The theme of this year’s American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in Atlanta is “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health.” The meeting is estimated to have drawn 12,000 attendees. Below are highlights so far.
Threats and opportunities.
Monday night, Howard Frumkin, DrPH, MPH, MD, of the University of Washington, called climate change “one of the most pressing public health issues we face.” In discussing the recently released Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change 2017 Report: U.S. Briefing, a joint publication of the Lancet and APHA that highlights the threats and opportunities climate change poses to Americans, Frumkin identified some key findings:
- Exposure to dangerous heat and severe weather events is increasing.
- Exposure to disease and allergies is changing (one example: allergy seasons are often prolonged).
- The carbon intensity of U.S. energy use is decreasing, but this process must be accelerated to reduce climate-related health risks.
Nurse voices in environmental health.
During a session called “Public Health Nursing Research—Climate, Health, and Vulnerable Populations,” Linda A. McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, of Emory University, highlighted the vital role nurses play both in producing research findings about environmental hazards and human health and in translating these into practice.
“Nurses can go to the science and take it back to the community. That’s what we’re so good at.”
But when it comes to speaking out about environmental issues and nursing research, she observed, “I don’t think we’ve harnessed […]