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Health Equity and Social Vulnerability

Integrating Health Equity Into Climate Change Planning

Mom holding baby outside near a treeFrom vector-borne diseases to hazard-related injuries, we expect an increase in a multitude of health risks. Certain populations, like tribal communities, communities of color, underinvested rural communities, low-income households, outdoor workers, children, pregnant women and elders are more vulnerable to these health risks.

In addition to exasperating current inequities, climate change also presents intergenerational inequities. Since greenhouse gases persist in the atmosphere for centuries, taking action today helps us prepare and protect the future health of our children and grandchildren.

Advancing health equity is at the core of our mission in Oregon’s Public Health Division. The Climate and Health Program is building on this commitment and working toward climate equity, where no person shoulders a heavier burden of climate impacts due to social or economic circumstances.

Oregon Climate Equity Blueprint

As part of our participation in the Oregon Climate Change Adaptation Framework project, OHA led an interagency climate equity workgroup that developed a new Climate Equity Blueprint intended to help Oregon’s State agencies use Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) best practices in climate adaptation planning and action. 

Vulnerability Assessment

OHA is currently working with other State agencies to explore how climate vulnerability assessments can be integrated across sectors. 

In 2015, OHA published a vulnerability assessment that focuses specifically on social vulnerability as a way to integrate the concepts of social determinants and environmental justice into long-term climate change planning. We hope to build off of this initial set of maps, adding measures of hazard exposures (such as extreme heat) and measures of adaptive capacity (such as air conditioning). 

map of Oregon

2015 Social Vulnerability Assessment (pdf)
A set of maps focused on social vulnerability indicators intended for climate resilience and adaptation planning in Oregon. 


Climate Equity Resources

Climate Equity Level Setting Training Materials (pdf)
Training materials from a 2020 Interagency Climate Equity Training in Oregon

Estolano Advisors and Better World Group (2020)

Climate Change, Health, and Equity: A Guide For Local Health Departments

American Public Health Asociation (APHA), Public Health Institute, Center for Climate Change & Health (2018)

story project report cover

Climate and Health Story Project (pdf)
A set of perspectives on climate and health in Oregon.

Story Project Guide (pdf)
Guide for developing a story project as a stakeholder engagement tool

Oregon Climate and Health Program (2014)

PHI Equity Report cover

Climate Change, Health and Equity: Opportunities for Action (pdf)

Public Health Institute (2015)

Office of Equity and Inclusion logo 

Health Equity and Inclusion Strategies (pdf)
A tool for identifying opportunities to enhance equity, diversity, inclusion, and reduce disparate impact in programs and services.

Oregon Health Authority's Office of Equity and Inclusion (2015)

cover of Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity

A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity (pdf)
Incorporating equity into foundational skills of public health

CDC (2014)

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The Climate Gap: Inequality in How Climate Change Hurts Americans and How to Close the Gap (pdf)

Funded by the Annenberg Foundation, the Energy Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2010)

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Equity and Empowerment Lens

Multnomah County (2012)

graphic showing risk communication

Guidance for Integrating Culturally Diverse Communities into Planning for and Responding to Emergencies: A Toolkit (pdf)

Recommendations of the National Consensus Panel on Emergency Preparedness and Cultural Diversity (2011)

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The Roots of Health Inequity: Web-based Course for Public Health Workforce

NACCHO (2011)

Regional Equity Atlas

Regional Equity Atlas: The Portland Metro Region's Geography of Opportunity

This project is a collaboration between the Coalition for a Livable Future and Metro Regional Government (2013)