Updated: Apr 8
As leaders and members of health professional and environmental organizations in Delaware, South Jersey, and Southeastern Pennsylvania, we have formed the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Climate and Health. We join together to recognize the grave threat that the climate emergency poses to our patients and our neighbors in our entire region. We are here to bring the health perspective to climate issues, to support each other’s work, and to take action.
Warmer temperatures pose a direct threat to our population, especially to seniors and to those who work outside (1,2,3). There is an increase in tick and mosquito-borne illnesses (4). Allergy seasons are longer and pollens are stronger (5,6).
Our air quality, after years of improvement, is again worsening due to ozone and particulates that come from burning fossil fuels for transportation, electricity, and heat (7,8). More people need emergency care for asthma and chronic respiratory diseases, and miss work and school (1,9,10). People with heart problems suffer more, and there are premature deaths (1,7,11,12). Women have more risks during pregnancy and their children suffer more neonatal and infant complications (13, 14).
These statements are supported by data and by science. The hazards have been known for some time and they are getting worse. There is action we all can take as individuals, as health professionals, and as a community to reduce our use of fossil fuels. As a society we can plan and implement a rapid transition to renewable energy in a way that helps the most vulnerable amongst us, and contributes to the health of all of us.
We pledge to do our part for the residents of the Mid-Atlantic region, and beyond:
-We will prioritize health and environmental justice in the work to stop climate change;
-We will be a resource to health care professionals, business and governmental leaders, and our neighbors, who want to learn about the risks of climate change to the health of individuals and of the community;
-We will add our voices and energy to local, regional, and national efforts to combat climate change, especially that with the most immediate impact upon health;
-We will form coalitions with like-minded groups and individuals to leverage our efforts.
We invite your organization to sign on in support of our Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Climate and Health. Together we will undertake educational and cooperative efforts, and support each other’s actions to improve the health of our neighbors and community.
Supporting Organizations and Individuals, As of February 22, 2022:
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Katie Huffling, DNP, RN, CNM, FAAN
Delaware Academy of Family Physicians
Dr. Hugh Bonner
American Academy of Pediatrics, Delaware Chapter
Dr. Katherine King and Dr. Kirk Reichard
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Delaware Section
Dr. Courtney Kay Pfeuti
American College of Physicians, Delaware Chapter
Dr. Debbi Zarek
American College of Physicians, New Jersey Chapter
Dr. Elizabeth Cerceo
Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Delaware Chapter
Beth Chajes, State Coordinator
Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association
Tim Gibbs, MPH, Executive Director
Dr. Kate Smith
Dr. Omar Khan
Delaware Interfaith Power and Light
Shweta Arya, Executive Director
League of Women Voters of Delaware
Dr. Anna Quisel
Medical Society of Delaware
Dr. David Donohue and Dr. Patt Panzer
Physicians for Social Responsibility of Pennsylvania
Tonyehn Verkitus, Executive Director
Sierra Club, Delaware Chapter
Sherri Evans Stanton, Chapter Director
Sarah Bucic, MSN, RN
Dr. Alan Greenglass
Dr. Stephanie Malleus
Dr. David Donohue
Dr. Alan Greenglass
Dr. Patt Panzer
Dr. Anna Quisel
Dr. Debbi Zarek
Please direct questions to Dr. Alan Greenglass at Agreenglass42@gmail.com
1)Crimmins, A., Balbus, J., Gamble, J. L., Beard, C. B., Bell, J. E., Dodgen, D., . . . Ziska, L. (2016).
The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment. Washington, DC: US Global Change Research Program. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7930/J0R49NQX
2)Eady, Dreyer, Hey, Riemer, and Wilson. Reducing the risks of extreme heat for seniors; communicating risks and building resilence. Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2020 July: 40 (7-8): 215-224.
3) Dahl and Licher. Too Hot to Work – Assessing the Threats Climate Change Poses to Outdoor Workers. Https://ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/2021-08/Too-Hot-to-Work_8-13.pdf
4) Meredith and Eppes. Climate Change: Vector-borne Diseases and Their Control; Mosquitoes and Ticks. DJPH, Oct. 2017, 52-57.
6) Climate Change Indicators: Ragweed Pollen Seasons. EPA.gov/climate- change-indicators-ragweed-pollen-season.
7) State of the Air 2021; The American Lung Association
8) Our Nation’s Air Trends Through 2020. Gispub.epa.gov/air/trendsreport/2021
9) Hess, Heilpern, Davis, and Frumkin. Climate Change and Emergency Medicine: Impacts and Opportunities. Acad Emerg Med, August 2009, 16(8), 782-94.
11) DeBlois, Kjellstrom, Agewall, Ezekowitz, Armstrong. The Effects of Climate Change on Cardiac Health. Cardiology 2015: 131: 209-217.
12) Metzger, Tolbert, Klein, Peel, Flanders, Todd,…Frumkin. Ambient Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Emergency Department Visits. Epidemiology, 2002, 46-56.
13) Bekkar, Pacheco, and Basu. Association of Air Pollution and Heat Exposure with Preterm Birth, Low Birth Weight, and Stillbirth in the U.S. – A Systematic Review. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2767260