Aim 3: Strengthening environmental health literacy.
Healthcare professionals are the “first line of defense” in diagnosing and treating human and animal illness caused by OHH threats, and accurate diagnosis and reporting of these illnesses is critical to public health and the integrity of surveillance data. Garnering participation from healthcare communities was identified as an OHH priority during annual meetings of OHH Centers, and the focus of breakout sessions involving physicians and epidemiologists familiar with OHH and environmental health. The WHCOHH CEC is developing and implementing specific strategies to engage collaborators from the medical and environmental health communities to create and deliver materials to these health care professionals. As this is a comparatively new area of collaboration in OHH, some of these efforts are exploratory in nature and intended to lay the groundwork for future engagement efforts.
Activities and Highlights:
CEC lead Dr. Richlen connected with public health communities through her participation in the podcast “Code Green: The Climate-Smart Health Professional”, which addresses topics related to climate change impacts to public health, and targets medical students and public health professionals. This episode discussed how climate change is contributing to the global expansion of HABs, and implications for healthcare providers.
At the 2020 COHH Directors meeting, CEC lead Richlen co-led a breakout session focused on the theme “Health Provider Communication and Education,” which discussed priorities and approaches for engaging with different health provider groups.