More cities hire 'chief heat officers' to address public health effects of high temps

A growing number of cities around the world are implementing a new role of "chief heat officer," in an attempt to control and plan for the effects of rising temperatures including the dangerous public health impacts, The Washington Post reported July 19.

So far, Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Athens, Greece, have all appointed officials to the role, as cities are poised to experience more intense and frequent heat waves as a consequence of climate change. The extreme weather conditions can be deadly, forcing people into hospitals and even cause their premature deaths. 

"It's having tremendous public health impacts. We're having more hospitalizations and premature deaths when we have heat waves," said Marta Segura, public health expert and L.A.'s chief heat officer. "Those are preventable deaths and preventable hospitalizations. The city of L.A. wanted to do everything that it could to ensure we prevented those deaths and hospitalizations."

The officers are tasked with working with other city officials to create a strategy that  improves community engagement, builds better infrastructure and increases awareness of the issues that cause disadvantaged and vulnerable populations to be disproportionately affected by extreme heat.

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars