How Climate Change Increases Need for Health Promotion Practitioners

by Brina Jablonski

Rebecca Patrick, Teresa Capetola, Mardie Townsend, and Sonia Nuttman define the threats that the world is facing as whole due to climate change and explain how there is a greater need for health promoters at the community level. Health promotion professionals are those responsible for improving and adapting the health sector to match the current climate. The authors constantly emphasize how these professionals are responsible for strengthening society’s relationship with the environment and how they stand as catalysts for change.

The authors note how current climate changes are dangerous to human beings across the globe. They mention how “already vulnerable populations such as remote Aboriginal communities, Pacific Island Countries, the elderly and people with low income” will feel the rippling effects of climate change even more than they already do. This statement supports the fact that health professionals are desperately needed.

In response to the climate change and the need for more effective health promoters, the School of Health & Social Development, Faculty of Health, in Australia conducted a study that focuses on the core competencies desired in a health professional. The study determined that those working in the health industry need skills such as teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills in order to make a change in today’s world and prevent further human damage from global warming. The study also notes how these health experts need to be aware of the latest research and must be able to work across multiple disciplines instead of specializing in one area.

The personal qualities associated with an effective health promotion official were empathy, flexibility, initiative, self-motivated, resilient, and positive attitude. The study overall demonstrated that health promotion practitioners need these certain competencies in order to carry out their job to the best of their ability and make a change in the world.

Patrick et al 2011. “Health Promotion and Climate Change: Exploring the Core Competencies Required for Action.” Health Promotion International 27.4 (2012): 475-485.


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