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MOVING THE NEEDLE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
Local action is critical for climate adaptation efforts. To support local health departments in addressing climate change in their communities, NYSACHO and the NYSDOH embarked on an interactive project in early 2020. The intention was to enable local health departments to identify their climate adaptation priorities, identify local partners to work with to address those priorities, and encourage participation in a workshop to “move the needle” on climate adaptation efforts. We greatly appreciate the time and thought that the staff in local health departments contributed to the discussions around their priority climate adaptations.
Together, NYSACHO and NYSDOH proposed five regional meetings in New York State to engage local health departments and key local government agencies in climate and health related activities. These meetings were intended to provide local health departments and their partners the opportunity to discuss collaboration on local climate and health adaptations. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, it became increasingly clear that local health departments were completely engaged in response activities and even virtual workshops were not practical. For this reason, the project was put on hold. However, we thought it was important to share what we have learned to date and provide resources we have gathered to support ongoing efforts. For now, we hope that this Climate and Health Adaptation: Moving the Needle at the Local Level project summary and collection of resources is helpful for any county level discussions taking place.