Description

Maricopa County experiences extreme heat, which has adverse effects on community health and has been recognized as a serious public health issue. Therefore, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health

Maricopa County experiences extreme heat, which has adverse effects on community health and has been recognized as a serious public health issue. Therefore, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has conducted surveillance activities to assess morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat for the past 10 years. In 2016, MCDPH was interested in expanding their scope to include other climate-sensitive public health hazards. Subsequently, a network of stakeholders with an interest in the health effects of climate-sensitive hazards was established as the Bridging Climate Change and Public Health (BCCPH) stakeholder group. A smaller Strategic Planning Workgroup of key stakeholders from the BCCPH group was then convened over three sessions to work on a strategic plan for the group, which culminated in this document.

Practical Vision
The driving discussion question to identify the Strategic Planning Workgroup’s practical vision was, “What do we want to see in place in the next 3-5 years as a result of our actions?” The goal of this question was to help the group develop concrete outcomes that the BCCPH workgroup would like to achieve through activities included in the strategic plan. The following goals were identified:
 A healthy community infrastructure design
 Reframed messaging for multiple stakeholder needs
 A coordinated multi-scale education effort
 Improved health strategies and outcomes
 A diverse network of partnerships for climate change adaptation and mitigation planning and development
 New funding opportunities
 Policy and research strategies, and private sector engagement.

Underlying Contradictions
The driving discussion question to identify underlying contradictions was, “What is blocking us from moving towards our practical vision?” The following challenges were identified:
 People act out of self-interest vs. common good
 Siloed effects lead to poor coordination
 Political partisanship delays unified action
 Conflicting information leads to biases
 Culture and convenience impacts action
 Vulnerable populations not represented, and normalization of climate change related negative effects

Strategic Directions
During the BCCPH Strategic Planning Workgroup meetings, participants identified five strategic directions for addressing environmental concerns affecting the health and well-being of the community. These strategic directions are in agreement with the climate and health adaptation strategies outlined in the Arizona Climate and Health Adaptation Plan. The strategic directions for Maricopa County are:
 Fostering Environmental Action for a Healthier Community
 Coordinating Research and Collaborative Efforts to Catalyze Change
 Developing a Strategic and Targeted Communication Plan
 Promoting Community Awareness and Public Education about Climate and Health
 Celebrating Success and Champions

Machine-readable links