For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or mediarelations@apha.org .

New Guidebook Underscores Public Health’s Vital Role in Addressing Climate Change

Washington, D.C., April 25, 2011 – The American Public Health Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released a new practical guidebook that helps public health practitioners address climate change, one of the most serious health threats facing our nation.

The guidebook, Climate Change: Mastering the Public Health Role, is a translation of a six-part webinar series hosted by APHA and CDC in 2009-2010 that featured leading climate and health experts as well as federal and state leaders on topics ranging from climate science, health risk communication and adaptation strategies.

“There is mounting evidence that climate change is responsible for an increasing number of sustained health problems, including asthma and diarrheal disease, and it could cause heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer. As the science continues to grow, public health practitioners are facing new challenges to address the issue and educate the public and policy-makers about these risks,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “We are pleased to have collaborated with CDC on this invaluable resource.”

“Public health professionals play a pivotal role in building healthy communities and limiting the health impact of climate change,” said George Luber, PhD, associate director for global climate change at CDC. “This new guidebook is an essential tool that will help public health practitioners respond to and prepare for current and future climate-related health risks and ultimately keep communities safe.”

The guidebook offers highlights from the webinar series and insights from leading health experts on how to bridge the gap between the science of climate change and the public health response. Key features outlined in the guidebook include:

  • the international and domestic human health impacts on climate change;
  • a look at how local public health departments are taking measures to address climate change;
  • the increasing challenges the public health community faces to communicate the health threat of climate change;
  • recommendations on strategies to ensure that effects of climate change are mitigated for the elderly, sick and other vulnerable populations; and
  • insights from federal agencies on the future of climate change and how public health practitioners have a key role in helping to adapt and prepare for climate change-related impacts

The guidebook is available at www.apha-environment.org

To learn about APHA’s work on the public health implications of climate change, listen to archived webinars highlighted in this guidebook, and learn about other environmental public health topics, visit www.apha-environment.org

# # #

Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.