Dr. Kate Weinberger, the first graduate of the Mailman School of Public Health’s PhD program on Climate and Health, was invited to speak at the White House on June 23 contributing her expertise on public health training to a burgeoning conversation on climate change and human health. The White House event, “Your Health and Our Environment: How Can We Protect Both?” brought public health researchers, medical professionals, academic leadership, and other stakeholders to the capital to consider the public health agenda on climate change and advance the goals President Obama introduced in an April 6 Presidential Proclamation.
“The next generation of public health professionals cares deeply about the health effects of climate change,” said Dr. Weinberger at a session devoted to the training needs of public health students. “This is because we see it not only as one of the greatest environmental and public health challenges of the coming decades, but also as an opportunity to create climate solutions that will also have broader benefits for population health, especially in vulnerable communities.”
This fall, Dr. Weinberger will be a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society at Brown University where she will be examining vulnerability to extreme heat and storms in New England.
Reflecting on the kind of training that public health schools need to provide those who will be at the forefront of climate and health research, Dr. Weinberger cited the importance of programs that combine research on climate change with core public health subjects such as epidemiology, and that train young scientists to communicate the health risks of climate change to all public health students, policy-makers, and the public.