CPO Welcomes Dr. Eric Balaban, Climate and Health Policy Fellow

  • 7 September 2021

CPO’s Communication, Education, and Engagement (CEE) Division is pleased to welcome Eric Balaban, M.D. He is one of five doctors across the country currently training in the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Fellowship in Climate and Health Science Policy. Launched in 2017, the goal of this fellowship program is to train highly credible, knowledgeable health leaders in clinical, basic science, and policy settings. Eric will be collaborating with NOAA throughout this academic year to achieve these goals and contribute to NOAA’s mission subsequently.

Eric will be working up to 25% of his time this year with the CEE Division and National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) team on various climate change and human health-related communication, education, and engagement tasks. The goal will be to promote climate science literacy among our nation's workforce of health care practitioners, help them understand the myriad ways that climate variability and change can adversely impact human health, and help them find and use tools and information resources in carrying out their jobs.

Eric conducted his medical training at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine in his home state of Pennsylvania. There, he fostered an interest in organized medicine and the potential of policy and medical legislation. His interest in serving his community further motivated him to commission with the Army National Guard. He recently graduated from the University of Colorado in internal medicine and has moved back to Pittsburgh so his new wife, Sigrunn Sky, can pursue her MBA at Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Now faced with the beginning of his medical career, Eric’s focus on service to his community and wellbeing for his patients is driving him to address climate change directly.

“I am very excited to be working with NOAA’s Climate Program Office this year,” Eric said. “Although I chose to practice internal medicine for a career, it’s impossible to disentangle my responsibility to public health from the implications of climate change. I anticipate my work with NOAA is an excellent way I can learn more about this issue and begin to act on it.”

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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.