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Climate Change

Climate change affects public health at many dimensions, and local health departments play a vital role in helping communities prepare for and address the health effects of climate change. NACCHO believes, with the necessary resources, local health departments are uniquely positioned to respond to these health impacts and protect the public's health.
In the Spotlight
Climate change and Health directors

NACCHO and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication recently conducted a study to gain a greater understanding of public health preparedness for climate change at the local level. NACCHO has published these findings in the report: Are We Ready? Report 2: Preparing for the Public Health Challenges of Climate Change. Key highlights from this study include: nearly 8 out of 10 local health department directors believed climate change was already occurring, and more than half thought climate change was already harming the public, or would begin to do so in the next decade; nearly 8 out of 10 local health department directors believed their local health department lacked the expertise to assess the potential impacts of climate change and effectively create plans to respond to climate change adaptation plans; and nearly 9 out of 10 local health department directors felt their health department lacked sufficient resources to effectively protect the local population from the impacts of climate change. Read the executive summary, and read the full report. More »

New NACCHO Resources
Climate change 12

“12 Steps to Operationalize Climate Change in a Local Health Department” is a new NACCHO fact sheet that helps local health departments address climate change and initiate programs to help mitigate the public health impacts associated with it.

The fact sheet identifies 12 important steps that local health departments should follow when initiating climate change work, and functions as a checklist to ensure all stages are successfully completed. It covers climate change education for health department staff, availability of staff and resources to address the issues, identification of existing effects in the community, and development and implementation of a climate change adaptation plan.

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NACCHO Climate Change Toolkit
shimmering earth scaled

The NACCHO Climate Change Toolkit contains tools and examples to help local health departments with climate change strategic planning, conducting vulnerability assessments, communicating about climate change, adapting to the effects of climate change, and more.

NACCHO is seeking resources for addressing public health issues particular to extreme temperature incidents to be included in the NACCHO Climate Change Toolkit. Resources sought include strategies, protocols, case examples, reports, training materials, messaging materials, presentations, fact sheets, drills, etc. If you have any resources that may be of interest, please submit them directly to the Climate Change Toolkit or send them to Lisa Brown (

To learn more and access the toolkit, rate tools or submit tools, click more.

More »

NACCHO Stories from the Field
shake hands with earth

NACCHO invites local health departments to submit stories to highlight and showcase local climate change work. By submitting a climate change story you can advocate for local health departments, share information with federal partners and other local health departments, and raise awareness of the important work of public health professionals.

To learn more, read, or submit a story, please click more More »

NACCHO University

NACCHO University, NACCHO's new online learning platform provides courses to help local health department staff develop their public health knowledge and competencies. The Climate Change and Public Health course defines climate change and describes the ways that climate change impact public health by exploring the topic of climate change mitigation and adaptation and local health department roles in each of these areas. Visit NACCHO University today to make sure lifelong learning is a part of your plan for 2015. More »