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.

snowstorm viewed from a rooftop

Texas storm offers glimpse of how climate change threatens public health

Our Yerby Fellow Dr. Renee Salas discusses the health challenges posed by climate change and the complexities of responding to a disaster in the middle of a pandemic.

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Teens presenting, Harvard building, youth protest

Harvard Chan C-CHANGE announces Youth Summits on Climate and Public Health to empower the next generation of leaders

Summer program will prepare high school students to take climate and public health action in their communities.

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Man sitting outside on a bench wipes sweat off his face with a towel

The pressure is on for forecasters warning about high heat

News that temperatures last year once again hit global highs underscores challenges facing weather forecasters tasked with educating people about the dangers of heat.

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Surgeons operate in a hospital

John Kerry: Restoring American Credibility On Climate Change 'Not So Simple'

Dr. Renee Salas talks about the Lancet Countdown findings that our nation is not adequately prepared for global-scale health challenges, including climate change.

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a woman tests climate-smart soil in Kenya

Climate action: The best gift for global health

Our Climate MD leader Dr. Renee Salas writes that the health community mobilized against covid-19 and can mobilize again on climate change.

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Will Biden leverage Medicare to tackle climate change?

With the Biden transition team announcing picks to lead the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, our Climate MD leader Dr. Renee Salas joins a small but growing chorus of health experts saying the administration should look to using Medicaid and Medicare to spur climate action.

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ambulances parked at a hospital

Health care is coming to grips with its pollution problem

Our Climate MD leader Dr. Renee Salas says that health care providers need to step up and eventually eliminate their contributions 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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A sergeant and a young boy are lifted to safety from the roof of the child's flooded home

Climate Change is Making Us Sick

Our Yerby Fellow Dr. Renee Salas comments on the findings from the 2020 Lancet Countdown report and how climate change is harming our health today.

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A doctor uses a stethescope on a small boy

Doctors Release Their ‘Most Worrying Outlook’ on How Climate Change Is Ruining Our Health

The Lancet Countdown findings show that the Earth is running a fever which is making people sick.

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