2022 was a year marked with awareness and activism on climate change and environmental health. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II released their Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability last February, which stressed that climate events are becoming more prevalent and unpredictable with urgent need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Congress has also weighed in with a House Committee report on Healthcare and the Climate Crisis, which highlighted the effects of climate-related issues on health care providers, organizations, and the populations they serve. Ultimately, health centers were found to be less prepared for climate change than larger hospital systems. But that’s about to change.
Resources to Focus on Climate Impact
Passage of the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides tax credits for clean energy, sets up the greenhouse gas reduction fund, provides block grants for environmental and climate justice concerns, and extends enhanced premium tax credits in the Affordable Care Act (read summary created by NACHC). These resources, as well mounting national and global attention on climate change and environmental health, have health centers focusing on their own local strategies to better serve diverse racial and ethnic groups, and low-income populations who are typically among the first to be affected by climate change and environmental issues – storms, flooding, wildfires, and extreme heat or cold.
The NACHC Environmental Health team stands at the ready to elevate stories of success and innovation, resources, and partnership so that health centers can learn best practices from one another. Some highlights:
- A partnership with Capital Link and Collective Energy to bring about the Community Health Access to Resilient Green Energy (CHARGE) partnership to support Health Centers in purchasing and installing solar microgrids.
- Collaboration with ecoAmerica create a tailored Climate for Health Ambassador program for community health centers.
- An upcoming Patient-Centered Climate Resilience Learning Collaborative in partnership with Harvard C-Change, Migrant Clinicians Network and Americares.
- Engagement with federal governmental partners like the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others.
- Please feel free to also reach out to Jess Hinshaw, Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our webpage for more information and consider joining our interest group for more ways to get involved. We look forward to ushering in a new year of action on environment and climate change!
Additional Resources and Webinars:
- NACHC, ecoAmerica, CHARGE Partnership, & CrescentCare, Environment, Climate Change and Human Health: Federal Updates and Resources for Action
- NACHC, EPA, Louisiana Primary Care Association, & Umma Community Clinic, Community Health Centers, and Hazardous Air Pollution
- The Boston Globe, Protecting Patients from Climate Risks
- The Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers, Climate Change- The Impact on Health, Wellness, and Care Delivery
- Diabetes in Special and Vulnerable Populations, Environmental Impacts on Diabetes Access to Care