National Academy of Medicine

Rising to the Health Risks of Climate Change

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) was founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to provide independent, evidence-based advice on health, medicine, and biomedical science. Over the decades, the NAM established its reputation as a trusted advisor with, as the New York Times put it, the power “to transform medical thinking around the world”.

Among its many impacts over the 50 years since its founding, the NAM established the public health research agenda for HIV/AIDS, catalyzed the quality and safety movement in US healthcare, gave data-based support for the safety of childhood vaccinations, helped shape the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and informed the global response and follow up to the outbreaks of Ebola and Zika.

Elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1982, Judith Rodin currently co-chairs, with Dr. Philip Pizzo, former Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, a joint NAM/NAS working group on the impact of climate change on human health and disease. Climate change represents one of the most significant threats to human health in the 21st century. Moreover, the negative impacts of climate change on health disproportionately affect the very young and very old, people who are ill, impoverished or homeless, and populations most dependent on the natural environment for survival. The subcommittee will address these critical issues.

To learn more about the NAM’s Climate Change and Human Health Initiative, visit their website.