The University of Washington School of Public Health has opened a new center devoted to developing and promoting innovative approaches to understanding and managing the impact of global environmental change on human health.
The Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHANGE), led by Dr. Kristie Ebi, unites faculty, trainees and students from across the University of Washington. It conducts research and policy analysis, education and training, and provides technical assistance and capacity building.
Dr. Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences, has more than two decades of experience collaborating with governments and communities on preparing and adapting to the emerging health risks.
Human activities are changing the planet, with consequences for human health and well-being that will only increase as environmental change accelerates. Negative health outcomes include increases in illnesses and injuries related to extreme weather and climate events, and population displacements; under-nutrition; respiratory diseases; and climate-sensitive infectious diseases such as malaria, Lyme and diarrheal diseases.
Health systems, especially those in the least-developed countries, are inadequately prepared to manage these outcomes.