Date: August 25, 2021
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
1828 L Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036
These comments are being submitted on behalf of Moms Clean Air Force regarding PCORI’s request for public comment about its proposed National Priorities for Health. They are intended to apply to the full set of national priorities.
Moms Clean Air Force is a national community of over one million moms and dads united against air pollution including the urgent crisis of our changing global climate to protect our children’s health. We envision a safe, stable, and equitable future where all children breathe clean air. We believe protecting children’s health is a non-partisan issue and accordingly, we are deeply engaged with national and local policy issues and policy makers to identify and implement solutions consistent with our mission.
Therefore, Moms Clean Air Force members and their families offer these comments from the perspective of both patients and stakeholders.
Moms Clean Air Force’s considers one of our greatest strengths to be the ability to translate how the personal stories of our members relate to the human connection between climate and health. From this perspective, we perceive that patient centered outcomes include a commitment to integrating a patient’s lived experience with relevant research and healthcare. For us, this means acknowledging the inextricable relationship between climate and physical health, mental health, and social determinants of health.
Because of PCORI’s influence as a national leader and role model for all private and public research strategies affecting patient and clinician engagement, we believe that it is critical that PCORI’s national priority agenda reflect climate as a factor in patient outcomes not only for purposes of health equity, but also in every aspect of PCORI’s national priority agenda. Recognizing that Moms Clean Air Force is not an organization of primarily scientists and technical experts, we do, however, rely upon evidence based research in support of our position.
We call to your attention the following reports and the research upon which they are based:
- United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.
- The 2020 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: responding to converging crises
- The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4)
Three urgent and important takeaways are common to these three reports:
- Climate change already affects human health and well-being. Climate change’s adverse health consequences are predicted to worsen unless swift interventions are undertaken.
- People and communities are differentially exposed to climate change hazards and may be disproportionately affected by climate related health risks. Children, older adults, low-income communities, and communities of color experience greater risks and burdens.
- Healthcare professionals have a central role in health system adaptation and mitigation, identifying climate and health impacts, providing patient education in understanding and maximizing the health benefits of any intervention, and in communicating risks.
Recommendations for modification of the National Priorities for Health
For the reasons stated in these comments, Moms Clean Air Force strongly recommends, 1) that climate change be incorporated into and its visibility be elevated in the full set of PCORI’s National Priorities for Health and 2) that PCORI fund communication strategies for health issues and outcomes related to climate change and health with special focus on vulnerable communities.
We appreciate the opportunity to provide comments and ask that any questions regarding these comments and Moms Clean Air Force’s recommendations be directed to Almeta E. Cooper, Moms Clean Air Force Georgia Field Coordinator at the email address below.
Respectfully submitted by:
Dominique Browning Co-founder and Director Moms Clean Air Force
Almeta E. Cooper Georgia Field Coordinator Moms Clean Air Force