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Extreme Weather and Public Health
The Extreme Weather and Public Health Climate-Ready Initiative was created to develop capacity and adaptations to reduce the health effects of extreme heat on Arizonans, develop climate change programs, and to increase knowledge of healthy responses to excessive heat situations.
Conducting comprehensive needs assessments will effectively evaluate participants' knowledge of heat-related illness. After careful analysis of the needs assessments, appropriate programs can be developed based on participants' knowledge and perceived barriers.
Data & Surveillance
Utilizing and linking the vital statistics databases and health outcome databases with weather patterns will enhance our current surveillance systems. Measuring existing health outcome data with National Weather Service data will identify gap analyses and perceived health risks. This will also help when characterizing and analyzing factors of heat related illnesses and deaths in Arizona.
Developing strategic program plans to be implemented to school-aged children prepares the public for healthy responses to extreme temperatures. Targeting the program toward school aged children will embed healthier behaviors related to the environment into adulthood.
Program effectiveness will be assessed using evaluation techniques such as post test interviews, given after a program is implemented. Based on participants' knowledge learned, we will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and analyze the need for changes to goals or objectives, accordingly. The Extreme Weather and Public Health Climate-Ready Initiative will compliment the state's current extreme heat response plan.
- Create and implement an environmental health needs assessment focusing on knowledge of extreme heat implications and those at risk for heat related illness
- Develop a planning group consisting of people who work with school aged children, such as teachers, parents and pediatricians to collaborate with
- Conduct in-house needs assessment to plan topics for program implementation
- Conduct pre and post tests interviews to school-aged children in order to measure program effectiveness
- Identify risk factors and heat adaption strategies to improve health environments for Arizona residents
- Facilitate meetings with stakeholders, conduct needs assessments, and through public input and advice from key informants
- Reduce health related impacts of climate using recommendations from available literature
- Enhance current surveillance systems to more readily respond to increases in heat related public health events
- Review current databases for secondary data
- Link vital and weather statistics databases
- Analyze data connections & explanations
- Draw conclusions for characterization of heat related illness/death trends & make recommendations
- Develop program plans
- Promote public awareness of extreme weather implications on populations to decrease heat related illness and death of Arizonans
- Implement community outreach programs in schools
- Create and distribute training video
- Distribute bi-monthly newsletters
- Construct a user-friendly heat effects website
- Implement training workshops
- Attend health fairs and distribute heat-related health information
- Publicize findings, compile reports, and send updates to CDC, ADHS and policy makers
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Office of Environmental Health has been awarded a CDC cooperative agreement under the Climate-Ready Initiative. This grant's focus is developing Public Health Capacity and Adaptations to Reduce the Human Health effects of Climate Change. Arizona, being one of ten states awarded the grant, is in Category 1 of the Climate Change and Health Program, which concentrates on assessment and planning to develop appropriate programs in the community. The grant will help prepare Arizonans to respond appropriately to the effects of rising temperatures and longer heat wave weather patterns.