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Title: Healthy Patients, Workforce and Environment: Coupling Climate Adaptation and Mitigation to Wellbeing in Healthcare
Authors: de Souza, Mark
Lee, Aunty Bilawara
Cook, Stephen
Citation: de Souza, M., Lee, A. B., & Cook, S. (2023). Healthy Patients, Workforce and Environment: Coupling Climate Adaptation and Mitigation to Wellbeing in Healthcare. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(22), 7059. MDPI AG. Retrieved from
Publisher: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Abstract: Climate change threatens the health of all Australians: without adaptation, many areas may become unlivable, in particular the tropical north. The Northern Territory (NT) health workforce is already under colliding operational pressures worsened by extreme weather events, regional staff shortages and infrastructure that is poorly adapted to climate change. The H3 Project (Healthy Patients, Workforce and Environment) explores nature-based interventions in the NT health sector aiming to strengthen the resilience and responsiveness of health infrastructure and workforce in our climate-altered future. The H3 Project engaged the health workforce, climate researchers and the wider community, in recognition that meaningful and timely climate action requires both organization-led and grassroots engagement. We recruited campus greening volunteers and sustainability champions to Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) to develop strategies that enhance climate adaptation, build climate and health literacy, and incentivize active mobility. We implemented low-cost biophilic design within the constraints of legacy healthcare infrastructure, creating cool and restorative outdoor spaces to mitigate the impacts of heat on RDH campus users and adapt to projected warming. This case study demonstrated substantial cooling impacts and improved local biodiversity and hospital campus aesthetics. We collaborated with Indigenous healers and plant experts to harness the synergy between Aboriginal people’s traditional knowledge and connectedness to land and the modern concept of biophilic design, while seeking to improve hospital outcomes for Indigenous patients who are both disconnected from their homelands and disproportionately represented in NT hospitals.
Journal title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume: 20
Pages: 7059
Publication Date: 2023-11-13
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:(a) NT Health Research Collection

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