Imagine living in 100+ degree temperatures for weeks on end and having no access to cooling your home – none whatsoever. Think about it. Extreme heat episodes create dangerous and life-threatening public health risks for anyone living without a way to cool their homes. The threat exists for all members of communities, but marginalized residents and expectant mothers are some of the most vulnerable, especially in hot spots. Join me to hear about a creative, integrated and impactful partnership in a colonia in San Elizario, Texas, that is designed to do something about it to help people with no cooling and to then serve as a model for use in other places along the U.S.-Mexico border. This project, a partnership between AYUDA, Paso del Norte de Promotoras, and the University of Arizona and other academic institutions, focuses on this colonia to build resilience to increasing extreme heat episodes. They have gathered promotoras, researchers and community groups to work on these issues along the border to focus on building public understanding and reducing vulnerabilities. We will talk about the project’s goals including the creation of a heat health risk training program and how they plan to provide low cost interventions. Since I can’t imagine a home without cooling when it’s 110, I am eager to hear about real solutions for those who face these challenges. I hope you are too. The Hot Spot program and this show are made possible due to the generous support of the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, University of Arizona
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- There were a number of influences that came into play in Gregg’s life that inspired him to begin work on this project. One was that according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, extreme heat is the number one, weather related, cause of death in the United States.
- In these initial steps of the Hot Spots program, the focus is on raising awareness and building capacity. Greg shares what that means and how they are partnering with multiple agencies to build strong foundations for this work.
- What are Promotoras? Why are they an essential part of health and sustainability in communities that are struggling with resources? Listen to this podcast to find out!
- The Hot Spot project entails educational curriculum about extreme heat and the impact it can have on your health…and then training professionals like Rachel and Esther on all of the issues of extreme heat. The second aspect of the project is to pair communities in the United States and Mexico to develop collaborative partnerships and strong communication related to extreme heat education and prevention.
- Why are aspects of this program focusing on women and pregnant women? Was that the initial plan for the project? How did this project get started? Inspiring information shared on this podcast!
- What was the initial reaction from the at risk populations this project aims to serve? Esther provides insights into the needs of the populations they strive to serve and Gregg sheds light on the “train the trainer” aspect of this program and how it has been designed to grow and expand it’s positive impact.
- Doulas, Promotoras, Midwives and lactation consultants are key partners for this project because of their ability to form and enrich relationships with women in the community. They are excellent individuals to deliver education around health issues related to extreme heat.
- Learn more about the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice
- Visit the Western Adaptation Alliance’s website to learn more about the work being done in your city.
- Want to learn more about Doulas and the work that Rachel is doing? Visit her website and join her onFacebook and Instagram
- Want to have tips handy to take care of yourself and others in extreme heat? A nice resource is Ready.gov and the American Red Cross