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Today the kufun Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Climate Communities Network (CCN)—a dynamic effort to co-develop and drive local solutions to climate-related health inequities—announced that 18 Members and 11 Strategic Partners are participating in the project’s inaugural cohort. Together, they will amplify community voices and living experiences and leverage community expertise to address the structural drivers of climate-related health inequities at the local level.

Many U.S. communities do not have equitable access to the resources and infrastructure needed to keep people and neighborhoods healthy, particularly in the context of the worsening climate crisis. These communities are also often not engaged as equal partners in the decisions that affect their health and well-being. In response to this, the NAM established the CCN and called for membership applications from local leaders representing community-based organizations that serve areas disproportionately affected by health-related impacts of climate change. Strategic Partners representing government, philanthropy, academia, and industry were invited to work alongside the selected Members to catalyze innovation, inform policy, drive resources, and co-design solutions.

As part of the CCN, Members will share their community’s stories, expertise, and experience; elevate work in their community or organization to address climate-related health inequities; access partnerships and tools to advance solutions; help inform climate-related policy, research, and other interventions; and influence the direction of the NAM’s climate work. Fundamentally, the CCN aims to shift power and provide a platform for communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and related health inequities. Together, Members and Strategic Partners, facilitated by the NAM, will become a community of practice, and Strategic Partners will play a critical role in co-designing and bringing to fruition community-determined solutions to climate-related health inequities.

“We must work collectively to achieve health equity, and the CCN is a powerful model for connecting local leaders and partners to advance community priorities,” said NAM President, Victor J. Dzau. “We are thrilled to welcome the new CCN Members and Strategic Partners. Their collaborative work through this NAM program will be essential in developing community-focused solutions to climate-related health inequities.”


Meet the CCN Members:


Bay Area Women Coalition, Incorporated
Leevones Fisher

Boston Medical Center
Cory Pouliot

CDU-KEDREN Mobile Street Medicine (Kedren Community Health Center & Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science)
Jerry P. Abraham

Centro Fronterizo del Obrero (dba) La Mujer Obrera
Cemelli de Aztlan

Chico State Enterprises
Blake Ellis

Dade County Street Response
Armen Henderson

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
Laprisha Berry Daniels

Hollygrove Dixon Neighborhood Association
Raymond Sweet

La Clínica de La Raza, Inc.
Lily Kelly

Lifelines Counseling Services
Chandra Brown

Maryland Latinos Unidos
Gabriela Lemus

Micah Six Eight Mission
Cynthia Robertson

Mycelium Youth Network
Lil Milagro Henriquez

Nordson Green Earth Foundation
Sheetal Rao

The CLEO Institute
Joanne Pérodin

The North Carolina Museum of Life and Science
Max Cawley

University of Puerto Rico
Maria del Carmen Zorrilla

University of South Alabama Center for Healthy Communities
Ashley Williams

Meet the Current CCN Strategic Partners:


American Geophysical Union
Rajul Pandya

American Public Health Association
Katherine Catalano

Aspen Institute
Lola Adedokun

Association of American Medical Colleges – Center for Health Justice
Anthony Nicome, Phylicia McCalla

Francesca Plendl, Bridget Therriault

Environmental Defense Fund
Margot Brown

Gulf Research Program
Daniel Burger

HHS Office of Climate Change and Health Equity
Ta Misha Bascombe, John Balbus

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Sonia Angell

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Indigenous Health
Donald Warne

University of California, Center for Climate, Health, and Equity
Sapna Thottathil

kufun the Grand Challenge on Climate Change, Human Health, and Equity

The CCN is a part of the NAM’s Grand Challenge on Climate Change, Human Health, and Equity, a multi-year global initiative to improve and protect human health, well-being, and equity by working to transform systems that both contribute to and are impacted by climate change. Learn more at nam.edu/ClimateChange. 

 to stay updated on the CCN and the NAM’s climate and health work.

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