"Climate Change and Public Health: Addressing the Growing Crisis"

Saturday, September 21, 2019   9:30 AM – 4:00 PM

A free public educational workshop program in Morgantown, West Virginia


To RSVP, use the form at the bottom of this page. You will receive a confirmation email.

Workshop Topics include Physical and Mental Health Impacts, Disaster and Emergency Preparedness, and more.

Why is this program important?

Because accelerating global warming and climate change are affecting every facet of human life and well-being -- especially public health.

Economic, physical, and mental injuries from changing and extreme weather, heat waves, flooding, drought and bad air quality – as well as dangerous political and national security impacts from spreading disease, food scarcity, and forced migration – threaten human health and safety worldwide.

What is at stake, and what can we do?

At this free, public, educational program, attendees will hear and discuss presentations from distinguished experts in the fields of climate change and public health.  Attendees will learn about the latest developments, issues, and the practices that we can use to successfully confront this crisis.

The program will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM, at the West Virginia University College of Law Event Hall in Morgantown, WV. Registration is free and includes a buffet luncheon at 12:00 noon.

Continuing Education credits for certified public health professionals (5 CPH-CE hours) are available through the sponsors. To receive credit, participants must attend all sessions and complete an evaluation.

This program is organized by the West Virginia University College of Law Center for Energy and Sustainable Development and the West Virginia Center on Climate Change (“WV3C”), a project of Friends of Blackwater, cooperating with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Project.


TOPICS AND SPEAKERS (list in formation)

Keynote Luncheon Presenter

Dr. Bernard D. Goldstein, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health


Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Robert Duval, Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management, and Leadership, WVU School of Public Health


Mental Health Impacts

The health impacts of global warming and climate change are not just physical ailments and injuries from deadly heat waves, flooding, and disease.  Mental health effects like anxiety, confusion, depression, and frustration -- about personal and social hope and fears for a livable future -- are emerging with increasing frequency, in the psyches of global citizens. Expert presenters and group discussion will examine the mental health implications of global climate change, and provide guidance and strategies for health professionals and concerned citizens that can help build community and personal resilience, and work to remedy psychological distress.

Dr. Lise Van Susteren, M.D., Practicing General and Forensic Psychiatrist, Washington, DC, Former Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Department of Psychiatry

Dr. Susan Clayton, Ph.D, Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology and Chair of Environmental Studies, College of Wooster


Emergency Preparedness

Climate change is destabilizing systems for emergency preparedness and disaster response worldwide, threatening public health on many fronts.  Extraordinary and unprecedented political and national security threats from flood, famine, and drought, and the dismantling of safety systems by repeated record-breaking natural disasters, are creating a “Brave New World” of climate-related emergencies. In this section, expert presenters and group discussion will look at adaptation and preparedness measures that are necessary in this new era of climate change emergencies and disasters.

Dr. Daniel Barnett, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Health & Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health