From the PCAC Editor:
Climate change is no longer a debate---it's become a national and global emergency stemming from multiple threats. Not only will we experience environmental damage that impacts ecosystems ranging from coasts to bird migration to coral reefs, but as humans we will also suffer from the significant HEALTH IMPACT. The academic studies on the health impact of climate change, based on observed and predicted outcomes, paint an ominous picture. Temperature-related illness, vector-borne diseases and air quality impacts are just a few of the health consequences.
It is clear climate change will be a public health issue of epic proportions. Yet, as an advisor and coach to physician leaders for for over twenty years, I am surprised by the relative silence on this pressing issue. My observation is that healthcare leaders are not necessarily viewing climate change as a priority when conducting long range strategic planning for their healthcare system.
Not to say physicians are not interested in the climate change or the health impact. Many physicians across the world are passionately engaged in climate change education, mitigation advocacy, research and health impact preparedness. But in order for the health professional to have an impact on climate mitigation and adaptation, we need many more front-line physicians to take a leadership role in their communities.
That is what the Physicians Climate Action Collaborative is all about. In launching this climate action learning and leadership resource, our intention is to inspire even more "front-line" physicians to educate their community---as a matter of public health priority. These physician pioneers must step up now to partner with local and state government, with health systems and industry.
As a not-for-profit initiative, PCAC is focused on catalyzing physician leadership through awareness and communication. In addition to providing links to credible reports on health impact, this forum will highlight front-line physicians who are leading climate action at the local, state and regional level. In the near future we will host ongoing "collaboratives" -- a cooperative approach to learning and leading.
If you are a front-line physician doing your part for climate action, contact us so we can feature your story to share with your colleagues. Would you like to author a blog post? Send me your thoughts. Interested in joining our PCAC Advisory Board? Contact us.
Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE
PCAC Founder and Editor