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About Renee Salas, MD MPH MS

Clinical Instructor
Department of EM, Division of Wilderness Medicine
Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts General Hospital
Affiliated Faculty, Harvard Global Health Institute
Chair, SAEM Climate Change and Health Interest Group
15 05, 2018

Climate Change and Emergency Medicine: A Specialty on the Frontline


Emergency medicine (EM) is on the frontlines of climate change, which the Lancet Commission declared “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century” with “potentially catastrophic risk to human health.”1,2 Climate change is having broad and profound negative impacts on the health of our patients, especially for the vulnerable populations. It is also affecting our healthcare systems and mandating the creation of climate-resilient emergency departments (ED) with robust disaster preparedness. EM needs to engage climate change advocacy efforts for 2 key reasons. It has a profound impact on our specialty, and it is built into the moral fiber of our practice. As this threat continues to grow, EM is perfectly situated to lead the charge.