In response to the growing health threat posed by climate change, Yale School of Public Health has created a new program — Climate Change and Health @Yale — to train future public health leaders to search for innovative solutions.
“Public health aims to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy, and one of those conditions is a stable climate,” said Professor Robert Dubrow, M.D., the program’s faculty director. “Public health leaders have a central role to play in navigating and reversing the dangerous new era of climate instability that humanity has entered.”
The World Health Organization estimates that climate change will cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year between 2030 and 2050, mainly due to heat exposure, diarrhea, malaria, and childhood malnutrition. It is expected that the poor will be disproportionately impacted.
The program, one of the first of its kind, includes new undergraduate and graduate courses that will debut in the fall semester of 2016, two doctoral training positions, a case study on climate change and health for the M.P.H. core curriculum, a leadership training workshop for students, summer internships, a climate change leader in residence, a speaker series, and pilot research grants for faculty.
Climate Change and Health @Yale is made possible through a generous $1.3 million grant from the Overlook International Foundation. Martin Klein, an associate dean at the School of Public Health, is the executive director.
Dean Paul Cleary said that a better understanding of climate change is vital to protecting and promoting public health in the coming decades. “I have no doubt that the direct and indirect effects of climate change on health will become increasingly important over the coming decades,” he said.
“It is important that we continue to think about how best to educate the public health leaders of tomorrow so that they will be able to address these incredibly important issues.”
Cleary recently signed President Barack Obama’s plan to protect the public’s health from the effects of climate change.
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Global Climate Change