Call to Action on Climate and Health

TEXAS PHYSICIANS AND OTHER HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS SUPPORT ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE

As Texas physicians and healthcare professionals, we the undersigned call on members of the Texas Congressional Delegation to recognize climate change as a health emergency and to work with government agencies and our local communities and businesses to prioritize action to address how climate change is already impacting public health.

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CALL TO ACTION

We call on the Texas Congressional Delegation to lead Congress in recognizing climate change as a health emergency and to prioritize the actions in this Climate and Health Policy Call to Action. Building healthy energy, transportation, land use, and agriculture systems now will deliver immediate and sustained health benefits to all and reduce future health risks from climate change.

 

Climate Action For Health should include the following actions:

 

  1. Meet and strengthen the commitments the U.S. made under the Paris Climate Agreement.
  2. Transition rapidly away from the use of coal, oil and natural gas to clean, safe, and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  3. Co-sponsor one or more of the bills filed in the past few weeks by both Democrats and Republicans on climate that are aimed at achieving zero-net emissions by 2050.
  4. Support and improve infrastructure to encourage active transportation plans, including more and better options for walking and biking, and incentivize cleaner alternatives like public transit and carpooling, in the transition to zero-carbon transportation systems.
  5. Promote healthy, sustainable, and resilient farms and food systems, forests, and natural lands.
  6. Ensure that all U.S. residents have access to safe and affordable drinking water and a sustainable water supply.
  7. Invest in policies that support a just transition for workers and communities adversely impacted by climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy.

 

It is past time for our political leaders to recognize climate change as a public health emergency. Finding ways to mitigate climate change and its negative effects should be a top priority, and action needs to start now.

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TEXAS PHYSICIANS AND OTHER HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS SUPPORTING ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE:


Adam Rosenbloom MD MPH FAAP

Alan Mincher MD

Alan Northcutt MD

Amanda Horton MD

Amina Haji MD

Anitha Veerasamy MD

Anna Vu MD

Archie Smith MD

Ashwin Gowda MD

Celia Neavel MD

Christopher Driscoll MD

Dana Sprute MD, MPH

Daniel Hochman MD

David Wright MD

Donald Williams MD

Ed Garcia MD

Elliot Trester MD

Felix Hull MD

Heather Falvo MD

Jubilee Barton MD

Julia Graves MD

Juliette Owens MD

Karen Carvalho MD

Katrin Lichtsinn MD

Kimberly Carter MD, MPP

Kumar Pandian MD

Lamia Kadir MD

Lara Hochman MD

Lauren Crawford MD

Laurie Seremetis MD, MPAff


Leslie Cortes MD

Lisa Doggett MD, MPH, FAAFP

Margaret Kini MD

Mary Ann Gonzales MD

Matthew McCurdy MD PhD

Melissa Thoreson MD

Mike Stefanowicz MD

Nalinda Charnsangavej MD

Naomi Hanser MD

Natalie Rusk MD

Rachel Brightwell MD

Roberto Rodriguez MD, MPH

Roseanna Jackson-Parekh MD

Ryan Lowery MD

Sabitha Rajan MD, MSc

Sapna Bhagat MD

Sarah Gee MD

Stanley Reiser MD, MPA, PhD

Steven Inano MD

Vincent Fonseca MD, MPH 

Xiao Yun Wang MD

Lynn Thoreson DO

Ricky Thompson DO

Michelle Gallas DO

Nichelle Haynes DO

Maria Guerra APRN, FNP-C

Beth Belk DPT

Sarmila Bhatta FNP

Kim Rowlands MMD

Teri Newsom MS,RN,Adult NP-C,PMHNP-BC

 

