Bridging Climate Change and Public Health

Maricopa County experiences extreme weather, including heat waves, dust storms, drought, wildfires, flooding, and poor air quality events. Such occurrences are known as climate-sensitive hazards, and these hazards could be further affected by long-term changes to the climate (temperature, precipitation, or other weather conditionsplants_climatechange). These climate-sensitive hazards pose a threat to public health and can lead directly to illness or death or worsen underlying health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses. While all populations within Maricopa County may be affected by climate-sensitive hazards, some are more vulnerable than others, including children and older adults; individuals with physical/cognitive impairment; individuals living in poverty; individuals using certain prescription medications; or individuals experiencing homelessness.

In alignment with the Department's mission and vision of “a healthy and safe community,” we have created a Bridging Climate Change and Public Health (BCCPH) Strategic Plan that identifies 5 priority actions to address environmental concerns affecting the health and well-being of the community:

  • Celebrating Success and Champions
  • Fostering Environmental Actions for a Healthier Community
  • Coordinating Research and Collaborative Efforts to Catalyze Change
  • Building Community Awareness Through a Strategic and Targeted Communication Plan
  • Promoting Public Education About Climate and Health

The BCCPH Strategic Plan was developed through stakeholder meetings and derived by a workgroup consisting of internal partners within MCDPH and external governmental agencies, local community organizations, and academiaclimate-champions-final. Through this plan, MCDPH intends to support development of interventions that address climate-sensitive hazards identified in the Arizona Extreme Weather, Climate, and Health Profile Report.

The Climate and Health Champions Recognition Program was established in 2017 to address the priority action “Celebrating Success and Champions.” You can view highlights of 2018 award winners in the Addendum to the Arizona Climate and Health Adaptation Plan 2018.

Learn more about the award criteria and access nomination form