Health Care Leaders Tackle Boston’s Extreme Weather Readiness and Mitigation Through ‘Resilience 2.0’
Health care institutions and the communities they serve are intimately interconnected. At no time is this connection more critical than during and after extreme weather events, from heat waves to flooding, droughts to blizzards. In the city of Boston, public policy makers and health care institutions are focusing on improving health care’s resilience to climate change impacts, with an emphasis on anchoring community health and resilience.
Health care is the largest single segment of the Boston economy. Taken together, health care and university education account for more than 20 percent of local employment. In addition, hospitals are critical infrastructure: Their uninterrupted operation during and after extreme weather events is crucial to providing essential medical services.
At the same time, health care is uniquely positioned to not only deliver clinical care, but also influence the health and resilience of the communities in which it is situated. The Barr Foundation provided sponsorship support for a one-day event hosted by Partners HealthCare and Health Care Without Harm to catalyze climate action planning for metro Boston health care service providers and allied stakeholders in the communities they serve.
In addition to providing updates on the interconnected climate resiliency initiatives happening within the greater Boston area, the summit fostered a new dialogue about the role of the health sector in anchoring community health and resilience. It also created a network of organizations and champions who recognize each other, know what each other does and can find ways to provide mutual, complementary support.
The outcomes of the one-day event and compiled resources have been summarized in a report, available at www.noharm.org/boston.