2019 Summer Newsletter

In This Issue
♦ First Heat-Associated Deaths Reported for 2019

♦ Indoor Heat Deaths

♦ Phoenix City Council Unanimously Supports Heat Planning

♦ MCDPH Unveils New Heat Resources

♦ Lyft Brings Grocery Access Program to Phoenix Area

♦ Climate and Health Champion Nominations Are In

♦ Climate and Health News Roundup
First Heat-Associated Deaths Reported for 2019
As of August 10, there have already been 27 confirmed heat-associated deaths in Maricopa County this year. An additional 122 cases are currently under investigation by the County Medical Examiner. Click here to view the press release about the county's first heat-associated death of the year. If you would like to receive weekly MCDPH heat surveillance reports, please contact us at climateandhealth@mail.maricopa.gov.
Maricopa County Heat-Associated Deaths*, 2019
*2 heat-caused deaths from Weeks 15 and 17 excluded from graph
Indoor Heat Deaths
Between 2006 and 2018, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) documented 1,292 heat-associated deaths. Forty percent of these deaths occurred indoors. MCDPH has worked in collaboration with the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner to determine the circumstances of these deaths.

One common trait among indoor heat-associated deaths is a lack of adequate cooling at time of death. There was no air conditioning (AC) unit present on the property for about twenty percent of cases. Meanwhile, in nearly 8 out of every 10 cases an AC unit was present but was either not functioning or was not turned on. A lack of funds, efforts to save money, and forgetfulness were cited as barriers to AC repair and use in cases for which additional details were available. These cases highlight the risk that extreme heat poses to our most vulnerable residents.
Phoenix City Council Unanimously Support Heat Planning
On April 9, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a motion to develop a comprehensive heat mitigation and adaptation plan. Assistant City Manager Deanna Jonovich began the discussion and the policy session included input from Housing Director Cindy Stotler, Chief Sustainability Officer Mark Hartman, Chief Service Officer Michael Hammett, and Arizona State University (ASU) School of Sustainability Assistant Professor Dave Hondula. City council members briefly discussed specific action items and areas of concern they would like addressed in the planning process.
MCDPH Unveils New Heat Resources
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) is pleased to share two new informational resources about heat-related illness for the general public. Read about each resource and download the documents using the links below:

  • Heat-Related Illness Cards - Quarter-page sized cards containing information on preventing heat-related illness and recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Also available in Spanish.

  • 'Heat Kills' Infographic - A one-page overview of Maricopa County heat-associated death statistics from 2006 to 2018. The two-sided version includes one side in English and the other side in Spanish.

MCDPH ordered 3,500 quarter-page glossy prints of the Heat-Related Illness cards and still has copies available by request. So far, the department, in collaboration with community partners, has distributed 1,425 copies of the cards in English and 575 copies in Spanish. MCDPH has also provided digital copies of the 'Heat Kills' Infographic to be printed and distributed during community outreach events.
Lyft Brings Grocery Access Program to Phoenix Area
To combat the adverse health effects of urban food deserts, Lyft is partnering with Food City and United Way to offer discounted rides for those living in areas with poor access to healthy foods.

Through September 1st, residents of an identified food desert can use the code FOODACCESSPHX to ride to any Food City location in Phoenix, Glendale, or Tempe for only $2 each way. Individuals can use the service for up to 12 roundtrip rides before the promotion ends.

Click here to read more about this program and it's sponsors.
Climate and Health Champion Nominations Are In
The nomination window for the 2019 Climate and Health Champion awards program has closed, but the excitement is just beginning. Overall, the recognition committee received a total of 27 nominations across 5 categories. A team of impartial judges have already begun the process of evaluating each submission. The final scores will be tallied and winners announced later this fall.

And the nominees are...

  • Business: Bird Rides Inc, Selrico Inc, U-Haul International

  • Individual: Aditi Narayanan, Cecelia Araiza, Cindy Gentry, Cliff Danley and Isaac Healis, Greg Peterson, Lauren Kuby, Maggie Messerschmidt, Doug Bland

  • Organization: Alhambra Elementary School District, Arizona Sustainability Alliance, Arizona Youth Climate Strike, Phoenix Union High School Board, Maricopa County Air Quality, Salt River Project, Town of Queen Creek, Trees Matter, Valley Metro

  • Research: Anthony Brazel, David Hondula, Jennifer Vanos, Michael Hammet, Mona Arora

  • Youth: Aditi Narayanan, Nikita Bharati, Arizona Youth Climate Strike
Climate and Health News Roundup