This year’s National Public Health Week might have ended, but our work to keep the connections between climate change and health in the spotlight has just gotten started.
First and foremost, APHA would like to thank the many people, advocates, workers, policy-makers, organizations, institutions and businesses that helped make National Public Health Week 2008 a resounding success. Thousands of individuals, groups and organizations got involved and signed the Healthy Climate Pledge, joined as official partners, downloaded resources and toolkits, and planned community events.
The week also brought a wealth of attention to the intersections between climate change and the health of our communities. Resolutions recognizing the health impacts of climate were introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate to coincide with NPHW. Two congressional hearings were also held on the topic, with APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin testifying for the House hearing and several other APHA members appearing as witnesses for both the House and Senate hearings. Along with all of the activity on the Hill, people from coast to coast read how a changing climate will impact their well-being, thanks to media coverage in outlets such as Time magazine and USA Today.
And be sure to check out The Nation’s Health next month for a wrap-up of NPHW events held across the country.
Of course, there’s no reason why we can’t make the climate change activities of National Public Health Week last all year round — after all, saving the planet is no small task. APHA will be continuing its work to unite and strengthen public health’s voice in the climate change discussion and needs your continued help and support. That means there’s still plenty of time to visit the National Public Health Week Web site to download toolkits on how to engage your community, as well as to sign our Healthy Climate Pledge or lend your organization’s support to the Blueprint. Also, be on the lookout for APHA Action Alerts asking you to let your representatives hear from you about your support for national legislation aimed at reducing our national climate change contribution.
Here at APHA, we’re in this for the long haul and hope you’ll be joining us for the (environmentally friendly, health-promoting, awareness-building) ride.