2020 Award Winners & Nominees

Congratulations to our 2020 Winners and Nominees!


Individual Category: David DubeDavid

David Dube recently retired after 36 years in the public health field, working in diverse areas such as women and children's health, built environment, behavioral and mental health. and livable communities. Among his most valued accomplishments is linking climate change and public health, and especially promoting active, livable communities. Arizona needs to expect substantive impact to communities that are especially vulnerable to climate change impacts, and David commits to continued climate action.


Individual Category: Vjollca BerishaVjollca

Vjollca has worked in the area of Climate and Health at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health for the last 15 years. During those 15 years, she has completed numerous projects to help bring attention to those most affected by extreme heat as well as convene people from all over Maricopa County who are working in the area of Climate and Health. Some of the projects Vjollca has worked on throughout her 15 years include establishing MCDPH Heat Surveillance Program, Evaluating the Cooling Centers, CASPER, Identifying the barriers of Homebound Individuals coping with extreme heat, and Identifying the barriers of those Living in Mobile Homes experience during the extreme heat.

In addition to those projects, she has also for the last 5 years worked on establishing a regional plan, known as Bridging Climate Change and Public Health, to bring people from all different agencies and backgrounds together to try and tackle the problem together. During these 5 years, she has brought together hundreds of individuals and dozens of different agencies and companies all intending to help those most affected by climate change.


Research Category: Cliff Anderson

Cliff has been the research action team leader for the last two years. During that time, he has kept the group moving forward in accomplishing its goals. During the two years with Cliff as one of the action team leaders, the group built a knowledge repository of published researched articles that researched climate and health in the Southwest. In addition to the knowledge repository, the group also completed a gap analysis of the research articles identified.


Youth Category: SenseHydro

SenseHydro LLC consists of a total of 9 high schoolers. This is a group of youth and mentors developing a hydrothermal hat with sensors to monitor vital signs in hopes of reducing heat deaths in Maricopa County. SenseHydro has been working on this project for approximately 1.5 years. This student-led group has received multiple grants received from MIT, ASU (HUE) and Arizona Tech Council, and Intel. SenseHydro is currently working on a prototype and hopes to test the product in the summer of 2021, with the hopes of selling this item to community residents and also donating to those most vulnerable to heat illness.


Organization Category: CHISPA

CHISPA works on climate justice, with a special focus on Latinx communities in South and West Phoenix within Maricopa County. As a program of the League of Conservation Voters, CHISPA Arizona uses innovative approaches to grassroots organizing centered on 1) demanding clean air and a healthy climate, 2) conserving parks and public lands, and 3) building democracy and community power – which together provide climate and public health benefits to underserved communities.

CHISPA has been building healthy community infrastructure by designing spaces that reduce the heat island effect, planting trees to provide shade, educate themselves and community members about climate change and extreme heat, and strategically plan the location of cooling centers in South Phoenix.

The following is a list of award nominees. Thank you for your hard work in making Maricopa County a healthier place to live, learn, work and play!

Organization Category:

  • ASU Urban Forestry
  • Salud and Balance

Individual Category:

  • Juana Silva
  • Lisa Castrichini

To read about former award winners and nominees or how to apply next time, return to the Climate and Health home page.