Climate resilience planning

Virtual cohort group


In 2022, over 600 Practice Greenhealth facilities signed onto the HHS pledge and publicly committed to "develop and release a climate resilience plan for continuous operations by the end of 2023, anticipating the needs of groups in their community that experience a disproportionate risk of climate-related harm." Drawing from Health Care Without Harm's resilience framework of "facilities, community, and public infrastructure," this cohort provides guidance and a structured approach for drafting climate resilience plans for health systems that have signed onto the HHS Pledge.

Cohort participants must have the authority to serve in this role on behalf of their organization.

Target audience: HHS Pledge signers

Shanda Demorest Facilitator:
Shanda Demorest 


“Valley has pledged to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, building more climate resilient infrastructure, and more, as part of the Health Care Sector Climate Pledge,” said Audrey Meyers, President and CEO of Valley Health System. “We are proud and delighted to join this pledge.”

Below are just a few partners that have signed the HHS Pledge.

  • Advocate Aurora Health
  • Ascension
  • Aspirus 
  • Atlantic Health System
  • Atrium Health
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • CommonSpirit
  • Gundersen Health System
  • Hackensack Meridian Health
  • HealthPartners
  • Henry Ford Health System 
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Keck Medicine of USC
  • Legacy Health
  • Mount Sinai Health System
  • Northwell Health 
  • NYU Langone
  • Providence
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • UW Medicine
  • The Valley Health System
  • Wellspan Health


2023 Schedule

Cohort participants will learn how to write a component or section of their climate resilience plan by attending each session. They will also receive associated resources to guide their success. 

The sessions have been designed to assist participants in engaging additional relevant stakeholders or staff based on the topic to be covered (e.g. topic emergency preparedness; suggested stakeholders to invite include emergency preparedness or risk management). Please see stakeholder recommendations for each session topic below.

Attending each session is critical to maintaining the pace necessary to draft a climate resilience plan to meet the HHS Pledge requirement by the end of 2023. Also, participants will have the opportunity to share drafts of their plan with peers for feedback between cohort sessions.

If you are a participant of this cohort and not familiar with or have accessed the cohort's microsite for further session details and resources, please contact Shanda as soon as possible.

March 22, 2023 2:00 PM EST

Topic: Emergency preparedness (Suggested audience: Emergency preparedness or risk management)

Discussion questions:

  1. What is your health system's current process for emergency preparedness planning, and who is involved?
  2. What assessments are included as part of your system's emergency preparedness planning, and how can your system's current plan serve as a primer for a broader climate resilience plan?
  3. How do climate hazards/vulnerabilities currently show up in this emergency preparedness planning, and what key aspects of climate resilience are missing from your current plan?


Key dates:

March 23-May 2: Draft (or amend) emergency preparedness plan
May 3: Exchange draft emergency preparedness plan with peer
June 14: Provide feedback on peer’s draft emergency preparedness plan
June 15-27: Revise the emergency preparedness plan

June 28, 2023 2:00 PM EST 

Topic: Facility resilience (Suggested audience: Facilities/operations)

Discussion questions:

  1. What is the current state of your system's built infrastructure (including facility access), and what aspects are in need of urgent attention based on your region's climate vulnerabilities? 
  2. What further assessment, planning, and implementation steps are needed to ensure more climate-resilient facilities within your health system? 
  3. What funding mechanisms need to be explored to support this type of resilience work?


Key dates:

June 29-Aug 1: Draft (or amend) facility resilience plan
Aug 2: Exchange draft facility resilience plan with peer
Sept 13: Provide feedback on peer’s draft facility resilience plan
Sept 14-26: Revise facility resilience plan

September 27, 2023 2:00 PM EST 

Topic: Community health resilience (Suggested audience: Community health)

Discussion questions:

  1. What strategies do you use to engage with, build relationships with, and understand needs and assets of community members and community organizations?
  2. What opportunities exist to collaborate with providers, community members, community organizations, and government agencies to build community health and resilience?
  3. How does your organization see its responsibility for community care in the face of an extreme weather event, and how might this show up in a climate resilience plan?


Key dates:

Sept 28-Oct 10: Draft (or amend) community health resilience plan
Oct 11: Exchange draft community health resilience plan with peer
Oct 25: Provide feedback on peer’s draft community health resilience plan
Oct 26-31: Revise community health resilience plan

November 1, 2023 2:00 PM EST

Topic: Public infrastructure resilience (Suggested audience: Government relations)

Discussion questions:

  1. How might your organization fare in the face of public infrastructure failure in transportation, water treatment, telecommunications, or utility distribution? What further resources and conversations need exploration?
  2. What learnings from supply chain disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic can be applied to resilience planning for public infrastructure?
  3. Which local or regional entities are key to partner with to bolster public infrastructure resilience, and what are the next steps for engaging them?


Key dates:

Nov 2-21: Draft (or amend) public infrastructure resilience plan
Nov 22: Exchange draft public infrastructure resilience plan with peer
Dec 13: Provide feedback on peer’s draft public infrastructure resilience plan
Dec 13-27: Finalize draft of complete climate resilience plan


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