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PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health Announces Learning Collaborative for Urban Health Departments

October 27, 2015

The Center for Climate Change and Health at the Public Health Institute has announced the award of 13 grants to urban local health departments to participate in a Climate Change and Public Health Learning Collaborative. The collaborative is funded by The Kresge Foundation, and seeks to build capacity in urban local health departments to address climate change, health, and equity through a variety of different approaches in collaboration with community partners.  

Recipients include:

Columbus Public Health (Ohio) will work with Interfaith Power and Light of Ohio to share information about climate change and health with the African American and Hispanic faith communities and identify strategies to assist congregations interested in taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sustainability and resilience.

City and County of Denver’s Department of Environmental Health (Colorado) will initiate a Denver Neighborhood Climate and Health Vulnerability project. This project will integrate public health data and climate science in a mapping tool that will provide greater insight into the neighborhoods and populations most vulnerable to climate related health impacts.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) (California) will launch a new internal initiative to engage its programs in implementing LACDPH’s Five Point Plan to Reduce the Health Impacts of Climate Change. As a component of this work, LACDPH will develop an Extreme Heat Response Framework that enhances its preparedness for and response to extreme heat events.

Macomb County Health Department (Michigan) will form a Climate Change Resiliency coalition that will assess the health of victims of the severe flooding that impacted thousands of residents in 2014, and develop ways to better prepare their community for potential future climate-related extreme events.

Maricopa County Department of Public Health (Arizona) will identify the needs of homebound individuals during extreme heat events, determine whether the county’s existing services are sufficient, and identify how to improve capacity for this vulnerable population to prevent heat related illness.

City of Milwaukee Health Department (Wisconsin) will work with city and community partners to expand urban agriculture and climate resilience through an innovative rain harvesting and green infrastructure project. This effort will include installation of rainwater harvesting systems, a resource guide, and workshops to address specific climate and health risks and build community resilience.

City of Minneapolis Health Department (Minnesota) will conduct a citywide climate change and health vulnerability assessment and neighborhood based community conversations/workshops to foster identification of strategies to increase community climate resilience.

Multnomah County Health Department (Oregon) will work to build a more climate resilient community by developing a built environment and climate change indicator system in collaboration with communities historically disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards. The indicators will be used to develop and implement strategies by communities of color that will strengthen capacity to respond to climate change. 

New Orleans Health Department (Louisiana) will conduct a climate vulnerability assessment to examine current climate change projections for New Orleans and associated health outcomes.  This information will be mapped using vulnerable population data to determine the best strategies for reducing the impact of climate change by neighborhoods.

Pima County Health Department (Arizona) seeks to engage a diverse group of community partners to better understand and respond to the growing impact of heat-related illness in Pima County, including through the use of surveillance data to design HRI prevention programs for outdoor workers, elders, and those in the constellation of homelessness, substance use, and mental illness.

Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s (Pennsylvania) Asthma Readiness and Resilience Project will raise awareness and improve health outcomes among asthma patients in Philadelphia who may be adversely impacted by conditions related to climate change. PDPH will develop an asthma and climate change curriculum for existing asthma outreach and education programs, as well as using its broadcast notification system to provide alerts and tips when weather conditions or air quality may exacerbate asthma.

Seattle & King County Public Health Department (Washington) will build organizational capacity to address climate change mitigation and adaptation and will work with external stakeholders and community partners to support community climate resilience and address the intersection of climate change, health, and equity.

Tulsa City-County Health Department (Oklahoma) will enhance the vector control program to address issues related to the variability in local weather patterns caused by climate change, and will increase community awareness and knowledge about climate-related health issues through creative communication strategies.