Climate Health Symposium to kick off major effort by Tulane SPHTM

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Climate change poses a significant danger to human health in both the short and long term. In the U.S., that threat is especially grave for the Gulf Coast.

Over the next several years, the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine intends to take on the issue of climate change and the myriad health impacts anticipated. According to Dean Thomas LaVeist, however, the school will not be taking on these issues alone.

“Climate change, even climate change in a region like the Gulf Coast, is bigger than any one school or even any one university. In addition to the current and planned research at the school, we will also be collaborating across units at Tulane University, and we will seek input from voices across the region.”

Dr. Melissa Gonzales, chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, agrees. “There are nonprofits and community groups who are already thinking, planning, and acting on these issues. We want to partner with them to find solutions that move the needle forward, to use research in a way that can provide meaningful methods to prepare for the health impacts of climate change.”

To kick off the school’s efforts, the school will hold a symposium on Tuesday, April 2. Entitled “Climate Change and Health: A Symposium on Community, Research, Design, and Action,” the symposium brings together public health researchers in several disciplines, community groups, and architecture faculty to discuss where we are and how to proceed going forward.

Speakers will include Dr. Stephen Murphy, Dr. Mostifijur Rahman, and Dr. Sarah Michaels from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Professor Sean Fowler from the Tulane School of Architecture, Angela Chalk, executive director of Health Community Services, and Kimberly Doley, policy and advocacy coordinator for Water Wise Gulf South.

The symposium will be held in the school’s Diboll Auditorium at 1440 Canal Street in New Orleans on April 2 from 4:30 to 8pm.

Next up, the group will launch a Dean’s Lecture Series on Climate Change and Health, with the first lecture held on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22 at 11:30am in the same location.