BALTIMORE — Johns Hopkins recently released a study on public health involvement and Baltimore was one of the 22 cities that reported involvement in all five categories in the study.
The study was created by Dr. Mary Fox and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For their study, researchers looked at material to assess how 22 large cities respond to extreme weather and climate change.
These cities voluntarily report this data, and Fox says that in about 30% of these cases, the city health department isn't a part of the main planning team.
"Why is it important to have the public health agency involved? Public health agencies are the ones that understand the health of their populations best and that actually have that data available," said Fox.
One of the findings from the study showed that Baltimore had a great comprehensive plan in place to handle emergency events. According to the study, Baltimore has activities ongoing in all five categories.
"Baltimore has an evaluation and kind of monitoring system for their plan," said Fox. "They're kind of tracking their progress on all of the different activities that they've outlined in the plan."
Fox goes on to say that despite all of the good that Baltimore is doing, the city can't be looked at as the standard. Studying climate change is highly variable because different places experience different problems, so it's hard to compare the efforts of different cities.
"The whole field is evolving over time, but we can feel really good about Baltimore's plan," said Fox. "It's got coordination with state emergency management in the state agencies. I think all these cities in different ways, can serve as a model and tell us this is the way we can organize and get some of these things done."
The bottom line of the study shows that cities should involve public health agencies across the board.
"Our work in this area is really intended to kind of encourage public health agencies to get involved," said Fox. "We're transitioning into whatever this new normal is going to be and it's important for health departments to think about that.
To see the full study click here.