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 microphoneThe Colorado Public Health Association focused on building and growing 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 its first "Public Health Advocacy Day at the Capitol: Healthy Air, Land, Water and People," equipping over 150 public health professionals and students and local public health agency staff with the tools to be empowered and active climate health champions. CPHA developed an action alert on an ozone bill to support efforts to improve air quality, worked on a water conservation bill, and supported their state public health department’s budget request for funding associated with recommendations for air quality and pollution and the environmental justice program. During this work, CPHA developed new partnerships with Healthy Air and Water Colorado and Conservation Colorado and joined the Ozone Policy Coalition.

Maine Public Health Association

Three masked members of the Maine Public Health AssociationThe Maine Public Health Association promoted 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 started convening a healthcare system learning collaborative that aimed to engage leadership and staff from health systems and associations on shared state level climate priorities including energy efficiency and waste and emissions reduction practices and policies. MPHA was ultimately able to leverage this work to secure $60,000 in additional funding to support their learning collaborative and related climate and environmental health work.

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 engaged in a statewide "Health Table" that aimed 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. This coalition of health organizations supports ongoing legislative efforts to introduce health-focused policy priorities as they 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 which aims to equitably implement climate solutions in Maryland, this advocacy work is ongoing. Moving past the legislative session, MdPHA plans to develop resources for climate and health in Maryland and conduct 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, hosted a legislative 101 session with a segment on climate change and health equity where attendees learned more about the legislative process and how to advocate by writing a letter to an elected official. In partnership with the Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition, NPHA hosted a virtual climate justice webinar panel for over 70 participants to learn more about climate justice issues and how to advocate for their communities. The mini-grant also supported the development of a climate justice infographic, significantly increased member engagement on climate and health and provided honoraria to four community organizations to kick-start their climate and health advocacy work.

Tennessee Public Health Association

Tennessee Public Health Association with photos from around the stateThe Tennessee Public Health Association used the mini-grant to advocate to advocate for the passage of Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Climate Action Plan and the inclusion of language around health and equity into the plan. TPHA's president-elect, Dr. Dawn Ford, environmentalist and professor at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, 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. While a specific health goal was not added, public health and equity were added to language throughout Chattanooga’s Climate Action Plan which passed during the grant period.