Trish O'Day MSN, RN

Stephen McKee MSSW

Barbara Dauerty PA-C

Nancy Lee PA-C

Arthur Fellows PhD

Rania Milleron PhD

Lori Wright PhD

Marian Morris PhD, MPH, RN

Izaan Roos PT

Bill Carville RN. CRRN

Brennan Lanier Medical Student

Waqas Haque Medical Student

Bharath Ram Medical Student

Carolyn Vanek Medical Student

Amanda Boornazian Medical Student

Rachel MacAskill Medical Student

Mary Robichaux Medical Student

Daniel Bland Medical Student

Sean Liu Medical Student

Swati Avashia MD

Hasan Seede Medical Student

Liza Sanchez Medical Student

Syed Ajaz Medical Student

Angela Wang Medical student

Karen Hadden

Julia Sargent MD

Pradeep Kumar MD

Thiru Lakshman MD, FASCRS, FACS

Maria Monge MD, MAT

Vishal Kancherla DO


 

Kristie Pham Tu Medical student

Angela Zhang Medical student

Toni Wakefield MD

Jenny Raman

Michael Hole MD, MBA, FAAP

Leigh Grady MD

George Miner MD

Indu Gupta MD

Sarah Buttrey MD

Jessica Hines MD

Leah Weipert DO

Greg Sheff MD

Rachel Fresques Medical Student

Allison Teng Medical student

Audrey Han Medical Student

Natalie Weston Medical Student

Katie McNiel Medical student

Christian Shannon Medical Student

Andrew Valenzuela MD

Helen Schafer MD

Tara Greendyk MD

Dan Nguyen MD

Van Tran PA-C

Natasha Dass Medical Student

Julie Hall MD

Koushik Shaw MD

Patricia Connolly Licensed Therapist

Beck Trammell NCC, LPC

Lorraine Stehn DO

Lisa Stone MPH


Christina Shields Medical Student

Joyce Overton RN

Esha Hansoti Medical Student

Peter Gilbreath MD

Debra Patt MD

Nehal Thakkar MD, MBA

Danielle Glade MD

Amanda Mishra APRN, ACNS-BC

Jannon Fuchs PhD

Daniel Crowe MD, FACP

Valerie Espinosa MD

Ana Herrera DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Ife Shoyombo Medical Student

Michelle Zhang Medical Student

Kelsey Mumford Medical Student, RN

Mary Mulroney RN

Hannah Kay Medical Student

Sam Baldazo Medical Student

Ann Melendrez LVN

Hannah McFarren Medical Student

Joshua Kollars MD

Margaret Amada RN

Gina Fowler DO, FAAP, ABOIM

Nanditha Shivaprakash MD

Shannon Evans APRN, NSN, FNP-C

Sharad Kohli MD

Susan Dubois MD 

Hilda Guevara RN

Robert Patterson MD

Karen Smith MD, M. Ed, FAAFP



 

ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE:

Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility

Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition

Texas Public Interest Research Group

Population Health Institute of Texas

Austin Urology Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR URGENT ACTION

Climate change poses one of the greatest threats to human health in our lifetimes. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has repeatedly issued warnings about the significant consequences of global warming. As they and the vast majority of climate scientists around the world have stated, urgent actions are needed now to curb the rise in global temperatures and to prevent ecological, public health and other societal catastrophes.¹

In Texas, we are already feeling the effects of increasing temperatures and climate-related emergencies. In the coming years, Texans will experience rising seas, retreating shorelines, more coastal storms like Hurricane Harvey, rainstorms and tornadoes, increasing wildfires, more frequent and severe droughts, and worsening air pollution leading to premature death from heart and lung disease.²

As physicians and healthcare professionals, we see the impacts of climate change first-hand:

  1.  Climate change affects every aspect of what we do. It impedes our ability to care for patients and causes health crises where none previously existed.
  2. Our ER physicians are the front-line doctors for climate change – they are the ones who have to care for folks when climate disasters occur such as hurricanes, tornados, flooding and wildfires.
  3. Our primary care physicians and cardiologists have to deal with increased and worsening heart disease due to ozone action days and increased heat.
  4. Psychiatrists have to deal with fatalism and depression that occurs with the increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters.
  5. We all struggle to care for patients affected by increasing pandemics and other health crises including but not limited to intensified outbreaks of tropical diseases like Zika and West Nile virus.

 


  1. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2018
  2. Dr. Matthew McCurdy, in an op-ed published by the Houston Chronicle, 2018