| Washington, DC — The conditions in which people live and work have a profound impact on health status and the prevalence of health inequities throughout the United States. As these social determinants of health have gained prominence among health care and public health experts, saving the planet from the devastating effects predicted by climate science has become increasingly urgent. |
The National League for Nursing has responded to the call from the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment (ANHE) for nursing organizations to lead the charge in the fight against climate change as part of the ANHE initiative: Nursing Collaborative on Climate Change and Health. This initiative is especially important as we show our support for environmental protection today during Earth Day.
“The National League for Nursing is honored to be a part of this crucial, timely endeavor,” said NLN President Patricia S. Yoder Wise, RN, EdD, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAONL, FAAN, Professor and Dean Emerita at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and president of The Wise Group. “Climate change presents an existential threat that, like the current coronavirus pandemic, requires sustained, strategic and systemic action to mitigate the long-term devastation it will inflict on communities, families and individuals.”
“Living through a global pandemic has taught us to appreciate the destructive effects of environmental and economic disruption, particularly challenging for impoverished and marginalized communities to withstand,” said NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The present circumstances reinforce the importance of preserving accessibility to clean air and water and the availability of fresh, nutritious food. Supply chains also may become strained to the breaking point with the increasing prevalence of extreme weather events like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fire and floods. It is vital that nursing education incorporate an understanding of climate science as it affects everyone, but in particular the most vulnerable sectors of our society, and prepare the next generations of nurses to assist in this battle.”
Mindful of the League’s responsibility for the health and sustainability around its Washington, DC-based headquarters, the National League for Nursing earlier this year earned a Silver Employer Ambassador designation from goDCgo, an initiative of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). To decrease congestion, improve air quality, and create a healthier living environment in the region, the League has incentivized the use of green transportation with a benefits package that reimburses staff for utilizing public transit and offers subsidized parking to people able to carpool or opt for other alternatives to solo automobile commuting.
To learn more about the NLN response to the social determinants of health, visit the NLN website.