142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Illinois Climate and Health Suvey: An Assessment of Local Health Departments' Awareness of Climate Change

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 5:30 PM - 5:50 PM

Elena Grossman, MPH , EOHS, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Climate instability has already begun to impact human health and in the past 20 years and Illinois has experienced extreme weather events including the 1993 Mississippi River floods, the 1995 Chicago heat wave, the drought of 2012, the floods of 2013, as well as the arrival of West Nile Virus.  As part of the CDC’s Climate Ready Cities and States Initiative, BRACE-Illinois disseminated a survey to Illinois’ local health department (LHD) administrators to assess the extent to which local health departments are thinking about climate change, the level of preparation for climate change, and the knowledge and capacity to develop strategies for dealing with climate change.  Four previously used surveys were utilized to develop the online Illinois Climate and Health Survey tool that was disseminated to all 96 LHDs in Illinois.  In addition, anecdotal information was collected from the BRACE-Illinois team visiting LHDs to learn about jurisdictional and operational specific aspects of the LHD that are critical in planning for climate change.  Climate change itself was not identified as a high priority among local health departments in Illinois.  Few responding health departments have educational activities related to climate or heat warning systems and many LHDs have systems in place for syndromic surveillance, vector-borne disease surveillance, water- and food-borne outbreak investigation, and emergency preparedness for storms and floods.  The survey results indicate a clear need for additional education of local health department leadership and staff, as well as opportunities to incorporate climate-related events into existing surveillance activities.  Using the survey results as well as the anecdotal information, an educational presentation was developed and has been delivered to several LHDs.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Describe the methods used to assess the extent to which local health departments are considering climate change in their planning processes and operational activities. Discuss challenges and opportunities that Illinois’ local health departments face in addressing climate change.

Keyword(s): Climate and Health, Local Public Health Agencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I manage the federally funded grant that the University of Illinois at Chicago was awarded to develop a Climate and Health Adaptation Plan for Illinois. I have experience in developing assessment questionnaires and tools targeting local health departments and their educational needs. Under my capacity as the BRACE Manager, I am responsible for developing and delivering educational materials to the public health workforce.
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.