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Public Health

GOAL:

Advance awareness of, and build collaboration and capacity to address climate-related public health impacts and implement solutions that improve community health outcomes.

The COVID-19 pandemic elevated the importance of health and well-being for communities and had far-reaching repercussions on livelihoods, the economy and our society. Climate change also has profound impacts on the physical and mental health and well-being of individuals, will increasingly exacerbate existing health conditions and, much like the pandemic, will exacerbate current inequities and health disparities. Climate change affects human health by altering exposure to heat waves, floods, droughts and other extreme events. Risk of vector-, food- and waterborne infectious diseases; changes in the quality and safety of air, food and water; and stresses to mental health and well-being are also exacerbated. Moreover, vehicle-related emissions (emissions from tailpipes, brakes and tire wear) result in particulate matter and ozone pollution, which has been shown to have considerable health impacts, including premature death, increased/aggregated asthma, heart attacks, respiratory illness, and preterm birth. 

 

Exposure to and ability to fully recover from climate impacts vary across populations and communities. Those at greatest risk of adverse climate-related health impacts include pregnant women, children, older adults, those with pre-existing health conditions, low-income communities and other under-resourced populations. Low-income and historically excluded populations are less able to bounce back from these events because of a lack of resources and other social determinants of health, which contribute to health disparities and quality-of-life outcomes. The delivery of health services in Southeast Florida is accomplished by a network of providers, including public health departments and various institutions and organizations in the health care sector. Leveraging the diverse expertise of these institutions, community leaders and community voices from across Southeast Florida can advance solutions that promote awareness and build capacity to address climate-related impacts.

Resources for implementing Public Health recommendations. Read More