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Climate Change and our Health & Wellbeing

This week is Community Health & Wellbeing Week. What is it all about? It is a week long annual event by the Alliance for Healthier Communities where we, as community health centre alliance members, communicate and advocate for healthier communities. Every year, members of the Alliance tackle on a wide range of topics to bring the attention the topics that are important to our local communities and organizations. The event also provides an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the great work that our local heroes do to achieve equitable health and wellbeing for everyone in Ontario.

At the Woolwich Community Health Centre, we chose to talk about the impact of climate change in the Waterloo Region, and talk about some of the great work that is being done locally to combat climate change. We had an amazing group of panelists that covered a wide variety of local topics and issues in our communities:

  • Brandie Bevis - Health Promotion & Research Analyst - Region of Waterloo

  • Susan Bryant - Coordinator of Elmira's APT Environment

  • Kate Daley - Environmental Sustainability Specialist - Region of Waterloo

Check out the recording of the session below!

Some more information about the Region of Waterloo's work on the "Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment":

Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment

Region of Waterloo Public Health and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health recently released the Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment for Waterloo Region, Wellington County, Dufferin County, and the City of Guelph (CCHVA). The CCHVA outlines local climate change projections, describes patterns of climate-related vulnerability, provides baseline health information, and shares existing adaptive capacity in the local community. It also explores how climate change interacts with the social determinants of health in ways that worsen existing health inequities. The report includes the following focus areas: extreme temperatures, ultraviolet radiation, extreme weather food- and water-borne illnesses, air quality, vector-borne and zoonotic diseases, and mental health impacts due to climate change.

Additional products are available to help with knowledge transfer and ease of use, including infographics and a brief highlight report:

Readers are encouraged to use the CCHVA to inform program prioritization; policy, adaptation, strategic, or master planning; as well as to stimulate new research questions and support research currently underway.

Additional Data Highlights:

· Weather in Waterloo Region is expected to become warmer, wetter, and wilder

· A rapid risk assessment revealed that now and into the future, extreme heat is a key issue of concern with broad population exposure, and an increased likelihood to disproportionally affect vulnerable populations such as older adults and children

· Climate change has an impact on a variety of health outcomes and will affect some groups more than others, particularly

• seniors, individuals with chronic diseases and/or compromised immune systems, children and infants, people experiencing social or economic disadvantage (e.g., low-income, housing insecure), Indigenous Peoples, and residents of remote communities


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