Mission of the Committee on Climate and Health (CCH):
The mission of the CCH is to support the mission, vision and values of ACOI in providing the most important and current education to members in order to enhance their capacity to treat and prevent disease and illness, and to promote their leadership and service to the support the health of their communities. The ongoing phenomenon of climate change poses a threat to the health of individual patients, populations, and physicians. As such, it is important for physicians to improve their understanding of causes, potentials effects and consequences, and possible treatments or mitigations to address the broad implications of climate change on health.
CCH will develop and/or gather educational strategies and materials for presentation and/or distribution to members through ACOI’s various forums (annual meeting, Online Learning Center, etc.). Such educational resources may include the following:
- Phenomenological descriptions and understanding of climate change
- Imputed causal factors including human agency such as (but not limited to) fossil fuel use, with emphasis on factors that might be subject to mitigation
- Currently understood and potential health consequences of climate change. These might include but are not limited to: changes in food supply with possible consequences of food shortage and its health consequences because of loss of arable land; decrease in fresh water supply with potential forced population migrations; changes in patterns of infectious disease epidemiology, including those that might be related to habitat loss and change of migratory patterns of wildlife; rise of novel vector borne pathogens; increased role of atmospheric particulates arising from climate-related fire activity (as well as fossil fuel use) in pathogenesis of disease
CCH will identify and work with appropriate organizations to advance the Mission of ACOI and to advance the goals and objectives of this Committee as approved by the Board of Directors.
CCH will support the efforts of ACOI members to develop and/or disseminate educational materials to their medical communities and institutions regarding health effects of climate change. This may include subjects where changes in policy or practice might promote mitigation efforts as well as treatments.
CCH will support efforts of members to develop and/or disseminate educational materials for their patient populations and larger communities regarding the health effects of climate change. Such information should give these populations the tools whereby they can appeal to their citizen leadership regarding policies that might mitigate the health repercussions of climate change.
CCH may choose to present this mission to other osteopathic societies, in order to enlist cooperation and coordination of educational efforts, especially at the population and policy levels. Such efforts may be widened to other non-medical or non-osteopathic providers of health care, as well.