us from the stars—it obliterates the stars—and we lose our connection to the skies.”

“Thirty percent of vertebrates are nocturnal and twice as many invertebrates are nocturnal—they have their patterns, and we’ve disrupted this ecosystem with our 100-year change of light on the world. It’s not enough time for them to adapt.” The health of fish, reptiles, bats, moths birds, plants, trees and humans are all impacted by the light pollution.

Cherry Springs Park, four hours north on Route 28 is the darkest spot in the state, “in case you want to go and see the Milky Way.”

“Now is the time to change things,” she says.

Jim Withers is a physician who provides medical care to Pittsburgh’s homeless; he founded Operation Safety Net, the first 24-7 health service for the homeless. His model is practiced around the world through his nonprofit, International Street Medicine Institute.

When he began treating the homeless population in 1992, Withers “began to see what the medical system looked like from the outside, and it wasn’t pretty. We should never underestimate the potential of people and we should also not underestimate the power of love,” he says. Operation Safety Net has helped more than 10,000 patients and has helped more than 1,200 find housing.

“The street homeless are frequent and costly utilizers of our health care dollars. We go into the camps and the streets and have saved this community millions of health care dollars.”

He believes every community should have health care for the homeless—it’s like having a fire department. “But going to where the people are suffering the most is still pretty radical thinking for the health care system.”

“As I tell my students, you can’t take care of a patient if you don’t go into their room.”

Katie O’Malley, Mayor Peduto’s Assistant Communications Manager, showed ease and humor at the mic as host for the event. Watch the livestream video here.