The MGH Institute’s Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health continues to expand its reach and influence.

It has joined the Nurses Climate Challenge, a national campaign to educate 50,000 health professionals on the impacts of climate change on human health, led by Health Care Without Harm and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. Challenge members will mobilize nurses to engage and educate other health professionals and students on the importance of taking action to protect the health of their patients and communities from the worst impacts of climate change. 

“This is another example of the Center’s commitment to addressing climate change and identifying its effect on health care and patients,” said Dr. Patrice Nicholas, the Center’s director. “By taking part, we can ensure that our faculty incorporate the subject when teaching students.”

The Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health, founded in 2018, is a first-of-its-kind, nurse-led initiative that focuses on addressing ways all health care professionals can respond to the impact of climate change and help improve such things as ensuring access to safe drinking water, growing a sufficient amount of healthy food, creating safe, clean environments that can improve ecosystems, and raising awareness of the connection between climate change, racial injustice, and the health disparities that disproportionately affect Black and Latino communities.

Nursing students at the Institute already receive some climate and health content in their curricula, said Nicholas, but the goal is to have the subject included in classes for all nursing students in the Institute’s bachelor, masters, and doctorate programs. The Center’s long-term goal is to incorporate climate change education in the IHP’s other academic programs.

“We believe a partnership of the MGH Institute’s Climate Center and the Nurses Climate
Challenge can help achieve the overarching goal of preparing all nurses to better care for patients and communities in a world with a changing climate,” said Dr. Shanda Demorest, a spokesperson for the campaign. 

In 2019, the IHP became the first academic member of the Nursing Collaborative on Climate Change and Health, an initiative created by the nonprofit organizations Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and Climate for Health.