by Kerstan Ryan On Tuesday, April 27, Clean Air Carolina will be recognized as one of ten finalists for the 2021 American Climate Leadership Awards. Hosted by ecoAmerica, the awards acknowledge climate leaders and organizations building political resolve for climate...read more
Medical Advocates for Healthy Air
Medical Advocates for Healthy Air (MAHA) is a statewide network of health professionals leading the call for cleaner air and climate health. A program of Clean Air Carolina, we are also the North Carolina chapter of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. MAHA members recognize climate change as a public health emergency, and leverage our trusted voice to advocate for equitable solutions that improve health in our communities now. We take action through education, policy, and climate-smart healthcare initiatives.
of NC children have been diagnosed with asthma, which is the leading medical cause of absence from school
“These kids can’t breathe. Their cases can be so severe that they require acute care and end up being air-lifted to critical care facilities.”Candace Cahoon
Education and Advocacy
MAHA provides climate health education to prepare clinicians for clinical practice and leadership in a changing climate, to help patients identify and adapt to air pollution and climate impacts, and to build resilience in our healthcare infrastructure. We advocate for curriculum reform in North Carolina schools of medicine and residency programs, and we provide customized tools and support to bring climate curriculum ideas to leadership and assist in developing AAMC and ACGME competency-aligned curricula tailored to the program’s needs.
We also conduct training sessions with residents and other health professionals on the health impacts of climate change and air pollution, and the implications for patient care. Members of our healthcare network play a key role in working with grassroots community groups to provide education on the health effects of climate change and air pollution to community members.
If you are interested in a climate health curriculum, training sessions, speakers for Grand Rounds or other events, or community health partnerships, contact Stephanie Johannes at [email protected].
Clean Air Carolina holds polluters accountable and advocates for policy solutions that lead to better health for our communities. A rapid, and fair, transition to clean energy is needed to ensure North Carolinians have clean air to breathe now, and a stable climate for the health and prosperity of future generations.
Our health professionals network is a key component of our advocacy work. We leverage the trusted voice of health professionals to communicate the health co-benefits of clean energy, clean transportation, and clean air. We provide the training and tools to help our members engage in effective advocacy.
Contact [email protected] to get involved with our advocacy work.
MAHA recognizes that the US healthcare sector contributes 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. We advocate for healthcare systems to align their environmental impact with their mission to promote patient and community health
We also recognize the challenge that climate change, and climate-related extreme weather events, will present to healthcare delivery, and we advocate for policies and practices to ensure healthcare resilience. Contact Stephanie Johannes at [email protected] to learn more about our Climate-Smart Healthcare initiatives.
MAHA Advisory Board
Consisting of medical and health professionals from across the state, the Advisory Board participates in regular meetings to discuss current issues and directions for MAHA’s advocacy and education initiatives. We strive for a Board that reflects the diversity of North Carolina in race, gender, and geography. If you or someone you know would like to serve on our Advisory Board, please contact us.
Dr. Parr is an emergency physician practicing in Wilmington and has been active since 2008 in the Stop Titan coalition, a community-based organization opposed to the planned Titan Cement manufacturing and strip mine facility on the Cape Fear River. Bob is a passionate voice for clean air and has penned numerous op-eds and letters to the editor in Raleigh and Wilmington newspapers to educate the public and policy makers about the dangerous impact the cement plant will have on air quality. Dr. Parr was a leader in MAHA’s fight to save North Carolina’s air toxics program in 2012, preparing health statistics on affected counties and speaking at our press conference at the legislature. Clean Air Carolina honored Dr. Parr for his educational and advocacy work with an Airkeeper Award in December, 2012.
Crystal Dixon is an Assistant Professor in Public Health Education at UNC Greensboro. Dixon currently serves as the Chair for the School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She has been appointed to serve on the HHS Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce and has been appointed to serve on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Excellence at UNC Greensboro, respectively. Recently, she was selected as the recipient for the 2020-2021 HHS Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion Award.
Dixon is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Sustainability at Wake Forest University and is committed to addressing the intersection of environmental racism, climate change, sustainability, and health inequities.
Dr. Aaron Levy is a pediatric hospitalist at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital where he is also involved in medical education on climate change and health. He also serves on the Mecklenburg Air Quality Commission.
Dr. Price serves as an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Lenoir-Rhyne University. An expert in health promotion and community health, she has devoted her career to reducing health disparities among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. She earned her master’s degree from Columbia University and her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, where her research focused on understanding how social and spiritual connections influence health behaviors. With a passion for health and wellness, she coordinated health education programs at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the New Jersey War-Related Illness and Injury Center. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors for MountainTrue, a Clean Air Carolina partner organization working to preserve the Western North Carolina ecosystem.
Candace Cahoon is a National Board for Respiratory Care Certified Respiratory Therapist and serves as a Pediatric Asthma Program Coordinator at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie, North Carolina. In her role, she trains patients and their families to cope with an asthma diagnosis, provides individualized education for patients and their families regarding asthma, and informs patients about the AQI and how it can be utilized to avoid disease triggers. Ms. Cahoon previously served as a Respiratory Care Practitioner at Vidant Chowan Hospital and at Vidant Cardiopulmonary Rehab. In addition to her work, Ms. Cahoon is an active member of the American Association for Respiratory Care, North Carolina Asthma Alliance, and the Association of Asthma Educators.
Dr. Aseem Kaul is a physician currently training at Atrium Health in Family Medicine. Dr. Kaul has called North Carolina home for more than 20 years and received his Bachelors and medical degrees at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. His community involvements include working at free health clinics as well as with the local Habitat for Humanity groups. He is passionate about promoting clean and healthy air while enjoying the outdoors and can often be found hiking the trails of Western North Carolina.
by William Barber III and Andrew Whelan The struggle for climate health and for climate justice are inseparable. We simply cannot achieve one without the other. “When we talk about climate solutions, we have to make sure that they’re just and equitable,” says William...read more
by Joel Porter North Carolina’s air got a little cleaner this week. Thanks to Clean Air Carolina’s advocacy, CPI Roxboro in Person County and CPI Southport in Brunswick County will cease operations after years of emissions violations. These two power plants burned...read more