237379 Bracing for impact: Preparing a comprehensive approach to tackling climate change for public health agencies

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:35 AM

Gino Marinucci, MPH , National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, GA
George Luber, PhD , National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, GA
While there is scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and will have significant effects on human health, there are numerous challenges for public health agencies in being able to anticipate, prepare for and respond to the effects. In response to the need for a comprehensive approach to tackle the health effects of climate change, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has initiated a range of activities to provide greater insight and guidance to public health agencies.

This presentation will highlight new guidance for establishing ‘climate ready' public health agencies. A 5 stage process has been developed to support state and city health agencies to achieve goals set out in CDC's Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative. This guidance can be applied by public health agencies at all tiers of government. The 5 stages plot a process to: • build understanding of climate scenarios • develop tools and models that assist with anticipating the most likely health impacts • identify vulnerable populations • plan and prioritize response • enhance response/interventions

The presentation will highlight efforts under way to translate the latest findings from the atmospheric and climatic sciences, and to develop related tools that are tailored for use by the public health community. The speaker will describe initiatives under way that include enhanced surveillance activities, strategies to model vulnerability to climate-sensitive health outcomes, and activities to promote workforce development.

The speaker will also discuss initiatives that are building climate change capabilities within state and local health agencies that will enable them to forecast the most likely health impacts from climate change within their area, identify communities and systems most at risk, and apply this learning to enhance public health preparedness planning and response.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Identify suggested key steps for a health department to take in order to effectively address public health issues related to climate change.

Keywords: Climate Change, Public Health Agency Roles

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the developers that has devised the framework being presented and I work directly on the program initiatives being discussed.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.