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Climate Action

Recent Events

On December 8, 2023, The Maryland Public Health Association and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters hosted its Climate Ambassador Communication Workshop and  Networking event at Bowie State University in collaboration with EcoAmerica's Climate for Health program.

The Climate for Health program featured a free online training covering the health impacts of climate change, solutions from the ground-level to policy & systems, and best practices for communication and engagement to advance climate solutions.  

Participants were invited to the communication workshop and networking event, which featured Maryland Delegate Adrian Boafo (pictured below), who encouraged participants to become involved locally and highlighted upcoming legislative priorities. 

Get Involved!
Engaging the health voice on climate change has proven to be powerful in advancing equitable climate solutions. In order to bridge the gap between climate efforts and health professionals, MdPHA is teaming with the Energy Foundation.
We are intent on amplifying the health-voice on climate related issues by promoting awareness among health professionals on the interplay between climate and health, increasing coordination between and beyond health organizations, and empowering health professionals to engage in climate action.

To join our efforts, contact Melanie Bolden at

Maryland Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate publishes press release in response to the 2023 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change


November 15, 2023


Rebecca Rehr Maryland League of Conservation Voters


New Report: As wildfire smoke, infectious diseases, and intense heat increase, health professionals call for immediate climate action and an end to fossil fuel use

A new report from the London-based medical journal The Lancet details the cascading health problems in the U.S. and around the world stemming from climate change and fossil fuel use, prompting Maryland health professionals to call for urgent action to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and resultant health risks and inequities. Key findings from the Lancet Countdown on Health & Climate Change Brief for the United States, which is supported by a diverse group of health experts from more than 80 organizations nationwide, include:

  • In 2020, fossil fuel combustion accounted for approximately 41.5% of all premature deaths attributable to human-caused fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the U.S.
  • 2022 was the warmest year ever recorded in the U.S. Average U.S. summer temperatures in 2022 were 2.3°F (1.3°C) warmer as compared to 1986-2005.
  • U.S. infants under the age of 1 experienced a 61% increase in exposure to heatwaves, meaning that each infant, on average, was exposed to an additional 3.2 heatwave days per year from 2013 to 2022 compared to 1986-2005.
  • In 2022, $81 billion in potential income was lost in the U.S. from reduced labor due to extreme heat. 45% of the losses occurred in the construction industry, 32% in the service sector, 15% in manufacturing, and 8% in agriculture.
  • The ability of mosquitoes in the U.S. to transmit the dengue virus had more than doubled in the period from 2013 to 2022 compared to 1951–1960. 

A focus throughout the report is how climate change is having disparate impacts, concluding “fossil fuel pollution and climate change are fundamental issues of economic, racial, and intergenerational justice.”

“Maryland is a small state but mighty when it comes to public health. Our state is home to leading Federal health agencies, trailblazing state and local health departments, the headquarters of many public health nonprofits, and top academic training programs,” said Suparna Navale, President of the Maryland Public Health Association. “This year’s Lancet Countdown U.S. Brief emphasizes climate and environmental justice as key to achieving health equity, and Maryland lawmakers should keep these principles front and center in the upcoming legislative session.” 

"This year’s Lancet Countdown U.S. Brief recommends policy action that accelerates our transition to clean and renewable energy sources, which will result in immense health benefits through improved air quality and by limiting climate change,” said Surili Sutaria Patel, Vice President at Metropolitan Group and Maryland LCV Education Fund Board Member. "With the most ambitious short term emissions reduction goals, Marylanders could see $296-667 million annually in additional health benefits when we reach 60% emissions reductions in 2031, mostly due to improved health outcomes as a result of decreasing harmful air pollution. Maryland is poised to protect its residents from the worst harms of climate change and resultant air and water pollution if it releases a strong Climate Plan at the end of this year. Investing in a clean energy future is essential for public health and the environment."

“As a nurse midwife who practiced for six years in Prince George’s County, I have seen firsthand pregnant women struggling to breathe when they come into my office on the poor air quality days that are becoming more common as the climate changes,” said Katie Huffling, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. “Maryland has been a leader in passing bills like the Climate Solutions Now Act, and the findings of this year’s Lancet Countdown only support continued strong leadership from lawmakers and the administration.” 

