The National Academy of Medicine today launched an Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector to address climate change. The collaborative will focus its work on the health care supply chain and infrastructure; health care delivery; health professional education and communication; and policy, financing and metrics. AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack sits on the steering committee for the initiative and will co-lead its working group on health care delivery, whose members also include Michelle Hood, AHA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Participating today in a panel discussion on the importance of health sector leadership to addressing climate change, Hood said hospitals and health systems stand ready to bring their “trusted voice” in the community “to bear on these complex issues,” noting that many are already tackling climate change through opportunities to impact the supply chain, energy conservation and renewable energy sources where available. She emphasized the need for the collaborative to “effectively define what it is that we are working towards and the impact of that work on [hospitals’ and health systems’] mission, which is to improve the health of the communities that they serve.”
The collaborative is part of the NAM Grand Challenge on Human Health and Climate Change, a multiyear global initiative launched last year. It also will engage with the Biden Administration and its new Office of Climate Change and Health Equity at the Department of Health and Human Services, which aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.