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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

Toward a Climate-Ready Health Care System: Institutional Motivators and Workforce Engagement

Dr. Caleb Dresser argues that health care systems must reframe incentives and engage their workforce to become climate-resilient.

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Study: Teaching community organizing principles to health professionals significantly increases their capacity to take climate action

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Federal investments in climate change and health research are inadequate says Harvard analysis

Critical knowledge gaps hinder an evidence-based response and are perpetuated by scarce federal research funds.

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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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Climate in the Clinic

Clinicians gathered for our Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice Symposium to learn about the impacts of climate change on health care delivery.

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Clinicians' challenge: 'Bring climate change to the bedside'

Our Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice Symposium kicked off a larger initiative to bring a climate lens to the health care community.

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Heatwave = heatstroke = ER visit

ER doctor Renee Salas on how doctors are seeing the impacts of climate change on health, and what they can do about it.

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Doctors meet in Boston to talk climate, health

ER doctor and Harvard Chan C-CHANGE fellow Renee Salas talks about the health impacts of climate change on health.

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Doc, I'm burning up

While many still think climate change is a problem for future generations, doctors are seeing the real effects of it on their patients now.

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Doctors highlight climate impacts on hospitals, healthcare

The Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice Symposium kicked off an initiative for the medical community to integrate a climate lens into healthcare delivery.

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Facing the challenges of climate change at the bedside

Check out the highlights from our ClimateRx2020 symposium—the first to bring together the Boston medical community to discuss how climate change will impact clinical practice.

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The climate crisis and clinical practice

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Harvard and NEJM to tackle the clinical impacts of climate change in Boston, Australia and across the U.S.

Six health systems across the U.S. and one in Australia commit to convening local providers to explore how the climate crisis impacts care delivery.

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Despite climate change threats, few medical schools teach it

Climate change poses threats to public health and concerned health care professionals call for medical schools to incorporate it into their curriculum.

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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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