This addendum to the 2017 State of Arizona Climate and Health Adaptation Plan (ACHAP) describes the progress on specific preparedness activities that protect the health and well-being of Arizonans from current and future climate sensitive hazards. As a means for providing brief updates, the scope of this addendum does not focus on public health data regarding environmental hazards and health effects such as extreme heat, fires, floods, drought, and vector borne diseases affected by temperature and precipitation. More information about these topics are described in prior Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) reports published online. Rather, this addendum focuses on initiatives currently taking place within Arizona. With continued funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative, ADHS collaborated with local health departments and universities to implement activities identified under the first iteration of the ACHAP. Stakeholders contributed success stories detailing how they collaborated across multiple sectors, implemented pilot projects, and evaluated their efforts over the past year. These stories are meant to help disseminate lessons learned with the aim of informing other jurisdictions to facilitate implementation of effective adaptation actions against future extreme weather challenges facing public health. Additionally, these success stories provide evidence of the public health sector planning and preparing for extreme weather threats to human health.
New Science Available:
Since the 2017 ACHAP, several federal and state level reports published help detail challenges and solutions for public health adaptation planning. In 2018, the federal government released the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA 4). This report specifically summarized climate impacts for the Southwest and to health. Within this report, specific health impacts in the Southwest include the implications of extreme heat, poor air quality, and changes in conditions to foster the spread of infectious pathogens. Efforts by ADHS and local stakeholders were highlighted in public health sections within the NCA 4, such as an evaluation of cooling centers used to protect vulnerable populations during the summer heat in Maricopa County and assessments on vector-borne diseases. Within Arizona, ADHS released two reports during the winter of 2017 about the health effects of these hazards. The first report was an Assessment of Climate and Health Impacts on Vector-Borne Diseases and Valley Fever in Arizona and the second report described the estimated Projections of Climate Impacts on Vector-Borne Diseases and Valley Fever in Arizona. In an effort to support continued work in understanding the implications of climate on health, in August 2017 Arizona became part of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. Through this initiative, ADHS has implemented enhanced surveillance on the human health impacts of poor air quality, increased temperature, changes in precipitation, drought, and identifying vulnerable populations through 2022.