166646 Coping with climate change: What the public health community needs to do

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 11:30 AM

Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH , Director, NCEH/ATSDR, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
There is widespread scientific consensus that the world's climate is changing. These changes are expected to have substantial human health impacts. The scope of this public health challenge is unprecedented, but for many health threats associated with climate change, there are known, effective public health responses. This session proposes a public health approach to climate change, including primary prevention—efforts to slow, stabilize, or reverse climate change—but focusing on secondary and tertiary prevention—adaptation, or efforts to anticipate and prepare for the effects of climate change. Public health preparedness for climate change is based on the ten essential services of public health. 1) Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems. 2) Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community. 3) Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues. 4) Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems. 5) Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts. 6) Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety. 7) Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable. 8) Assure a competent public and personal health care workforce. 9) Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services. 10) Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems. Examples of each are provided. An effective public health response to climate change will enhance public health preparedness, and reduce risk in a changing environment.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the varied roles for the public health community. Identify at least two critical steps for health adaptation to unavoidable climate change.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.