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.
A pathway to net zero emissions for healthcare
Dr. Renee Salas charts a path to net zero emissions for healthcare.
The Surprising Ways Climate Change Is Already Affecting Our Health
The health impacts of climate change are like an iceberg—many connections are hiding underneath the surface.
Climate change and health care with Drs. Caren Solomon and Renee Salas
ClimateMD Leader Dr. Renee Salas talks about the unique role doctors can play to educate their patients about climate change, and the opportunity to advocate for climate solutions.
What we can learn from COVID-19 for the climate crisis
CNN's Bill Weir explores what we can learn from COVID-19 to better prepare for the impact of the climate crisis, with insight from our ClimateMD Leader Dr. Renee Salas.
Enough hiding: It's time we see the faces of climate change
Doctors have long warned that climate change would harm public health. Now, we are seeing a growing nexus between climate and health impacts, just as the experts have warned.
Rich Americans spew more carbon pollution at home than poor
Rich Americans produce nearly 25% more heat-trapping gases than poorer people at home, according to a new study.
The climate crisis and COVID-19—A major threat to the pandemic response
Strategies for local communities and states to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission during climate-related extreme events like heat waves, hurricanes, and wildfires.
Summer heat waves threaten those most at risk from COVID
In the age of social distancing, heatwaves and COVID-19 present a dangerous situation for many.
Furloughs, retirement cuts and less pay hit Mass. doctors and nurses as COVID-19 spreads
As coronavirus cases increase, health care workers begin to feel more anxiety.
On the hospital front lines, conquering fear and finding hope
Our ClimateMD Leader and ER Doc Renee Salas on how she finds hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.