Preparing the Public Health Sector for the Impacts of Climate Change


The Climate Leadership Initiative began its public health program in 2008 through a collaboration with the Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials (CLHO) to assess 1) the current knowledge of county-based public health workers in Oregon on the health risks associated with climate change; 2) the current level of preparation among county health departments to manage these risks; and 3) the resources and training needed for them to adequately prepare for climate change associated health risks.

Our report, Climate Change Health Preparedness in Oregon: An assessment of awareness, preparation and resource needs for potential public health risks associated with climate change presents the results and recommendations based on the Oregon survey and next steps for this project. Based on the information in the report, we prepared two guidebooks for the public health sector on:

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies for the public health sector; and
  2. Strategies for preparing public health employees and communities for the health risks associated with climate change.

A third guidebook, released in spring 2012, describes how to build internal capacity and integrate climate planning throughout existing public health programs. Online trainings will be provided to accompany the guidebook (available in summer 2012).

CLI is also a partner on a three-year Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority. The goal of this project is to build the capacity of local health jurisdictions for climate planning. The project duration is through August 2013. For more information about the project, including trainings and the resources that have been developed, please visit the Oregon Health Authority site.

 Our Public Health Resources page provides a number of articles, reports, and information on climate change and public health.

You can also view a presentation on our two guidebooks "Leading by Example" and "Ready for Change." 

To join the interactive Yammer Site for Public Health Workers on Climate Change, please email