Climate Change and Public Health

Join us on December 13 from 12:00-1:00 pm for the next conversation in the Green Energy Ohio Climate Change Series

Graphic courtesy of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby

We are all aware of the devastating impacts of climate change, but one of the most serious impacts gets less attention than the highly visible hurricanes, fires, and droughts, and that’s public health. There are many ways in which climate change affects health, including the extreme heat under which manual laborers suffer, vector borne diseases that reproduce rapidly in changing habitats, and increases in the prevalence of respiratory conditions from exposure to fossil fuel emissions. 

In a time when coverage of dramatic events is designed to capture a viewer’s limited attention span, it becomes harder to explain the complicated subject of public health effects. What are the most serious threats? How can we protect ourselves? Who should we turn to for solutions? 

In the sixth of our Climate Impacts Conversation series, Green Energy Ohio will examine the toll that a changing climate takes on our health and will attempt to answer some of those questions. We have three expert panelists approaching the topic from varying perspectives — public policy advocacy, teaching and medical research, and community public health administration. 

Tracy Sabetta
Moms Clean Air Force

Tracy Sabetta is the Ohio state field coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force, a grassroots organization formed to protect children from the health effects of air pollution and climate change. Her work focuses on restoring Ohio’s renewable energy and efficiency standards and building coalitions around climate advocacy issues. Tracy is a partner at Initiative Consulting, a government affairs and public relations firm that she founded in 2007. She was previously the campaign co-chair and media spokesperson for the American Cancer Society’s successful SmokeFreeOhio ballot initiative campaign, which made all workplaces in Ohio smoke-free.

Ashwini Sehgal, MD
Professor, School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Ashwini Sehgal is a nephrologist at MetroHealth System in Cleveland and professor in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He has created a graduate level course titled “Climate Change and Health” to explain how the warming planet is contributing to more disease, greater stress, and increased death in society, especially in poor and minority communities, and what those in his profession can do about it. Dr. Sehgal is also the Duncan Neuhauser Professor of Community Health Improvement at Case Western Reserve University and Co-Director of the Case Western Center for Reducing Health Disparities.

Jennie McAdams, MPH
Sustainability Supervisor
Franklin County Public Health

Jennie McAdams, MPH, EHST is the  Sustainability Section Supervisor at Franklin County Public Health, a section created in 2019, that includes climate change efforts, lead and healthy homes programs and the solid and infectious waste team.  She has co-chaired the Ohio Public Health Climate Resilience Coalition and spearheaded the white paper highlighting climate change in Ohio. She also serves as the Chair of NEHAs Climate Change work group as well as sits on NACCHOs Healthy Living and Prevention committee. She leads internal and external sustainability efforts and works to create cross sector partnerships.