The AAMC responded on May 13 to a request for information (RFI) from House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) regarding the climate crisis and the health care sector, including ways in which stakeholders are working to address decarbonization.
The AAMC’s response highlighted the association’s independent work to lead and serve its members, as well as efforts through partnerships with other national organizations, to address the impacts of climate change on member institutions, the patients they serve, and their communities. It also emphasized the health care provider community’s work to address its own impact on climate change.
The AAMC response specifically focused on several key academic medicine activities and issues including:
- The leadership role played by AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and Chief Academic Officer Alison J. Whelan, MD, on the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector. Skorton co-leads the collaborative’s Health Professional Education and Communication Working Group, with partnership from Whelan.
- Concerns about the future impact of climate-related disasters on AAMC members’ operations such as maintaining and improving physical infrastructure and minimizing disruptions; the economic, social, and health inequities on historically marginalized communities; and the need for adequate support for public health infrastructure to help understand, analyze, and identify solutions, and mitigate the impacts of severe weather events on health.
- Efforts by academic medicine systems to partner on issues of environmental justice with the socially and economically disadvantaged groups in their communities that face the greatest risks from climate change.
- The need for federal financial support that would assist academic medical centers in the initial capital investments for sustainability and resiliency projects.
The Ways and Means Committee issued a similar RFI to select hospital systems in March, many of them AAMC members, as part of the committee’s efforts to learn about best practices in the industry and discover opportunities to support organizations in addressing their climate impacts.