“It’s time to focus responsibility on the fossil fuel industry for the direct health harms they cause from pollution, including respiratory, cardiac, neurologic, and cancer related morbidity and mortality, and for their role in the resulting climate crisis which has led to illness, injury and death from heat events, floods, droughts, fire, and increased spread of infectious diseases,” said Gwen DuBois, President of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility. “This year’s U.S. Brief calls for rapidly phasing out fossil fuel use and ending fossil fuel subsidies. Policy solutions that are guided by public health principles would replace fossil fuels with renewable and clean energy and involve frontline communities in crafting solutions, resulting in significant lives saved and greater health equity.”

“Children are particularly susceptible to the adverse health impacts resulting from our changing climate. They suffer disproportionately during adverse weather events, are less adapted to heat stress, and have increasing exposures to infectious disease. The multiple stresses of climate change are taking a toll on the mental health of children and teens as well,” said Michael Ichniowski, Chairperson for the Environmental Health and Climate Change Committee of the Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “The focus of the Countdown changes from year to year, but the implication for Maryland's children is consistent: a healthy climate improves child health.”

Maryland Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate

Recap: Climate Change & Our Health: Impacts and Action in Maryland Webinar (September 2023)

Featured Keynote Speakers: Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland District 20 and Dean Boris Lushniak, University of Maryland School of Public Health

On September 21, 2023, the Maryland Health Professionals for Healthy Climate (aka the Health Table) hosted a webinar launching its new fact sheet on the Maryland-specific climate impacts to our health, along with solutions. We hope you can use this for education and advocacy. You can also use the same link to sign up for updates and to engage with us on climate action that improves health.  

Climate and Health Opportunities in Maryland Webinar 

News and Updates:

Climate and Health Resources

Health Table 

This project aims to rebuild the public health voice in MD around climate, raise awareness of the health harms of climate change and benefits of climate solutions, and build capacity of health professionals to speak and act in support of climate action with the aim to improve health outcomes and promote health equity. We are heavily 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.

The table launched December 13, 2022 and meets monthly to support ongoing legislative efforts, develop and share resources to build climate and health understanding among health professionals, to introduce health-focused policy priorities. 

If you want to learn more or your organization wants to increase its capacity in climate and health advocacy, please contact our Health and Climate Coordinator, Melanie Bolden, at . 

APHA Excellence in Climate Leadership Award

For our work developing the Health Table and our continuing climate and environmental health advocacy, the Maryland Public Health Association was awarded the Excellence in Climate Leadership award at the 2022 APHA annual expo and meeting! We were the only state affiliate to receive this award and funding, which helps us further our capacity for advocacy and partnerships. This award will soon be announced on APHA’s Nation’s Health Newspaper.

APHA's Center for Climate, Health and Equity Pilot Program

Maryland was selected as a state partner by APHA’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity to participate in a pilot program alongside Colorado, Maine, Nevada, and TennesseeThis pilot program strives to advance state and local policies that equitably address the health impacts of climate change by bringing together local chapters of advocates and public health professionals to partner with community groups most affected by climate change. Our advocacy committee will be working with APHA leaders to develop a state-level project that:

  • Help identify communities in need of support
  • Develop a strategic plan for engagement around climate mitigation and adaptation planning as well as advocacy and policy
  • Provide peer networking and learning opportunities with other affiliates
  • Develop relationships with key stakeholders in environmental justice in Maryland. 

Learn more about the efforts from Maryland and other affiliates in this program.

Become a Climate Ambassador - Learn how to speak confidently on climate change solutions as a health professional and advocate with Climate for Health!

Maryland Department of Environment - Climate Change Health Adaptation Program

APHA - Center for Climate, Health and Equity

Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health - Maryland Resources

Contact Us:

The Maryland Public Health Association
PO Box 7045
6801 Oak Hall Lane
Columbia, MD 21045-9998


MdPHA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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