APHA State Partners for Climate and Health Equity Program

APHA’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity supported five APHA Affiliate state public health associations in a pilot program: APHA State Partners for Climate and Health Equity. This pilot program aims to advance climate and health equity action by supporting health and public health professionals as they embark on policy campaigns aimed at bringing about climate justice and serving communities most affected by climate change. The five Affiliates received technical assistance and $6,000 mini-grants.

Learn more about the Affiliates:

Colorado Public Health Association

Three members of the Colorado Public Health Association in a government building, one speaking into a microphoneAs a state partner for climate and health equity, the goal of the Colorado Public Health Association is to build and grow its policy and advocacy capacity to be a respected voice at the state capitol on issues related to climate change policy and the impact on public health. CPHA hosted "Public Health Advocacy Day at the Capitol: Healthy Air, Land, Water and People," equipping 150 public health professionals, public health students and local public health agency staff with the tools to be empowered and active climate health champions. As state lawmakers champion energy, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality and water efficiency in the 2023 legislative session, CPHA’s Policy Committee is reviewing climate policies and learning more about how to effectively speak up on this issue.

Maine Public Health Association

Three masked members of the Maine Public Health AssociationThe Maine Public Health Association is promoting the advancement and adoption of evidence-based climate change responsive practices and policies in Maine's healthcare systems and associations, as well as at the state level. MPHA is convening a healthcare system learning collaborative and engaging with legislative leadership from health systems and associations on potential shared state climate priorities. In the short and mid-term, MPHA will be convening the collaborative and facilitating sharing of resources and information about practices and policies related to climate responsiveness and advancing shared climate priorities at the state level, while cultivating advocacy relationships with health systems and association partners in the field of climate change. Ultimately, MPHA hopes health systems will adopt climate-related policies and practices and that climate-related policies can be advanced at the state level, in partnership with health systems and associations.

Maryland Public Health Association

Two members of the Maryland Public Health Association posing with an award for Excellence in Climate LeadershipThe Maryland Public Health Association's "Health Table" aims to rebuild the public health voice in Maryland around climate, raise awareness of the health harms of climate change and benefits of climate solutions, and build the capacity of health professionals to speak and act in support of climate action with the aim to improve health outcomes and promote health equity. MdPHA is focused on educational and awareness-building activities to help overcome this barrier and to find and apply methods to increase the health voice on these issues. This coalition of health organizations meets monthly to support ongoing legislative efforts to introduce health-focused policy priorities as we continue to build capacity. In its partnership with APHA, MdPHA focused on coordinating its efforts to advocate for the Climate, Labor and Environmental Equity Act of 2023. Moving past the legislative session, MdPHA is developing a resource for climate and health in Maryland and an interview project on why climate matters to public health professionals.

Nevada Public Health Association

Members of the Nevada Public Health Association posing in front of a sign at their annual conferenceThe Nevada Public Health Association, in collaboration with the Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition, plans to host a legislative 101 session with a segment on climate change and health equity where attendees will be able to learn more about the legislative process and how to advocate by writing a letter to an elected official. NPHA will also host a climate justice webinar panel in late March with speakers from the community. Both events are geared toward building capacity for advocacy for climate change and health equity. 

Tennessee Public Health Association

Tennessee Public Health Association with photos from around the stateThe Tennessee Public Health Association is using this mini-grant to advocate for health policies to be included in Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Climate Action Plan, which will be considered for approval by the City Council in early 2023. Components of the plan are not well-known and community input into its development was limited. TPHA's president-elect, Dr. Dawn Ford, environmentalist and professor at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC), has helped expand TPHA's capacity by assisting in developing a pilot program for UTC students that would encompass advocacy training, community outreach and policy work, and which could be replicated by TPHA throughout the state providing much needed capacity for other local efforts.