Health professionals across the country are taking action – educating people in the United States about the health impacts of climate change and encouraging them to support leaders who will protect our health and our future. From signing letters to sharing opinion pieces and creating heartfelt videos, find out how you can join these climate champions.
Pediatricians call for climate leadership
"Climate change lives in the bodies of children. In our hospitals and clinics, we see this every day."
Pediatricians meet with legislators about climate action. Virginia in 2019. Photo courtesy of Samantha Ahdoot.
Pediatricians from every state are educating people in the United States about the risks of climate change on children’s health. They ask the public to vote for local and federal leaders who will take bold, decisive action on climate to protect the health and future of our children.
“Pediatricians know that climate change threatens children’s health, and that climate solutions have immediate health benefits that advance health equity. We are seeing how climate change is already impacting our patients across the country – that’s why pediatricians in all 50 states are calling for climate leadership to protect the current and future health of our kids.”
Aparna Bole, M.D.
Chair, board of directors Health Care Without Harm
Vote for climate, vote for health
"Fighting against the climate crisis is one of the most patriotic things we can do right now."
A Scientific American opinion piece by ENT physician Dr. Neelu Tummala describes climate’s impact on the health of her patients and why urgent action is needed, from our elected officials and ourselves, to protect public health and prevent catastrophic climate change.
“The climate crisis is a public health issue, and we must start healing the planet in order to heal each other. Fighting against the climate crisis is one of the most patriotic things we can do right now; it will protect our health and the health of our neighbors across the country and the globe, and will allow all of us to live on this planet, the only home we have.”
Neelu Tummala, M.D.
ENT physician, Washington D.C.
"We need leaders who will write and vote for policies that will ensure affordable housing, secure electricity, economic security, and health care for all."
A World War Zero Magazine opinion piece by medical student Sarah Hsu explains why doctors and medical students are asking people in the United States to vote for leaders that support climate action.
"We need leaders who will write and vote for policies that will ensure affordable housing, secure electricity, economic security, and health care for all – things that will protect the health of our communities and make us more resilient to climate change as a whole. This is why doctors and medical students are asking Americans to vote.”
Medical student, Providence, R.I.
Curriculum co-chair, Medical Students for a Sustainable Future
The power of storytelling: Videos for your watchlist
"One of the best ways we can support climate wins this November is by telling our stories."
Health Voices for Climate Action is collecting videos from health professionals on the front lines of the climate crisis to educate voters, candidates, and policymakers. The videos feature members of Health Care Without Harm’s Physician Network, Nurse Climate Champions, and other health professionals, sharing stories about climate change’s impact on their patients and communities.
Medical Students for a Sustainable Future delivered a hopeful video message about the power of community and collaboration during a crisis. They hope to inspire others to vote for climate champions and consider health, hope, and humanity when filling out their ballots.
In our new film “First, Do No Harm,” Dr. Aparna Bole, pediatrician and Health Care Without Harm board chair, joins physicians around the world to discuss the impact of air pollution and climate change on human health, the need for climate action, and the importance of a sustainable, resilient health care sector.
An open letter to U.S. patients
"People are already suffering from the harmful health effects of climate change. Across the country we are seeing climate change’s devastating impact."
Thousands of doctors, nurses, students, and other health professionals from all 50 states signed an open letter to their patients, urging them to call on elected leaders at all levels of government to prioritize climate action. The letter was supported by a coalition of 16 national- and state-level health and medical organizations, including Health Care Without Harm and the Nurses Climate Challenge, and is still accepting signatories.
"While we continue to navigate COVID-19, the existential threat of climate change – another public health threat – is accelerating. We’ve seen how the pandemic and extreme weather events impact health care delivery, access, and supply chains. As an emergency physician, I have seen the adverse health effects of climate on my patients. This letter is a critical message from America’s health professionals to our patients – educating them about the health impacts of climate change, while encouraging them to support leaders who prioritize protecting health and solving the climate crisis."
Amy Collins, M.D.
Emergency physician, Massachusetts
Senior clinical advisor, Health Care Without Harm
"Our patients and the public rely upon us to guide and support them in their health decision-making during their darkest days."
"As nurses, doctors, and other health providers, we are among the most trusted professionals in the United States. Our patients and the public rely upon us to guide and support them in their health decision-making during their darkest days. In addition to the pandemic, patients across the country are suffering from increasing health burdens due to climate change. From the disastrous effects of extreme heat, drought, and wildfires, to flooding and hurricanes, climate change places human health at risk. By signing this letter, we have committed to elevating climate change as a crucial issue this election in support of patient health."
Shanda Demorest, DNP, RN
Registered nurse, Minnesota
Member engagement manager, Practice Greenhealth
Health Care Without Harm’s Physician Network supports emerging and established physician leaders in leveraging their influence and expertise to advance the growing health care sustainability movement and to create climate-smart health care.
The Nurses Climate Challenge is a national campaign to mobilize nurses to educate 50,000 health professionals on the impacts of climate change on human health.