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12 Steps to Operationalize Climate Change in a Local Health Department


When discussing climate change and its implications to the local public health system, local health departments are often faced with the dilemma of how to "operationalize" the realities of climate change into the existing framework of their organization. Some of the commonly cited barriers to such integration include lack of funding, existing silos, lack of understanding about the issue among the workforce, and political constraints.

Fortunately, there are many simple steps that a local health department can take to help not only understand the health issues they may be facing as a result of climate change, but also to begin to integrate those realities into their policies and programs. 

Created by the NACCHO Global Climate Change Workgroup, this checklist provides local health departments with 12 steps that can be taken to understand the issue, develop helpful partnerships, identify existing resources, and integrate climate change into organizational policies and programs.  

Primary Toolkit:

Climate Change Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Adaptation, Climate, Environmental Health, Strategic Planning


Institutional Author:

NACCHO Climate Change Workgroup





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.