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NACCHO and Local Health Departments Applaud White House Initiative to Help Health Facilities Prepare for Climate Change


 
NACCHO and Local Health Departments Applaud White House Initiative to Help Health Facilities Prepare for Climate Change

 Washington, DC (December 15, 2014) - 

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) was honored to be invited by the White House today to discuss its Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities Initiative. NACCHO and local health departments across the country applaud the White House for leading this effort to ensure that people have access to the health care they need and for recognizing that climate change impacts health. 

As part of the President's Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created the Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities Initiative to develop tools and information to help health care facilities prepare for the impacts of climate change and increase their resilience. Today, as part of this initiative, the Administration released a best practices guide for health care providers, design professionals, policymakers, and others to promote continuity of care before, during, and after extreme weather events. 

Extreme weather, a result of climate change, can compromise air, food, and water quality, and it increases the transmissions of infectious diseases spread by insects like Chikungunya virus, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease. Climate change can also worsen chronic diseases like asthma and heart disease, and shorten life spans. 

Local health departments work closely with healthcare facilities and providers to ensure that they are equipped to handle these new 21st century challenges, and are prepared to withstand these changing conditions. Their collective efforts not only help lengthen lives, but also increase the community's ability to sustain itself and be resilient. 

Today's launch of the Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities Initiative reaffirms the need to protect the people in our communities from anythign that threatens their health, including the health affects of climate change. NACCHO and local health departments will continue working with healthcare facilities and other partners to build, renew, and strengthen capabilities that effectively respond to a changing climate. 

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials 
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org