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Seminar | Decision and Infrastructure Sciences Division

Climate Change and Health in Illinois

DIS Seminar

Abstract: Illinois experienced more than 1,500 flood events from 2000 to 2018; the number of Lyme disease cases in Illinois are rising and new ticks are emerging; 10% of adult Illinoisans have an adult chronic lung disease; and If carbon pollution emissions are not substantially reduced, heat waves like the 1995 Chicago heat wave — which killed more than 700 people — could occur as often as once every 2 years by 2050. Climate change is leading to rising temperatures, increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and worsening air quality. These environmental changes are leading to an increased risk of heat-related illness, waterborne diseases, vectorborne diseases, mental health challenges, and exacerbated respiratory health illnesses. Climate change has already begun to impact human health in Illinois, will strain public health systems, and will disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color.

Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) Illinois is a CDC-funded program that is to build the capacity of Illinois’ public health system to better address the health effects from climate change. This talk will describe the health effects of climate change, climate and health inequities, and the strategies developed by BRACE-Illinois to address them

Bio: Elena Grossman is the Program Director for BRACE-Illinois,  a partnership between the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health to help prepare Illinois for the health effects from climate change. She develops education and training tools on climate change and health; facilitates the strategic process for local health departments to address climate change; develops and manages the evaluation plan for BRACE-Illinois; researches the relationships between climate change and health as well as intervention and communication strategies to address them; and collaborates in developing and writing state reports on climate change and health.  Elena holds a B.A. in Spanish and international relations from Franklin & Marshall College, and an MPH in community health sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a concentration in global health.