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Fossil-Fuel Pollution and Climate Change – A New NEJM Group Series

06/15/2022 | New England Journal of Medicine

To call attention to rising global greenhouse gas emissions that harm our health, Dr. Renee Salas, our Yerby Fellow and ClimateMD leader, co-authored an editorial in NEJM announcing a broad effort by the journal to address the health consequences of air pollution and climate change.

Dr. Salas and her co-authors notably write, “The primary barrier to an equitable transition away from coal, oil, and natural gas is a lack of political will, underpinned by the influence of the fossil-fuel industry.”

NEJMs goals are to:

  • Inform clinicians and health system administrators about the consequences of fossil-fuel extraction and use that are increasingly affecting patients and care delivery systems
  • Provide information about effective strategies for reducing the associated risks
  • Clarify the roles of the medical and public health sectors in addressing this crisis and stimulate research to guide the development of equitable adaptation and mitigation policies

NEJM is committing to:

  • Publish at least one article in a NEJM Group journal each month related to fossil-fuel–driven health harms and will subsequently plan ongoing coverage of related content
  • Further engage trainees and educators through their Resident 360 website, which is launching a discussion about incorporating a climate lens into medical training
  • Encourage submissions for this series, especially — but not limited to — high-quality original research

The initiative is launching with articles addressing different aspects of this unprecedented challenge in each of the NEJM journals.

Read the editorial

Hundreds of Hospitals on Atlantic and Gulf Coasts at Risk of Flooding from Hurricanes

Our study is the first to systematically investigate flooding risk to nearly 700 U.S. hospitals on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Category 1-4 storms.

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Communicating Statistics on the Health Effects of Climate Change

Health professionals need to communicate the health and equity implications of climate change effectively to protect health and motivate action.

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A Pediatrician’s Guide to Climate Change-Informed Primary Care

A practical approach for connecting climate change with health during pediatric well visits.

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The medical response to climate change

Our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein lays out five pillars for the medical response to climate change.

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Adding A Climate Lens To Health Policy In The United States

Our Yerby Fellow Dr. Renee Salas and Interim Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein outline specific recommendations for achieving climate action through health policy and decision making.

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'We Don't Have To Live This Way': Doctors Call For Climate Action

A sprawling analysis published by The Lancet focuses on public health data from 2019, and finds that heat waves, air pollution and extreme weather increasingly damage human health.

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Challenges and opportunities to sustainably scale up surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia care globally

Strategies for the surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia community to sustainably scale up SOA care to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address health equity and social justice issues.

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A pathway to net zero emissions for healthcare

Dr. Renee Salas charts a path to net zero emissions for healthcare.

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The first residency curriculum to better prepare doctors for climate change

New framework can teach medical residents how climate changes affects health, clinical care, and health care delivery.

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The climate crisis and COVID-19—A major threat to the pandemic response

Strategies for local communities and states to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during climate-related extreme events like heat waves, hurricanes, and wildfires.

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How Health Care Organizations Are Preparing for Climate Shocks and Protecting Vulnerable Patients

Our work with community health clinics is a model for how other health systems can become more resilient to climate.

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Floods are a growing threat to New England hospitals – what do you do?

Ours is the first study to systematically investigate flood risk for nearly 700 hospitals from Category 1-4 storms as climate change worsens and sea levels rise.

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Hospitals in Coastal Cities Risk Flooding Even in ‘Weak’ Hurricanes, Study Finds

We looked at the flooding risk to nearly 700 hospitals on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts due to storms and sea level rise made worse by climate change.

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Shaken by heatwaves, U.S. clinics get tips on staying cool

Featuring our toolkit for protecting the most vulnerable patients from heatwaves, working in collaboration with Americares and sponsored by Biogen.

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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Study Identifies Hundreds of Hospitals on Atlantic and Gulf Coasts at Risk of Flooding from Hurricanes

Our study shows which hospitals are at risk of flooding from hurricanes today, and which will become at risk due to climate change.

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Partnering with your PCP to stay healthy in record heat

Our director Dr. Aaron Bernstein writes about a new initiative providing patient-centered toolkits to protect the vulnerable.

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Some medications may increase sensitivity to heat, sun

As the U.S. experiences more days of extreme heat, researchers caution that certain medications—such as antidepressants, antihistamines, high blood pressure drugs, and overactive-bladder treatments—can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing a heat-related illness.

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Can Medications Make You More Sensitive to Sun and Heat?

Our Climate and Health Fellow Dr. Kimberly Humphrey explains how people taking certain medications can protect themselves from the heat.

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‘Children Are Not Little Adults’ and Need Special Protection During Heat Waves

Our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein is working to protect children from heat and advance health equity.

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A new toolkit makes health tips for heat waves more accessible

Our new toolkit for patients, providers and clinics provides guidance to prepare for or respond to weeks of prolonged heat.

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Dr. Renee Salas

Renee N. Salas MD, MPH, MS

Renee's work focuses on the intersection of the climate crisis, health, and healthcare delivery.

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