Foundations provide funding to address a hospital’s biggest long-term needs. Why aren’t they preparing for climate change?

While hospital foundations do fund research and initiatives that address health issues exacerbated by climate change, none appear to be launching campaigns aimed at climate change specifically.

Why It Matters

Climate change is the single greatest long-term threat to the health of Canadians, according to Canada’s chief public health officer – and hospital foundations are a significant source of equipment and capital spending for major hospitals.

This journalism is supported by the Future of Good editorial fellowship on climate change and human health, supported by Manulife. See our editorial ethics and standards here.

Keeping surgical instruments sterile in the cigar-like stench of a wildfire isn’t easy. For Dr. Alika Lafontaine, an anesthesiologist in Alberta and president of the Canadian Medical Association, it has proven impossible. During abnormally large and smoky wildfire seasons, Lafontaine’s hospital in Grande Prairie has been forced to shut down its operating theatres.

“I never thought I would see this in my life,” he recalls in a statement on the CMA’s website. “These are very real effects on people’s lives.”

Climate change is already upending emergency respo

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