Maricopa County experiences extreme weather, including heat waves, dust storms, drought, wildfires, flooding, and poor air quality events. Such occurrences are known as climate-sensitive hazards, and these hazards could be further affected by long-term changes to the climate (temperature, precipitation, or other weather conditions). These climate-sensitive hazards pose a threat to public health and can worsen underlying health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses.
While all populations within Maricopa County may be affected by climate-sensitive hazards, some are more vulnerable than others, including children and older adults; individuals with physical/cognitive impairment; individuals living in poverty; individuals using certain prescription medications; or individuals experiencing homelessness.
In 2015, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health was selected by the Public Health Institute to join The Climate Change and Public Health Learning Collaborative for Urban Health Departments and receive financial support to incorporate climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience work into local public health department program practice.
The Bridging Climate Change and Public Health (BCCPH) Strategic Plan was developed through stakeholder meetings and derived by a workgroupconsisting of internal partners within MCDPH and external governmental agencies, local community organizations, and academia. Through this plan, the County intends to support development of interventions that address climate-sensitive hazards.