Dr. Renee N. Salas is a Yerby Fellow at the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the 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 focuses her career on the intersection of the climate crisis, health, and healthcare delivery—both through the generation of new knowledge and translating and applying existing knowledge to different sectors—through research, education, and outreach.
She engages in research to better understand how climate change is impacting the healthcare system and to develop evidence-based adaptation. She has published a variety of articles in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), including an Interactive Perspective that serves as a main feature for the Journal’s Climate Crisis and Health topic page. She also served as a Co-Director for the Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice Symposium, which launched the larger Initiative with her NEJM Perspective in February 2020. Dr. Salas also served as the lead author on the 2018 and 2019 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change Brief for the United States, and is again in 2020, and co-leads the U.S. Brief Working Group that supports its annual creation.
Dr. Salas communicates the important and novel connections between the climate crisis, health, and health care through publications in high impact journals, as an invited speaker nationally and internationally, in writing for the lay public, and through media engagements. She serves on the planning committee for the National Academy of Medicine’s Climate Change and Human Health Initiative that will launch in late 2020 and testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in August 2020. Her work has been featured in media outlets like the New York Times, NPR, Time, Associated Press, CNN, USA Today, the Guardian and others.
She was the founder and past Chair of the Climate Change and Health Interest Group at the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine. In addition, 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 that trains 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. Her Master of Public Health degree is from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with a concentration in environmental health.
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.
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.
Environmental Racism and Climate Change — Missed Diagnoses
Our ClimateMD leader Dr. Renee Salas describes how environmental racism, climate change, and health are interconnected.
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.
Health as the Central Driver for Action on Climate Change
"There has never been a better time to put health at the center of action on climate change," says Dr. Renee Salas
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.
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.
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.
The Turning Point
Our Yerby Fellow Renee Salas discusses how climate change is impacting the everyday health of African American, Latinx, and Indigenous Americans, and why she is hopeful that America is at a turning point.
The fight for environmental justice
Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Salas speak about their work to right the wrongs of decades of discriminatory policy.