Adaptation in action : grantee success stories from CDC’s climate and health program
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Adaptation in action : grantee success stories from CDC’s climate and health program

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      In 2014, the third National Climate Assessment clearly described climate change as a threat to human health and well-being. Climate change is predicted to result in more extreme heat events, more frequent and violent weather disasters, decreased air quality and more insect-related disease. And, the Assessment states that some of the health impacts of climate change are already happening in the United States. Health effects related to climate will worsen existing health problems as well as introduce new and serious risks to the public’s health.

      However, we are far from defenseless. Work is well underway to find new, low-cost and creative ways to adapt to the challenges of climate change, and protect our communities from related disease and injury. Leading such work is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Climate and Health Program, as well as a handful of pioneering state and local public health departments across the country. Adapting to climate change will require collaborative action on a large scale and across many different sectors. Public health professionals are perfectly suited to this task. The field has a long and successful history of bringing together diverse stakeholders to improve public health, well-being and resiliency.

      To guide the nation’s public health workforce in preparing for climate change, CDC has developed a unique framework known as BRACE, or Building Resilience Against Climate Effects. BRACE is a process that allows public health departments to put complex atmospheric science and climate projections into their planning and response activities.

      BRACE’s five steps are: 1) forecasting climate impacts and assessing vulnerabilities; 2) projecting the future rates of disease and injury; 3) assessing and identifying suitable health interventions; 4) creating and implementing climate and health adaptation plans; and 5) evaluating the impact and continually improving the quality of adaptation activities. By following the BRACE framework, public health practitioners are better equipped to plan customized actions that will protect the communities they serve (see graphic for more on the five steps of the BRACE Framework).

      This document was funded through cooperative agreement U38OT000131 between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Public Health Association. The contents of this documents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the American Public Health Association or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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