HHS Brings Focus to Climate Change and Health Equity

In an open-access article in the New England Journal of Medicine, top officials at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) describe the rationale and approach for a newfound focus on climate change.  The effort began with an executive order in January 2021 that created the new Office of Climate Change and Health Equity, charged with acting on health threats caused by extreme weather and prioritizing vulnerable populations.  According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, increasingly severe events – rising temperatures, fire, flooding, land erosion – will affect every region of the country and have an outsized impact on rural residents and economies.