American Public Health Association (APHA)

Public Health Community Announces Major Initiative on Climate Change

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The American Public Health Association (APHA) today announced a major new initiative addressing the connection between climate change and America’s health.  Over the next six months public health experts will develop a list of key recommendations on the health impacts of climate change, and next April 50,000 APHA members in communities across the nation will observe National Public Health Week 2008 with the theme “Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance.”

“Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats facing our nation,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Yet few Americans are aware of the very real consequences of climate change on the health of our communities, our families and our children.”

Between now and April, APHA will coordinate a national conversation among public health experts and policy-makers to develop a list of key recommendations for dealing with the health impacts of climate change.

“While a number of efforts have addressed various aspects of public health and climate change, until now the approach has been scattered,” said Dr. Benjamin. “Next April, a formal list of recommendations for addressing this unprecedented challenge will be distributed to every public health professional in the nation. We will focus on the United States, but recognize it is a global concern.”

The announcement comes in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, which attracts more than 13,000 national and international public health professionals, including physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, practitioners and related health specialists. For over a decade, every April APHA has organized National Public Health Week and developed nationwide campaigns to educate the public, policy-makers and practitioners about particular themes.

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