Photo by: Michael Goderre, Boston Childrens Hospital

Bringing climate solutions to the bedside.

When Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico it devastated the island but also caused national shortages of intravenous saline, a backbone of basic medical care when the supply chain was put out of commission.

Hurricanes, wildfires, extreme heat, and other consequences of burning fossil fuels and climate change don’t just threaten our health, they threaten the ability of medical providers to deliver care to all those who need it.

It’s essential that health care providers understand how climate change could impact their clinical practice, be empowered to safeguard their patients’ health, and use their voices to engage the health care community and public to act on climate change.

Harvard Chan C-CHANGE runs Climate MD, a program focused on:

  • Working with community health clinics
  • Demonstrating climate impacts to health care delivery in medical journals
  • Preparing medical leaders on climate and health
  • Changing the national media narrative on climate change
  • Communicating directly with patients

Staff in front of a health clinic

Working with frontline health clinics

We are working with frontline health clinics to protect patients’ health from climate shocks like heatwaves, hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires. Our programs work with clinic providers, staff, and patients to prevent harm from the climate crisis and improve health equity.

Learn about patient-centered climate resilience and our work with frontline health clinics.


Dr. Renee Salas speaks at climate crisis event
Photo By Jim Mahoney for Coverage

Demonstrating climate impacts to healthcare delivery in medical journals

We reach health care professionals by publishing and amplifying research on patient-centered climate action, leading the yearly analysis tracking the impact of climate change on human health in the U.S. Policy Brief for the Lancet Countdown, and demonstrating the connections between climate change and pediatrics, climate-informed primary care, psychology, emergency medicine, surgery, internal medicine, cancer, pulmonology, infectious diseases, and more.


 

 

cityscape with park and people walking

Preparing medical leaders on climate and health

Our team co-hosts the Health Effects of Climate Change, a massive open online course that has been taken by more than 100,000 students in over 100 countries, Harvard University’s Climate Change and Health Fellows for emergency medicine physicians, and the Climate Health Organizing Fellows program for U.S. health professionals.

We work with medical schools to integrate climate change into curricula using clinical cases and targeted curriculum, outlining the first residency curricula to better prepare doctors for climate change and identifying climate and health initiatives at educational institutions.


 

 


Man putting medical mask on a child

Changing the national media narrative on climate change

We serve as the media’s go-to source for climate change and health information, regularly interviewing with top-tier national and health media and hosting workshops and media trainings for organizations on how to effectively communicate about climate and health issues.



Communicating directly with patients

We regularly publish information about how people can stay healthy in a changing climate through serving on the boards of Parents Magazine and Pattrn from The Weather Channel, our collaborations with the Harvard Health Letter, one of the most trusted and widely-read sources of health information in the world, our fact sheets on kids and climate, and our monthly Climate Optimist newsletter.

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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Caleb Dresser

Caleb Dresser MD, MPH

Caleb is an emergency medicine physician whose research focuses on addressing health needs during and after climate-related disasters.

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Gaurab Basu

Gaurab Basu MD, MPH

Gaurab's work focuses on the intersection of climate change, health equity, medical education, and advocacy.

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Tess Wiskel, MD

Tess Wiskel MD

Tess' research focuses on the health impacts of climate change, centering on extreme weather events in at-risk patient populations.

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Chelsea Heberlein

Chelsea Heberlein

Chelsea works with frontline health clinics, researchers, and collaborating organizations to put patients at the center of climate resilience.

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Anna Miller MPH

Anna translates science into action by promoting awareness of the health impacts of climate change.

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