NUR-428VN Grand Canyon University – Research public health issues on the “Climate Change” or “Topics and Issues” pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website.


Research public health issues on the “Climate Change” or “Topics and Issues” pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. health care delivery system and examine its effect on a specific

Follow this outline when writing the policy brief:

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  1. Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issues supported by resources.
  2. Create a problem statement.
  3. Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations, if applicable.
  4. Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system.

Include three peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.


Policy Brief: Addressing the Public Health Impacts of Climate Change on Vulnerable Populations in the U.S. Healthcare System


Climate change poses significant threats to public health, leading to adverse consequences for individuals and communities across the United States. This policy brief aims to examine the public health issue related to climate change and its impact on the U.S. healthcare delivery system, with a focus on vulnerable populations. By understanding the issue’s scope, proposing policy changes, and evaluating the impact on the healthcare system, we can better protect the health and well-being of all Americans.

Description of the Policy Health Issue

a) Affected Population: Climate change impacts everyone; however, certain populations, such as low-income communities, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and children, are particularly vulnerable (National Academies Press (US), 2017). These populations often experience disproportionate health burdens due to limited access to healthcare, social determinants of health, and increased exposure to environmental risks associated with climate change.

b) Level of Occurrence: The health impacts of climate change occur at multiple levels, including local, state, and national. However, the effects can vary across different regions based on geographic factors, socio-economic conditions, and existing healthcare infrastructure.

c) Evidence and Resources: The scientific consensus on climate change and its implications for public health is supported by numerous reputable sources. Three peer-reviewed sources that provide valuable insights into this issue are:

Frumkin, H., Hess, J., Luber, G., Malilay, J., & McGeehin, M. (2008). Climate change: The public health response. American Journal of Public Health, 98(3), 435-445.

Balbus, J. M., Crimmins, A., Gamble, J. L., Easterling, D. R., Kunkel, K. E., Saha, S., … & Sarofim, M. C. (2016). The health risks of climate change in the United States: A scientific assessment. US Global Change Research Program.

Watts, N., Adger, W. N., Agnolucci, P., Blackstock, J., Byass, P., Cai, W., … & Cox, P. M. (2015). Health and climate change: Policy responses to protect public health. The Lancet, 386(10006), 1861-1914.

Problem Statement: The current policy framework inadequately addresses the public health impacts of climate change within the U.S. healthcare system. Insufficient emphasis on prevention, limited resources for vulnerable populations, and fragmented coordination among stakeholders have hindered effective mitigation and adaptation efforts. As a result, vulnerable populations experience increased morbidity and mortality due to climate-related health conditions, exacerbating health inequities across the nation.

Suggestions for Addressing the Health Issue: To address the health issue caused by the current policy, the following steps should be taken:

a) Initiate Policy Change: Policymakers at all levels should prioritize climate change as a public health issue and integrate it into relevant policies, programs, and guidelines (Jabakhanji et al., 2022). This requires engaging stakeholders, including government officials, public health administrators, healthcare providers, community organizations, and researchers.

b) Enhance Funding and Resources: Adequate funding should be allocated to support research, surveillance systems, and the development and implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. This includes investing in healthcare infrastructure, improving access to primary care and preventive services, and promoting climate resilience in vulnerable communities.

c) Strengthen Interagency Collaboration: Coordination between federal, state, and local agencies is crucial to address the multifaceted nature of climate change and its health impacts. Collaboration across sectors, including health, environment, energy, and transportation, should be fostered to develop comprehensive and integrated policies and programs.

Impact on the Health Care Delivery System

Addressing the public health impacts of climate change will have profound implications for the U.S. healthcare delivery system. By proactively addressing climate-related health risks, we can improve population health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs associated with climate-sensitive conditions, and promote health equity (Dupraz & Burnand, 2021). Integrating climate change considerations into healthcare delivery can enhance preparedness, resilience, and the ability to respond effectively to climate-related emergencies and disasters.


Climate change presents a significant public health challenge in the United States, particularly for vulnerable populations. By recognizing the issue, implementing policy changes, and strengthening the healthcare delivery system’s capacity to address climate-related health risks, we can safeguard the well-being of communities nationwide. It is essential to collaborate across sectors, allocate sufficient resources, and prioritize the health of future generations in the face of climate change.


Dupraz, J., & Burnand, B. (2021). Role of Health Professionals Regarding the Impact of Climate Change on Health—An Exploratory Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(6), 3222. 

Jabakhanji, S. B., Arnold, S. R., Aunan, K., Chersich, M., Jakobsson, K., McGushin, A., Kelly, I., Roche, N., Stauffer, A., & Stanistreet, D. (2022). Public Health Measures to Address the Impact of Climate Change on Population Health—Proceedings from a Stakeholder Workshop. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(20), 13665. 

National Academies Press (US). (2017, January 11). The Root Causes of Health Inequity. Communities in Action – NCBI Bookshelf. 


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