Preparing for the Public Health Impacts of Climate Change
Michigan Climate & Health Adaptation Program
In 2009, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) was awarded a one-year planning grant from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a strategic plan for responding to public health effects of climate change in Michigan. The planning process involved Michigan's local health departments, University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Michigan State University, and several other state agencies and non-profit organizations. The final strategic plan focused on three priority areas for implementing climate change public health adaptations: Heat events, air quality, and water quality and quantity.
In 2010, the MDCH received a three-year grant from CDC to implement the strategic plan and participate in building a national "climate-ready states and cities" program. Part of the implementation plan is working with partners to educate the public about the health effects of climate change and have human health issues considered in state activities involving climate change. MDCH is working to incorporate climate change considerations into public health activities such as emergency planning, healthy communities, and communicable disease control. Another important part of this project is to develop methods to quantify health effects attributable to climate change and design population vulnerability assessments.
Why is public health concerned about climate change?
Climate Change Events Projected for Michigan:
- Increasing number of heat events leading to increased heat-related illness and death.
- Declining air quality, as a result of increased production of ozone and particulate matter from heat and drought events leading to increased asthma and respiratory illness.
- Adverse changes to water quality and quantity following increased rainfall or drought leading to increased waterborne and foodborne illness.
Public Health Impacts
- Rising incidence of certain infectious diseases and outbreaks of new diseases not currently endemic to Michigan.
- Increasing number of disease vectors and appearance of new vectors not currently known in Michigan.
- Degradation of food safety and security and food supply.
- Increased number of heat-related illness and death.
Climate & Health Program Strategic Plan
Learn More about MICHAP
What You Should Know about Climate Change
Protect Yourself from Extreme Heat this Summer
The best defense from extreme heat is prevention. Here are some prevention resources.
MICHAP Builds Capacity for "Health Impact Assessment" in Michigan
Check out how communities have used Health Impact Assessments funded by MICHAP.
Ingham County Health Department, Lansing, MI
A Health Impact Assessment of Non-Motorized Improvements in East Lansing
Ingham County Health Department in partnership with Public Sector Consultants evaluated options for climate sustainability and environmental benefits by conducting an HIA of key-motorized transportation elements of the City of East Lansing's draft Climate Sustainability Plan and Non-Motorized Transportation Plan.
Read the Full Report
City of Grand Rapids (Planning), Grand Rapids, MI
Michigan Street Corridor Plan: A Health Impact Assessment
The City of Grand Rapids Planning Department in partnership with Kent County Health Department evaluated three development scenarios of the Michigan Street Corridor to alleviate traffic congestion, accommodate additional land development, ensure access to housing and needed services for disadvantaged populations, and improve the physical health and wellbeing of the community.
Read the Full Report
City of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
MICHAP in partnership with the City of Ann Arbor is conducting an HIA to examine the health and psychosocial benefits associated with targeting tree plantings to residential areas where there are both low canopy and populations highly vulnerable to extreme heat events.
**Report coming Soon**
Preparing & Responding to Natural Disasters
Information for the public and health departments
Climate Research in Michigan
Climate and Health News Watch
The Climate & Health Program compiles and distributes its newsletter, Climate & Health News Watch, on a quarterly basis. The newsletter contains articles and important information on the following public health topics:
- Climate & Health News & Articles
- Health Impact Assessments
- Climate Impacts in Michigan and the Great Lakes
- Climate Research Tools & Resources
Read the First Issue!
For questions, article ideas, or to receive the Climate & Health News Watch electronically, contact Dominic Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.