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NC To Participate In New Project To Help Health Clinics Address Climate Change

a heart rate monitor machine
Anna Shvets
File photo of a heart rate monitor machine.

Harvard University is launching a years-long pilot program in four states, including North Carolina, to help health clinics build climate resiliency.

The goal of the program is to develop resources that will allow clinics to continue providing health services during natural disasters, which are happening more frequently because of climate change.

The program also wants to address the increasing risk of illnesses caused by climate change, like heat stroke.

Mark Scheerer is the Deputy Director of the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, one of the organizations participating in the program. He says people often don't realize that climate change can affect people's health.

"I think we all have to be aware of what the climate is doing to the environment and how it's going to impact our health," Scheerer said. "Hopefully by bringing about more awareness, we can help people see that we need to make some changes."

For now, the program is working to build a toolkit that will include a decision guide for clinic managers to use during extreme weather.

Celeste Gracia covers the environment for WUNC. She has been at the station since September 2019 and started off as morning producer.
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