Climate Change

Protecting Vulnerable Populations from Heat-Related Illnesses During Extreme Heat Events

Extreme Heat Events (EHE) result in needless heat- related illnesses and deaths. The general public can seek respite, but vulnerable confined populations, such as those in prisons and jails, don't have that freedom. This presentation addresses the components of the "heat index," temperature and humidity, in confined spaces and the impact they can have in a court of law, especially when these localized measurements are taken into account with climate data. Explore the role EH professionals have in protecting the health of the institutionalized population during extreme heat events.

Leading Interdisciplinary Partnerships to Tackle Climate Change

Climate change will bring myriad environmental health challenges: worse air pollution, wildfires, and floods are just some examples. Viewing these threats through a public health lens is a powerful way to engage other stakeholders as well as the public. This session will share proven methods for creating and sustaining inter-agency partnerships to successfully tackle climate change through achieving common goals.

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

Join the Discussion: The Importance of Locally-specific Climate Change-related Health Outcome Tools.

During this session, learn how the relationship between extreme heat events and mortality and morbidity in King County, Washington, translates into localized risk charts and vulnerability maps for use by county health planners. This session will provide the opportunity for participants to share and discuss their own experiences with public health resource planning around issues of climate change.

Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

Are We Ready? The Viewpoints of Local Health Departments on Climate Change

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication conducted a study to gain a greater understanding of public health preparedness for climate change at the local level. This presentation highlights the viewpoints and programmatic work of local health departments on climate change, and provides a pathway to build awareness and advocate for policies, plans, and programs to support climate change mitigation, and adaptation at the local level.


Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

An Evaluation of the Heat Relief Network Cooling Centers in Maricopa County

Maricopa County Department of Public Health and affiliates administered a survey to evaluate designated cooling centers, which were created as part of a county-wide response to a spike in heat-associated deaths, primarily among the homeless population. Survey results highlight cooling center expansion opportunities, recognize best practices for communities with chronic environmental heat, and reinforce the need for community and governmental partnership. Attendees will leave with the information needed to set up a framework for conducting similar evaluation projects.


Adaptation in Action

Many states and some cities apply the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) Framework when preparing adaptation plans to respond to the public health effects of climate change. Yet, public health is local, very local. This informative and interactive session will allow you to examine exemplary BRACE Framework adaptation plans then draft your very own outline for a BRACE Framework specific to your local geographic and public health challenges.


Presented at NEHA 2015 AEC

Building Resilience Against Climate Effects: A Framework for State and Local Health Departments

CDC saw the need for and developed a comprehensive approach for public health agencies to anticipate, prepare for and respond to the numerous challenges presented by the effects of climate change on human health. This presentation will highlight initiatives underway and tools in development for establishing 'climate ready' public health agencies. The speaker will describe successes and challenges implementing CDC's process for building climate resilience capabilities in Arizona, and share lessons learned and best practices in implementing the framework at your agency.

Climate Change

Climate Change

Addressing climate change can be an overwhelming and daunting task, but when all individuals in a community engage, prepare, and collaborate on effective climate change strategies, then partnerships and solutions arise. Evaluating baseline opinions, values, core beliefs, and identities of a community’s diverse population will allow environmental health professionals to better understand how and where behavior change can produce maximum results. Promoting long-term planning for climate change is important. Communities must create and be examples of more efficient and sustainable lifestyles, such as using active and mass transportation, reducing waste, and conserving energy and water.

NEW! NEHA and ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health Partnership

NEHA is excited to announce its new partnership with ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health program. Please see the new ecoAmerica resources and other recent climate reports. Together, NEHA and Climate for Health are building visible national leadership on climate solutions and institutionalizing climate action as a health imperative; developing and supporting climate literate environmental health professionals that can lead on climate; engaging all leadership, members, and stakeholders; and building collective support and action for climate solutions within the NEHA community and across the health sector.

ecoAmerica’s Climate for Health program partners with America’s leading health associations and institutions to make climate change a top national health priority. Click here for Climate for Health resources and tools.

NEW! Climate Science Special Report

The Climate Science Special Report, released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, describes current trends in the climate globally and for the U.S., as well as projects trends in temperature, precipitation, sea-level rise, and Arctic Sea ice for the remainder of this century.

NEW! Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change

The Lancet Countdown’s 2017 report tracks 40 indicators across five areas, arriving at three key conclusions: 1) the human symptoms of climate change are unequivocal and potentially irreversible; 2) the delayed response to climate change over the past 25 years has jeopardized human life and livelihoods; and 3) the past five years have seen an accelerated response.

NEHA Climate Change Policy Statement

NEHA's Board of Directors adopted NEHA's Climate Change Policy Statement written by NEHA's Climate Change Committee. Climate change is affecting environmental health—the quality of air, food, and water in the communities where we live, work, and play (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). NEHA recognizes climate change as a world-wide environmental health problem that has health and safety impacts to individuals and communities. Environmental health professionals improve and protect the public’s health and create and sustain healthy communities. It is NEHA’s responsibility to support the capacity of environmental health professionals to address the health impacts of climate change with risk assessment, adaptation, and mitigation planning.

Download Document (PDF)

NEHA Resources:

AEC Climate Change Sessions and Related Topics

NEHA 2017 AEC Educational Sessions

NEHA 2010 - 2015 AEC Recorded Climate Change and Sustainability Sessions

Articles by Journal of Environmental Health:

April 2017: Reframing Climate Change for Environmental Health

April 2017: A Comparison of Heat Wave Response Plans From an Aged Care Facility Perspective

March 2017: E-Journal Bonus Article: A Study of Parents’ Perception of Air Pollution and Its Effect on Their Children’s Respiratory Health in Nanchang, China

November 2016: An Assessment of Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated With the Use of Water, Sand, and Chemicals in Shale Gas Production of the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale

May 2016: Association Between Asthma Hospital Visits and Ozone Concentration in Maricopa County, Arizona (2007–2012)

May 2016: Associations Between Ultrafine Particles and Co-Pollutant Concentrations in the Tampa Bay Area

January/February 2016: The Impact of Extremes in Outdoor Temperature and Sunshine Exposure on Birth Weight

April 2014: 2012 NEHA/UL Sabbatical Report Vulnerability to Potential Impacts of Climate Change: Adaptation and Risk Communication Strategies for Environmental Health Practitioners in the United Kingdom (PDF)

October 2012: Altitude and Environmental Climate Effects on Bronchiolitis Severity Among Children Presenting to the Emergency Department (PDF)

Articles by Dr. David Dyjack:

September 2014: The Implications for Public Health when “Weird Weather” becomes the New Normal

April 2014: Local Public Health Department Funding for Climate Change

March 2014: Water Scarcity: California Drought Prompts Tough Questions for Public Health

Policy Statements:

February 2017: NEHA Climate Change Policy Statement (PDF)

NEHA Climate Change Committee

NEHA program committees provide guidance, input and expertise to NEHA leadership and program staff, fellow environmental health professionals and partner organizations on environmental health policies and programs. The Climate Change Committee Mission, Goals, and its Members are listed here.

For additional resources and reports, click here.
EH Topics: