The Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector

Climate change is among the most important and urgent global health threats and opportunities of the 21st Century. 

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Why Decarbonizing Matters for the U.S. Health Sector

About the Program

Recognizing the critical need to address climate change through health sector leadership, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) launched the Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector (Climate Collaborative), a public-private partnership of leaders from across the health system committed to addressing the sector’s environmental impact while strengthening its sustainability and resilience.

Climate change is increasingly affecting people’s health and the ability of the U.S. health care system to effectively respond to increases in extreme climate-related events. Improving the carbon footprint of the entire health ecosystem can drastically lower the approximately 8.5% of U.S. carbon emissions for which it is responsible, while also having significant health, social, and economic benefits. There is a need to activate all parts of the health sector for sustainable change.

The Climate Collaborative’s work focuses on health care supply chain and infrastructure; health care delivery; health professional education and communication; and policy, financing, and metrics.

Important Definitions
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A culture in which good health and well-being flourish across geographic, demographic, and social sectors; fostering healthy, equitable communities, guiding public and private decision-making, and everyone has the opportunity to make choices that lead to healthy lifestyles
Differences that exist among specific population groups in the U.S. in their opportunities to reach their full health potential
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The Climate Collaborative provides a neutral platform for its participants to align around collective goals and actions for decarbonization, based on evidence, shared solutions, and a commitment to improve health equity.

Members of the Climate Collaborative represent health and hospital systems, clinicians, private payers, biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, health care services, health professional education, academia, nonprofits, and the federal government.

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The Climate Collaborative is part of the NAM Grand Challenge on Climate Change, Human Health, and Equity, a multiyear global initiative to improve and protect human health, well-being, and equity by working to transform systems that both contribute to and are impacted by climate change.

Program Highlights

Staff

Jessica Marx, Senior Program Officer
Camila Anderson, Senior Program Assistant
Chris Hanley, 
Director, Climate Grand Challenge
Vijay Iyer, Associate Program Officer
Emma Lower-McSherry, Research Associate
Justin Massey, Associate Program Officer
Samantha Phillips, Communications Officer

Co-Chairs

Victor Dzau, President, National Academy of Medicine
Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
George Barrett, former Chairman and CEO, Cardinal Health
Andrew Witty, CEO, UnitedHealth Group

Want to get involved? Contact us at ClimateandHealth@nas.edu You can also join our mailing list for program updates.


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