Los Angeles area physician Dr. Deonza Thymes has been named co-chair of Californians Against Utilities Stopping Solar Energy (CAUSE). CAUSE is a coalition of public health leaders and a solar energy company charged with a simple mission to preserve California’s rapidly growing rooftop solar energy industry and its positive impact on public health.
Thymes, who grew up in urban Los Angeles, said, “I am honored to be a CAUSE co-chair and advocate for protecting the health of the families I grew up with. Protecting rooftop solar is also protecting them.”
“For many urban communities across America, dirty air is a real and serious threat to the health of all residents. For African-Americans this is particularly true. We have a 35 percent higher rate of asthma than whites. We must understand the importance of a clean environment and how successful programs like rooftop solar are a key tool in helping clean our air” said Thymes.
Thymes is a lead physician at Western Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine in Anaheim, California. She completed her Emergency Medicine residency at King/Drew Medical Center in south central Los Angeles, holds a medical degree from Ohio State University College of Medicine and undergraduate degree from University of California, Los Angeles.
Thymes is also co-founder of Artemis Medical Society and a frequent guest speaker at Los Angeles area health fairs, churches, and schools, lecturing on topics from health and aging to diabetes and healthy diets.
“I grew up in a part of Los Angeles that is affected disproportionately by dirty air,” expressed Thymes. “I became a physician, in part, to help people with health conditions caused by pollutants. Now that we are making progress with rooftop solar, the utilities are trying to turn back the clock. They should be helping to give all Californians the choice to have rooftop solar and make our neighborhoods healthier.
” Dismantling current laws that support rooftop solar is a prescription for hurting the health of our neighborhoods. It is my hope that African-American elected officials will realize that this is a health issue and that they will do the right thing and stand up for public health.”
California has installed more than 1,400 MW of rooftop solar capacity – the equivalent of nearly three coal-fired power plants. This solar electricity is pollution-free and generated from an inexhaustible source. The California solar industry employs more than 43,000 workers and has driven $10 billion in private investment in the state over the past five years.
“As an Emergency Medicine physician, I see the looks of despair when a family brings in their child who is having an asthma attack,” she said. “We need every tool and potential cure to our air quality issues available for use in our communities. California needs to be doing more, not less, to promote rooftop solar. Rooftop solar and net energy metering should not be taken away just because one powerful group of energy monopolies does not like it.”