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Emerging roles of health care providers to mitigate climate change impacts: a perspective from East Harlem, New York.

  • Academic Journal
  • Sheffield PE; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
    Durante KT; Associate at HawkPartners, an independent research firm.
    Rahona E; Program Manager of The Arnhold Global Health Institute at Mount Sinai.
    Zarcadoolas C; Professor at Hunter College, CUNY School of Public Health.
  • Health and human rights [Health Hum Rights] 2014 Jun 14; Vol. 16 (1), pp. 113-21. Date of Electronic Publication: 2014 Jun 14.
  • English
  • Professional associations of health care workers are issuing policy statements on climate change and health with greater frequency, calling on their members to act in their duty to protect and fulfill the right to health. These health care providers' perceptions of their roles in the intersection of climate and health, however, have not been well-studied. This article presents results from a qualitative study using focus groups conducted with health care providers serving the low-income, ethnic minority population in East Harlem, New York. The focus groups sought to identify and explore providers' perceived health threats of climate change, as well as their perceived role as frontline disseminators of information and detectors of disease for their patients. Extreme heat events were used to frame the discussion in each group. Three major themes emerged: 1) environmental awareness, 2) an "ecohealth" lens, and 3) heat and health vulnerability. The participants demonstrated their interest in playing a role in climate change adaptation by identifying at-risk patients and helping to tailor clinical care to better serve these individuals.
    (Copyright © 2014 Sheffield, Durante, Rahona, and Zarcadoolas. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.)
Additional Information
Publisher: Harvard School of Public Health, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Country of Publication: United States NLM ID: 9502498 Publication Model: Electronic Cited Medium: Internet ISSN: 2150-4113 (Electronic) Linking ISSN: 10790969 NLM ISO Abbreviation: Health Hum Rights Subsets: MEDLINE
Original Publication: Boston, MA : Harvard School of Public Health, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, c1994-
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L40 ES017745 United States ES NIEHS NIH HHS; P30 ES023515 United States ES NIEHS NIH HHS; T32 HD049311 United States HD NICHD NIH HHS; 5T32 HD049311 United States HD NICHD NIH HHS
Date Created: 20141205 Date Completed: 20161006 Latest Revision: 20210109