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.