Though climate change is a global public health crisis, most doctors and public health professionals do not receive the education necessary to effectively communicate climate change-related health impacts to their patients. The Climate Change and Human Health Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (CCHH ECHO) program aims to change that, through online courses designed to improve climate knowledge for those in the medical field. Between July 2021 and February 2022, the CCHH ECHO program executed twenty-two weekly telementoring sessions for healthcare professionals. The sessions were attended by 804 unique participants from 44 U.S. states and 25 countries, including nurses (24.7%), physicians (16.8%), and public health professionals (8.5%).
The training sessions were carefully designed to increase knowledge of climate-related health impacts and to improve climate change-related communication skills. Outcomes of the training program were published in the journal AJPM Focus in November 2022; the open-access version of the article was just made available here. CEE Division Chief David Herring helped design and conduct the CCHH ECHO project and served as a co-author on the article. In addition to David, other CPO subject expert presenters included Juli Trtanj and Hunter Jones, NOAA OneHealth and NIHHIS Team Leaders.
Post-course evaluation results show that the program:
- improved knowledge and self-efficacy among participating clinicians,
- improved climate literacy for health professionals,
- promoted greater awareness of federal climate science resources among health professionals and boosted their capacity to use them, and
- and filled a large knowledge gap in their climate education training.
For more information, contact David Herring.