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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2016 Sep;40(3):174-180.

Enhancing the sustainability and climate resiliency of health care facilities: a comparison of initiatives and toolkits.

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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.
Health Canada, Climate Change and Health Office, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Washington, DC, United States.
PAHO, Special Program of Sustainable Development and Health Equity, Washington, DC, United States.
PAHO, Department on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief, Washington, DC, United States.
Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, Branchton, Ontario, Canada.
World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland.


Extreme weather events have revealed the vulnerability of health care facilities and the extent of devastation to the community when they fail. With climate change anticipated to increase extreme weather and its impacts worldwide-severe droughts, floods, heat waves, and related vector-borne diseases-health care officials need to understand and address the vulnerabilities of their health care systems and take action to improve resiliency in ways that also meet sustainability goals. Generally, the health sector is among a country's largest consumers of energy and a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Now it has the opportunity lead climate mitigation, while reducing energy, water, and other costs. This Special Report summarizes several initiatives and compares three toolkits for implementing sustainability and resiliency measures for health care facilities: the Canadian Health Care Facility Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit, the U.S. Sustainable and Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities Toolkit, and the PAHO SMART Hospitals Toolkit of the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization. These tools and the lessons learned can provide a critical starting point for any health system in the Americas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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