J. Elizabeth Jackson
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Climate change and human health: Rising to the challenge in Washington State
Climate change is one of the major public health challenges of the 21st century. Rising global temperatures threaten the health and wellbeing of human populations everywhere. Our ability to mitigate the effects of climate change on health will depend on the robustness of social and health care institutions and appropriate attention to the needs of vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Governor's Climate Challenge and House Bill 1303 represent a call for concerted action to ameliorate the deleterious impacts of global climate change on humans; the medical and public health communities have a special responsibility to identify threats to human health and to take steps to prepare for and adapt to these threats.
The charge of the Climate Change and Human health Impact Team (CHIT) is to assemble information on what is known about the effects of climate on health, and in concert with the Climate Impacts Group, to build projections of anticipated health impacts over the short, mid- and long term in Washington State. Discussion will encompass a review of the climate and health literature with specific relevance to Washington's climate and population, preliminary plans for studies to be accomplished during the project, and early recommendations for state policymakers.
J. Elizabeth Jackson is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington , and a researcher for CHIT. She has been conducting research in health and health services for the Department of Family Medicine since 2000, with emphasis on trends in chronic illness and access to health care. Her dissertation research is concerned with organizational behavior, technology and risk, and uses the US aviation safety system as a case for understanding how industries and regulators adapt to uncertainty.