Climate Action

Kristie Ross

Meet Kristie. As a pediatric pulmonologist, she sees firsthand how the health impacts of climate change affect kids. For example, the negative effects of climate change on air quality disproportionately impact children, especially those with chronic conditions like asthma, which affects thousands of kids in Cleveland. Kristie is an active advocate for a healthy environment, because kids need safe and healthy places to live, walk and play in order to thrive. Locally, Kristie is a member of the Cuyahoga County Healthy Homes Advisory Council, which works to provide education to property owners, landlords and residents on triggers in the home environment that can impact respiratory health and to connect families with local services that safely eliminate home hazards. She also is a member of the American Thoracic Society Environmental Health Policy Committee, advocating for policies that mitigate climate change on the state and national level.

The international public health community identifies tackling climate change as a critical global health opportunity in the 21st century. University Hospitals continues to position itself as a leader in the health care industry by advocating for climate change mitigation and climate resilience efforts nationwide.

Key activities in 2015

Climate Risk Assessment pilot dashboard: Produced for UH Case Medical Center, this dashboard uses climate models and facility data to project future risks associated with climate change. Specific vulnerabilities addressed include exposure to extreme weather events, temperature and precipitation changes, and even economic and social vulnerability related to our patient populations. Climate resilience efforts were incorporated into monthly disaster preparedness meetings for UH Case Medical Center and the rest of the system, and this dashboard will be used to refine and inform our resilience efforts in a more comprehensive and accurate manner moving forward.

Annual Environment of Care Summit featured Climate Resilience: The UH Department of Hospital Safety gathered national subject matter experts to address timely topics in the areas of Environment of Care, Life Safety, Emergency Management and Infection Control. The 2015 summit featured community resilience efforts in response to and in preparation for the consequences of climate change.

White House Summit on Climate Change and Health: University Hospitals participated in a June 2015 White House Summit focused on climate change and public health, which convened health and medical professionals, academics and other stakeholders to empower people and communities with the information and tools they need to protect public health in the face of climate change. Locally, University Hospitals also participated in a roundtable discussion of climate change impacts in Northeast Ohio with U.S. senators and local leaders.

2015 Progress Report on Sustainability

2015 Progress Report on Sustainability

View the online report or download the summary. You can also view our archived progress reports here.

13 Environmental Excellence awards

UH earned 13 Environmental Excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth, including the prestigious System for Change award. The awards recognize our health system’s achievements in environmental-sustainability programs and improvements during 2015.

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