Climate Change

NEHA Awards Two Climate and Health Mini-Grants

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has awarded two demonstration grants for climate and health projects. Clackamas County, Oregon and the Minnesota Department of Health have been funded to develop tools and increase capacity to increase health considerations in climate change adaptation.

Climate change is already affecting health, from the air we breathe to the water we drink. Solutions to a variety of challenges can be addressed at the local level. Both the Minnesota and Oregon teams will develop tools and strategies for analyzing and communicating the effects of a changing climate on residents’ health. “The health of our families are effectively promoted and protected by investments, policies and decisions made at the local level” said NEHA Executive Director Dr. David Dyjack. “We are pleased to collaborate with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to provide local environmental health practitioners tools and resources aimed at reducing the health risks associated with climate change, in the spirit of ensuring every community member reaches their full human potential.” 

The Oregon project team, which includes members from each local public health authority in the Portland metropolitan region including Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties, have a standing collaboration to address climate and health issues. They will enhance their existing partnership by completing a regional climate and health impact assessment report, which focuses on observed health outcomes related to climate change, and develop an accompanying data visualization tool. The key aims of the project are to educate residents and other stakeholders about climate-related morbidity and mortality and highlight how social determinants are the primary drivers of climate vulnerability. The project will improve regional processes related to cross-jurisdictional sharing, mass communication, planning, and assessment. NEHA’s technical assistance can include guidance for the health impact assessment report and identification of materials for the visualization tool.

The Minnesota team, consisting of the Minnesota Department of Health and U-Spatial at the University of Minnesota, are developing a user-friendly, open-access online geographic information system (GIS) tool that maps exposures and sensitivities to climate change, called the Minnesota Climate & Health Vulnerability Assessment Tool. U-Spatial will enhance the tool by adding additional data, such as, exposure and sensitivity layers, to develop an extreme heat vulnerability index. MDH will work with one community to develop and share a model report for heat vulnerability using the tool’s enhancements. NEHA’s technical assistance could include helping to define layers for the Tool and ways of presenting the vulnerability information for adaptation planning.

Both projects are set to be completed by the end of July, 2019. By measuring correlation between a changing climate and health effects, NEHA, Clackamas County, and the Minnesota Department of Health can begin addressing the locality of these issues, and their impacts on their communities.

EH Topics: 

Coastal Community Resilience

This new course is designed to give planners and practitioners in coastal communities an in-depth understanding of the strategies, science, and tools that are available for use in New Jersey to plan for coastal resilience. The course is designed for private and public sector planners and practitioners, appointed and elected local officials, community leaders, and land managers.

Ecological Risk Assessment

This two-day program provides attendees with a comprehensive overview of regulatory expectations of ecological risk assessments from both federal and state perspectives. Participants will learn to help clients understand how the ecological risk assessment process aids in developing realistic approaches to remediating sites. LSRPs will gain more perspective on the role that ecological risk assessment plays in establishing site clean-up goals.

GEHA 2019 AEC

The Georgia Environmental Health Association (GEHA) invites anyone interested in environmental health to attend our 2019 Annual Education Conference (AEC) happening June 12-14, 2019, at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, located within Stone Mountain Park. GEHA looks forward to its members and guests coming to this popular location just outside the metro-Atlanta area for a great educational event and lots of networking, fun and fellowship!

Oregon Environmental Health Association Conference

Each year OEHA sponsors annual and regional conferences covering topics which may include food production & safety, waste water disposal, industrial hygiene, epidemiology, disaster response, and other educational seminars as the need arises. The speakers for these educational conferences are recruited not only from Oregon, but also from other parts of the U.S. Speakers come from local, state, federalagencies, universities, and private industries.

The next AEC will be held on February 26-28 near Newport at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn.

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