The Intersection of Climate Change, Public Health, and Equity

Session 5B | Thursday | 9:00 – 10:15 AM PT

About the Session

There is a growing body of evidence that people in underserved and underrepresented areas don't have the resources to cope with climate change and will likely suffer the worst consequences. Climate change will disproportionately burden Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities and communities with higher rates of poverty. Planners have a profound role to play in building partnerships, community engagement, communicating needs and challenges, and ensuring services and infrastructure to best address these needs are integrated into long and short-range plans. This session will bring together planners and health practitioners to present tools to generate location-specific analyses of GHG emissions, climate hazards, and health and environmental burdens and address important questions including: How do you have climate solutions that not only protect health but protect health equity, and what are the health and health equity benefits of some of the climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies?  University of Washington interns completing their Practicum at the WA Department of Health will present their research evaluating the health co-benefits of climate mitigation measures in connection with the Washington State Department of Commerce Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Guidance for local governments.

About the Moderator

Paula Reeves, AICP, CTP
Washington State Department of Health

Paula Reeves, AICP CTP has been planning and developing public policy, programs, and infrastructure projects for over twenty years with a focus on health and sustainability. She came to the Washington State Department of Health, Environmental Public Health Division, in 2018, from the Washington State Department of Transportation where she managed the Community Design Office providing a range of policy, planning, and engineering services to cities, counties, and special districts across the state. Several of Paula's policy and program development accomplishments include creating Washington's Safe Routes to Schools, Bicycle and Pedestrian and Complete Streets Programs, establishing Washington as the most bicycle-friendly state in the nation, and securing a federal grant thru the Center for Disease Control to modernize Washington's Growth Management Act. She has also traveled around the US doing community design work for major metropolitan areas with the American Institute of Architects, Sustainable Design Assessment Team. Paula is a practicing mediator in Thurston County, immediate Past President of the American Planning Association (APA) Washington Chapter, and 2018 recipient of the Robert Burke Award for distinguished service from APA. In 2016, Paula received Alumnus of the Year from her alma matar, University of Florida, Architecture College, where she completed her Masters's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.

About the Speakers

Marnie Boardman
Washington State Dept of Health

Marnie Boardman is the Climate & Health Coordinator at the Washington State Department of Health since November 2015. She is developing ways for people across the public health workforce to enhance their knowledge of climate-related data, adaptation plans, and tools so that practitioners in all areas of public health have the information they need to increase the resilience of future public health systems and services in a changing future. She seeks to identify areas where public health can collaborate with traditional and non-traditional partners to address and avert the worst health consequences of climate change. Marnie previously served as coordinator of the Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a population health survey, and the Washington Tracking Network where she worked on community environmental health assessment. Marnie came to DOH 12 years ago after completing a Public Health Prevention Specialist fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to obtaining a Masters's in Public Health from the University of Michigan, she worked for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Gopal Mulukutla, Ph.D.
Washington State Department of Health

Gopal Mulukutla, Ph.D. is a Water and Climate Policy Specialist at the WA State Department of Health since March 2022, providing support on issues related to toxic algal blooms and climate change. Prior to coming to DOH, he worked for 10 years as a post-doctoral researcher and Research Scientist at the University of New Hampshire, focusing research on water quality, nutrient pollution, and strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change and anthropogenic land use on water quality in coastal river systems and estuaries. He has worked extensively in developing innovative technological and data solutions to capture hydrologic and biogeochemical characteristics of riverine, lake, reservoir, and estuarine systems, as well as for environmental monitoring. His research has resulted in several peer-reviewed research articles in prestigious journals. A lead recipient of a patent in the area of image analysis and pattern recognition, he has an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, and graduate and doctoral degrees in Ocean Engineering.

Tripura Talagadadeevi
Washington State Department of Health

Tripura Talagadadeevi is a climate change researcher, focusing on the interactions between health systems, human movement, and disease trends. She is currently a second year Master’s student in the Global Epidemiology program at the University of Washington School of Public Health and is obtaining a certificate through the Center for Health and Global Environment. She is currently a researcher for Sinergias, supporting cross-cultural health efforts through the strengthening of community practices in the Amazon region of Colombia. Prior to joining Sinergias, Tripura worked as a research assistant on the Environmental Health Disparities Mapping Tool 2022 project, tracking environmental injustice and authoring the new technical report. In the meantime, she continues to explore her interest in the intersection of infectious diseases and climate change.

Carole Green
Washington State Department of Health

Carole Green is a climate change and health researcher, currently working with Washington State Department of Health to analyze health co-benefits of climate policy. She is obtaining her Master's in Public Health in Global Health from University of Washington, with a certificate through the Center for Health and the Global Environment. She is the Adaptation, Planning, and Resilience Research Fellow with the Lancet Countdown, where she works with experts in the field to track global indicators of health adaptation. Prior to joining the Lancet Countdown, Carole worked in international forecasting, specializing in the literature on climate and societal scenarios. She continues research around climate and societal forecasting, leading an updated literature database project with the International Committee on New Integrated Climate Change Assessment Scenarios (ICONICS).

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