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Press Releases

US Department of Health + Human Services Recognizes NYC Health + Hospitals for Its Pledge to Decarbonize Health Care Sector, Make Facilities Resilient to Climate Change

Biden Administration officials at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) highlight the health system’s efforts

Nov 11, 2022

NYC Health + Hospitals was celebrated by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) for its pledge to help decarbonize the health care sector and make health care facilities more resilient to the effects of climate change. At a NYC Health + Hospital/Lincoln event on May 12, Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO, joined

Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, MD to pledge that the health system would formally commit to pursuing the Biden Administration’s climate goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

“I was proud to join the Admiral in May to pledge our commitment to lowering our emissions,” said Dr. Katz. “Since 2006 we have reduced our overall emissions in our facilities by over 30 percent, and as we approach 2030 we will go even further. We have a lot of work to do, but we are leading the way in NYC.”

“HHS returns this year to COP27 to report great progress,” said ADM Levine. “Through the efforts of the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity and several other HHS agencies, we have made significant strides in introducing resources and supports to help communities and care providers accelerate their work to reduce harmful emissions and increase climate resilience in the health sector.”

One hundred two prominent health organizations in the US have signed the White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge, including health systems representing 837 hospitals as well as leading health centers, suppliers, insurance companies, group purchasing organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Federal systems like the Indian Health Service (IHS), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and Military Health System (MHS) are working together to meet similar goals to those these private sector organizations have embraced. Combined, this means that over 1,080 federal and private sector hospitals have made such commitments, together representing over 15 percent of US hospitals. 

Contact: pressoffice@nychhc.org; 212.788.3339

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation. We are a network of 11 hospitals, trauma centers, neighborhood health centers, nursing homes, and post-acute care centers. We are a home care agency and a health plan, MetroPlus. Our health system provides essential services to more than one million New Yorkers every year in more than 70 locations across the city’s five boroughs. Our diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. Visit us at www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.

About the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity
The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) plays a vital role in protecting the nation’s health from climate change-related risks, including extreme heat, natural disasters, vector-borne diseases and more. Among the supports OCCHE provides for health sector companies that wish to reduce their environmental impact and become more resilient to the effects of climate change are a webinar series and associated compendium of federal resources to support emissions reduction and resilience. OCCHE also publishes a regular Climate and Health Outlook, an effort to inform health professionals and the public on how our health may be affected in the coming month(s) by climate events and provide resources to take proactive action.