San José Clinic is one of more than 2,800 community health clinics in the United States. Throughout the country, free and charitable clinics, federally qualified health centers and other centers provide free or low-cost primary care to more than 32 million people.1
But clinics aren’t just on the front lines of health equity and access: they are on the front lines of the climate crisis, too. When dealing with the effects of pollution and extreme weather events, like heatwaves, flooding, wildfires and storms, many clinics may bear a disproportionate burden to support operations and patient health.
“The families most affected by climate change often have the fewest resources and the least ability to adapt,” said Mariel Fonteyn, Associate Director of Preparedness at Americares, a health-focused relief organization.