Dr. Renee N. Salas is a Yerby Fellow at the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Affiliated Faculty and previous Burke Fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute. She is also a practicing emergency medicine physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Salas has served as the lead author of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change U.S. Brief since 2018 and founded and leads its Working Group of over 70 U.S. organizations, institutions, and centers working at the nexus of climate change and health. Dr. Salas was also a Co-Director for the first Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice Symposium and co-leads the broader Initiative in partnership with The New England Journal of Medicine. She was the lead author of the cornerstone Interactive Perspective for The New England Journal of Medicine that launched the journal’s climate crisis and health topic page and has continued to contribute content.

Dr. Salas was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in 2021 for her work on climate change and health. She served on the original planning committee for the NAM’s Grand Challenge on Health and Climate Change and continues to serve on committees related to this work. She has testified before Congress for the full House Committee on Oversight and Reform on how climate change is harming health. Dr. Salas engages in research on how climate change is impacting the healthcare system and developing evidence-based adaptation. She lectures and serves on committees at the nexus of climate and health internationally and nationally, advises and publishes in high-impact journals, and her work and expertise are regularly featured in mainstream media outlets like the New York Times, NPR, Time, and the Associated Press.

Dr. Salas is the founder and past Chair of the Climate Change and Health Interest Group at the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) and led their first pre-conference workshop on the topic. She also gave the first national emergency medicine conference presentations on climate change and health at the SAEM and American College of Emergency Physicians annual meetings. In addition, Dr. Salas spearheads work that spans disciplines, such as collaborations on Amicus Briefs for Juliana v. United States and a response letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed transparency rule. Lastly, she is the recipient of the Clinician-Teacher Development Award from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Shore Fellowship from Harvard Medical School.

Her Doctor of Medicine is from the innovative five-year medical school program to train physician-investigators at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine with a Master of Science in Clinical Research from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, which later awarded her the Early Career Leadership Award for her outstanding career achievements. Her Master of Public Health is from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with a concentration in environmental health. Dr. Salas received her undergraduate degree from Saint Mary’s College, which later recognized her as a prestigious Shannon Scholar for exceptional alumna.

Firefighters from Stockton, Calif. put out flames off of Hidden Valley Rd. while fighting a wildfire

2021 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: U.S. Policy Report

Our response to climate change must prioritize and optimize health and equity. We can improve health through climate actions that reduce our use of fossil fuels.

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Renee Salas, Howie Frumkin elected to the National Academy of Medicine for climate work

Our Fellow and Board Member have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine for their commitment to raising climate change issues within the medical community.

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Pandemic lessons can help in fight against climate change

Climate change causes new health problems, worsens existing health problems, and affects healthcare delivery. But it is not an equal opportunity harmer.

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What can doctors do about climate change?

Clinicians can screen for climate change–related health risks during appointments to ensure their patients understand the role climate change plays in their health.

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Environmental Racism and Climate Change — Missed Diagnoses

Our ClimateMD leader Dr. Renee Salas describes how environmental racism, climate change, and health are interconnected.

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4 tips to beat extreme heat

There are many things we can do to keep our bodies cool and safe during extreme heat, even without air conditioning.

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No Time to Waste

Scientists from across departments and research centers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are working collectively to meet the challenge of climate change.

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Climate change impacting health care to the tune of $820B a year

A new report finds the financial impact tops $820 billion in health costs each year, and it could cost all of us more in the future.

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Doctors put a price tag on the annual health impacts of climate change. It’s $820 billion.

“Receiving care for climate-sensitive diseases can quickly add up,” says our ClimateMD leader Dr. Renee Salas.

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