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{Past Event} - Webinar: Preparing for climate emergencies

October 30, 2018 - 1:00 pm - October 30, 2018 - 2:00 pm -- Eastern Daylight Time


This webinar, led by emergency medicine physicians at the forefront of the intersection of climate change and health, will outline the current and predicted impacts of extreme weather events on emergency departments and health care systems. Recent extreme weather events will serve as case studies as experts discuss health impacts and opportunities for preparedness and resilience planning.

Climate-related extreme weather events cause injury, illness, disruption in medical treatment, exacerbation of chronic disease, population displacement, and adverse mental health effects. These health impacts significantly increase burdens in emergency departments on the front lines of disaster leadership, response, and care for vulnerable populations. 

Extreme weather events can disrupt infrastructure, including utilities, transportation, and communication systems, critical to maintaining access to emergency services and health care. Hospital supply chains may also be disrupted, leading to shortages of essential pharmaceuticals and medical devices. 

This webinar is the second in a three-part series, “Climate and health: An emergency medicine perspective.” Participate in the others on Sept. 20 and Nov. 15.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the role of emergency medicine in preparing for extreme weather events.
  • Discuss geographically relevant climate risks and vulnerable populations.
  • Learn strategies for emergency department and  hospital-wide resilience through case studies.


Dr. Paul Biddinger

Center for Disaster Medicine director and Massachusetts General Hospital emergency preparedness vice chairman

Dr. Paul Biddinger is director of the Center for Disaster Medicine and is vice chairman for emergency preparedness in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. He is also the medical director for emergency preparedness at MGH and at Partners Healthcare. He is an associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Renee Salas

Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital emergency medicine instructor

Dr. Renee Salas is an instructor in Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She is affiliated faculty and a Burke Fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute, where she is advancing climate and health research, education, and advocacy with a special focus on the health and health care impacts of climate-sensitive extreme weather events. She founded and currently chairs the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine’s Climate Change and Health Interest Group.

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