BRACE-Illinois is a project funded by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) to build the capacity of Illinois’ public health system to minimize the public health impact from climate change. This will help Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local health departments better protect the health of the public from health problems worsened by climate change. Elena Grossman, MPH of the University of Illinois at Chicago is the Principal Investigator of BRACE-Illinois.
A Public Health Perspective on Climate Change
The warming and instability of the climate in the United States is well-established. In the past 25 years, Illinois has experienced the 1993 Mississippi River floods, the 1995 Chicago heat wave, the drought of 2012, and the many spring floods including 2013, 2017, 2019, and 2020. Extreme weather events lead to health problems in our communities. Changes in climate also leads to changes in patterns of diseases that are spread by ticks and mosquitoes.
By preparing for climate change, the IDPH hopes to protect the people of Illinois from heat stroke, asthma, waterborne illness, diseases spread by ticks and mosquitos, and other health problems worsened by climate change in Illinois.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the BRACE framework (Building Resilience Against Climate Effects) to assist health departments in addressing climate change. The CDC is funding the The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health (UIC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to protect the health of the public in Illinois by using the BRACE framework. BRACE Illinois developed the Illinois Climate and Health Profile Report to describe the public health problem of climate in Illinois.