Online Program

Stakeholder viewpoints on New York State Department of Health climate change and health adaptation planning: Networking and priority setting

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Kathleen A. Clancy, MPH, Office of Public Health Practice, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Eva Pradhan, MPH, MHA, Office of Public Health Practice, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Millicent Eidson, MA, DVM, DACVPM, Office of Public Health Practice, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Sakib Aziz, BS, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Guthrie S. Birkhead, MD, MPH, Office of Public Health, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
OBJECTIVE: The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) surveyed stakeholders regarding partnership potential and prioritization of climate change and health adaptation activities to inform planning. METHODS: Forty-one stakeholders representing academic, business, community, environmental, government, health, and policy organizations were contacted to prioritize 77 adaptation activities from the state's climate action plan and peer-reviewed literature. Interviews were conducted to obtain data on climate-health impacts, adaptation barriers, and partnership. Quantitative and qualitative results were analyzed; qualitative results were validated by independent analysis. RESULTS: Stakeholders most frequently cited heat-related illness/mortality as a current climate-health issue. Direct climate-related health impacts were cited more frequently than indirect impacts. Most stakeholders (90%) agreed climate change should be an important focus of NYSDOH. The “Monitoring and Surveillance” adaptation category was prioritized highest, followed by policy planning, education, and capacity building. Over half (68%) had considered incorporating climate change and health into organizational planning; fewer (41%) agreed they had access to sufficient information on climate-health impacts. Barriers to incorporating health into climate adaptation included institutional inertia and lack of resources, health impact definition, and public trust. DISCUSSION: Further defining the scope of health impacts and quantifying health costs across the spectrum of impacts may elevate climate change as a public health priority. Improved impact quantification through expanded monitoring and surveillance can guide educational initiatives and direct policy. Survey results, combined with surveys of NYSDOH and local health leadership, have informed state health department adaptation planning. Stakeholder partnerships forged during the survey process will aid adaptation implementation.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate between direct, secondary, and tertiary health impacts resulting from climate change. Identify at least five health impacts that may potentially result from climate change. Explain how the "Ten Essential Services of Public Health" can be applied to climate change. List four barriers organizations may face when attempting to incorporate public health into climate change adaptation activities.

Keyword(s): Climate Change, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Coordinator for the New York State Department of Health’s CDC-funded Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative. The grant is focused on adaptations to plan for and reduce the human health impacts of climate change in New York State. I have prior experience in strategic plan development, market research, and creation of health education materials with messages tailored to diverse target audiences, which influences my approach to climate change adaptation planning.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.