Health care systems are on the front lines of the climate crisis — anchoring disaster response while coping with growing health impacts from heatwaves, wildfires and other weather-related threats. Hardest hit are America’s essential hospitals, which care for the nation’s most climate-vulnerable patients.
Within this challenge lies an opportunity. Given their stature in the most-impacted communities, essential hospitals could lead a holistic approach to climate and health. But in a time of strained resources and unrelenting demand, most lack the capacity to do so. With more federal funding, essential hospitals could improve health, equity and climate resilience in the most vulnerable communities.
The need for resilience is clear: climate change is impacting human and planetary health and the window of opportunity to secure a livable future is closing fast.

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