National Primary Care Week


Climate Change and its Impact on Health Care

October 5-9, 2015

National Primary Care Week is an annual event to highlight the importance of primary care and bring health care professionals together to discuss and learn about the impacts climate change can and will have on human health and health care. NPCW’s goal is to engage physicians-in-training, students across the health care spectrum, and the general population on the indispensable role of primary care in our health care system.

How can you participate?

  1. During NPCW, participate in national webinars held Monday, October 5 through Friday, October 9, 2015. Organize a lunch lecture at your campus to participate virtually in the webinar. Topics, speakers, and schedule of webinars will be available shortly.
  2. Plan a movie matinee. Videos can generate awareness about communities with limited access to primary care and will also educate those who are interested in working in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
  3. Organize a health fair on your campus or in your community during NPCW. Provide information on food and nutrition, health promotion, and disease prevention.
  4. Set up a photo booth on your school campus during NPCW. A primary care photo booth provides a fun, but also impactful message about why students, clinicians, and primary care supporters are passionate about the field.
  5. Create your own event at your school, using the Programming Menu displayed below or Events in a Box offered by National Health Service Corps. These are some great events to plan and topics to discuss with your fellow classmates in relation to primary care.
  6. Collaborate with local ambassadors from National Health Service Corps to participate in National Corps Community Day events during NPCW. Search for a local NHSC Ambassador here.
  7. Come up with your own project/event. AMSA has put together tools and resources to help you put together a rock solid NPCW!

2015 Webinar Schedule (click on webinar title to register)

Monday, October 5

  • NPCW_JPaulson12:00 PM Eastern – Climate Change – A Health Problem of Concern to Primary Care Practitioners
  • American Academy of Pediatrics – Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP
  • Paulson practiced and taught primary care pediatrics for over 30 years. Therefore, while the presentation will skew a little towards the health impacts of climate change on children it will be of interest to all medical students concerned about the health impacts of climate change and environmental justice.
  • Click here for a pdf of Dr. Paulson’s powerpoint presentation.
  • View the webinar recording here.

  • NPCW_MGeertsmaNPCW_AAlexander8:00 PM Eastern – Fracking, Public Health, and Climate Change
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, National Physicians Alliance – Ann Alexander, JD – Meleah Geertsma, JD – Sarah Kimball, MD
  • NPA.logoA significant and growing number of scientific studies have emerged in recent years documenting a correlation between fracking activity and harm to public health. The webinar will explore recent research findings concerning the association between fracking and air toxics, birth defects and poor birth outcomes, seismic activity, and other risks to public health and safety. We will then address NRDC’s policy response to our emerging scientific understanding of fracking’s public health risks, and how that understanding should be brought to bear in evaluating our energy future.
  • Click here for a pdf of the presentation.

Tuesday, October 6

  • NPCW_DBrown12:00 PM Eastern – Fracking & Patient Health 
  • Environmental Health Project – David Brown, ScD
  • Fracking ancient shale beds releases natural gas and other chemicals into neighborhoods. The Environmental Health Project has been examining persons with health concerns. This discussion will focus on the health effects observed in communities, the chemicals involved and the pathways of exposure. Personal actions available to protect residents who are exposed will be included.
  • Click here for a pdf of Dr. Brown’s powerpoint presentation.

  • 8:00 PM Eastern – Coal & Climate Change Password: Web1234NPCW_ALockwood
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility – Alan Lockwood, MD, FAAN
  • Coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and dozens of other substances known to be hazardous to human health. We will also consider coal’s contribution to global warming, and the health implications of global warming. Dr. Lockwood has written numerous articles about the health dangers of coal, including PSR’s report “Coal’s Assault on Human Health,” Dr. Lockwood is also the author of a new book on coal, The Silent Epidemic: Coal and the Hidden Threat to Health. [excerpt from PSR]
  • Click here for a pdf of Dr. Lockwood’s powerpoint presentation.
  • View the webinar recording here.

Thursday, October 8

  • NPCW_WRing8:00 PM Eastern – The Health Impact of Fossil Fuels & the Clean Air Act as a Climate Tool Password: Web1234
  • Climate 911 – Wendy Ring, MD, MPH
  • By the numbers, air pollution from fossil fuel causes more disease and death than climate change. We’ll talk about the direct health impacts of oil and gas throughout their life cycles; environmental injustice; and using the Clean Air Act to slow climate change and improve air quality. After this webinar you’ll be ready to act by calling on the EPA to tighten up its new methane standard.
  • Get Involved!  Sign on to the Climate 911 letter to the EPA requesting stricter limits on oil and gas methane here.
    • Print out the letter and get students, professors, and other healthcare professionals to sign on as well!
    • Find more ways to take action against climate change at

Friday, October 9 

  • NPCW_BGottlieb12:00 PM Eastern – Renewable Energy Resources & Solutions Password: Web1234
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility – Barbara Gottlieb, Director of Environment & Health at PSR
  • You probably know that generating electricity by burning coal releases massive amounts of dangerous pollutants and contributes to four of the five leading causes of premature death. Burning natural gas, while cleaner at the point of combustion, creates severe pollution due to the extraction process known as fracking. And both coal and natural gas release powerful greenhouse gases, intensifying climate change, which causes a whole series of damaging impacts on health. So how are we supposed to power our homes, our hospitals, our lives? There is a solution. Learn how renewable energy sources like solar and wind generate power without poisons, and how energy efficiency reduces our need for electricity without diminishing the quality of our lives. Finally, hear how you can take action to advance our nation’s reliance on power that is abundant, clean and health-protective.

NPCW 2015 Chapter Programming

Click here to see how Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine is doing NPCW!

Send us your chapter’s plans to be featured here!  E-mail for details.

View the 2014 Webinars