Vermont’s Climate & Health Program Manager writes about how the state has been preparing for an impact that seemed almost unthinkable for a northern New England state: extreme heat.
Local efforts to simultaneously address the impact of a changing climate and improve public health require broad and meaningful community engagement. That was one of the consistent themes at an October gathering in Minneapolis of leaders from 11 communities throughout the United States.
In late October, the Health and Climate Solutions program staff from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, our team and the seven grantees of the Foundation met in Boulder, Colorado. This gathering provided a valuable opportunity for grantees to meet each other and share overviews of their projects.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium witnessed the critical threat that climate change posed to their communities’ immediate health. In response, ANTHC developed an individual household water purification and sanitation system so that tribal households can filter and disinfect any source of fresh water—such as rainwater, snow melt, springs or river water.
Friends of Trees is working to address climate change and health equity by planting hundreds of thousands of trees in Portland, Oregon. The program is community-centered and community-led.
Climate change is already causing profound harms to human health. Health professionals can make a critical difference by reframing and responding to climate change as the health emergency it is. If health professionals are to live by our tenet – “do no harm” – we must act.