Sending Office: Honorable Bradley Scott Schneider
Join Reps. Schneider, Carbajal and Matsui to Support the CDC Climate and Health Program for FY19
Deadline to sign on: COB THURSDAY MARCH 15
Letter supporters: American Public Health Association, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the American Lung Association
Please join us in sending the attached letter to Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro encouraging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies in support of continued funding for the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Climate and Health Program for the Fiscal Year 2019.
In 2009, the CDC formally established the Climate and Health Program to help state and city health departments address and prepare for the health effects related to climate change. Its mission is to lead efforts to identify populations vulnerable to climate
change, prevent and adapt to current anticipated health impacts, and ensure systems are in place to detect and respond to emerging threats to public health. Currently, the CDC’s Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative is helping
16 states and 2 cities develop ways to anticipate these health effects by applying climate science, predicting health impacts, and preparing flexible programs. Nine in ten local health departments say they lack the resources to adequately protect their populations
from the health effects of climate change.
We hope you will join Representatives Schneider, Carbajal and Matsui on a letter to the LHHS-Ed Appropriations Subcommittee in support of funding for the CDC Climate and Health Program. To sign on please CLICK
HERE. Questions? Contact Tommy Brown at Tommy.Brown@mail.house.gov, Johanna Montiel at Johanna.firstname.lastname@example.org in Rep. Carbajal’s office, and Jonathan
Gilbert at Jonathan.Gilbert@mail.house.gov in Rep. Matsui’s office.
March XX, 2018
Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro,
Thank you for supporting the efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify and prevent the harmful health effects of climate change in communities across the nation. We write in support of continued funding for the CDC Climate
and Health Program in FY 2019. We ask that the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee (LHHS) provide at least the FY 2017 appropriated amount of $10 million for this important program.
According to surveys conducted by the American Thoracic Society, National Medical Association, and American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, a significant majority of surveyed physicians believe climate change is occurring, that it is currently
affecting the health of their patients, and that climate-driven health effects will rise in the future. The increased health risks linked to climate change include respiratory attacks resulting from higher levels of ozone; heat stroke and cardiovascular failure
due to hotter temperatures and heat waves; injuries and fatalities relating to extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires; longer allergy seasons due to first frosts arriving later each year; expanded habitat for pests and vector-borne
diseases; and contamination of drinking and recreational waters by algal blooms. And the most vulnerable among us – including children, the elderly, low-income individuals, and those with underlying health conditions – face even greater climate-related health
A National Association of County and City Health Officials and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications study found that nearly 80% of local health department directors believe climate change is happening; nearly 80% say their local
health department lacks the expertise to assess the effects and create response plans; and nearly 90% indicate their health department lacks the resources to protect local populations from the effects. States and communities vary widely in preparedness. According
to a 2016 analysis by Trust for America’s Health, 18 states received a grade of D or below in States at Risk: America’s Preparedness Report Card, a national assessment of state-level preparedness for climate change-related threats. With the effects
of climate change projected to intensify, we need to prepare officials at every level of government to respond effectively to this serious threat.
The CDC Climate and Health Program is helping accomplish this by assuring that systems are in place to detect and respond to current and emerging climate-related health threats at the state and local level. For example, the Climate and Health Program’s Climate-Ready
States and Cities Initiative provides grants to states, cities, and tribal and territorial organizations to help state and local health departments assess how climate change will affect public health in their communities, and develop and implement climate
and health adaptation plans that meet their specific regional needs. The initiative is the federal government’s primary investment in supporting state and local health departments in addressing the risks that climate change poses to public health, and is the
only Health and Human Services financial resource that has been offered to state and local public health departments that directly targets these risks.
The Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative has a track record of providing communities with resources and expert guidance to plan effective public health interventions in the face of climate change. As the Government Accountability Office indicated in
its October 2015 report, Initiative awardees have engaged in a range of activities, such as incorporating climate change considerations into emergency preparedness activities, creating climate and health programs with dedicated staff, partnering with academic
institutions to translate climate science information, and collaborating with other departments or federal agencies, like the National Weather Service, to conduct research for purposes such as identifying appropriate thresholds for issuing heat advisories
and warnings. Sufficient funding for this program is necessary to help communities protect the general public and the most vulnerable from climate-related illnesses.
Preventive policies, constructed and implemented at the state and local level, are a cost-effective and commonsense way to make communities more resilient to climate change. Providing strong funding levels for low-cost planning programs like the CDC Climate
and Health Program helps our communities avoid greater public health costs in the future. We ask that the FY 2019 LHHS appropriations bill include at least $10 million for the CDC Climate and Health Program. Thank you for considering our request.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0