Who We Are:
Florida Clinicians for Climate Action (FCCA) is a coalition of health professionals and health organizations concerned about the impacts of climate change on Florida residents, especially those in vulnerable populations. FCCA was founded in response to what health professionals are already experiencing in patient care settings throughout Florida.
The purpose of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action is to engage Florida health professionals and health organizations in public and policymaker education around the health effects of climate change in Florida and nationally, to move public opinion, and advocate for policy change to support the shift to a healthy and sustainable future.
Engage – health professionals in the climate-health discussion. Recruit health professionals to learn about climate, understand the risks, and advocate for solutions.
Educate – health professionals, their patients and policymakers about the health risks of climate change and the health benefits of climate solutions.
Advocate – for policies that support a healthy sustainable future. Advocate for solutions that incorporate economic and social justice, and protect the health of communities of color and vulnerable populations.
Co-Chair – Dr. Cheryl Holder
Co-Chair – Dr. Ankush Bansal
Senior Policy Advisor – Dr. Mona Sarfaty
Senior Policy Advisor – Dr. Mark Mitchell
Program Manager – Melissa Baldwin
Cheryl Holder, MD, FACP, is Co-Chair of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action.
Dr. Holder is board-certified in Internal Medicine and has dedicated her medical career to serving underserved populations. As President of the Florida State Medical Association – which is the state affiliate of the National Medical Association – Dr. Holder works with nine local Florida Medical Societies to address health disparities and increase the viability of African American physicians. Since 2009, Dr. Holder has served as a faculty member at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Her focus is on teaching medical students about working in underserved communities and promoting diversity in the health professions through pipeline programs.
Ankush Bansal, MD, FACP, is Co-Chair of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action.
Dr. Bansal is a board-certified internal medicine hospitalist, telemedicine provider, consultant, and medical expert. He is licensed in 21 states. He has a Certificate in Climate Change and Health Communication from the Yale University School of Public Health and he is a Voluntary Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at FIU. Dr. Bansal serves on the Steering Committee for Physicians for Social Responsibility – Florida chapter. He also serves on the Boards of the Florida Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Florida Medical Association, and the national and Florida boards of the Forensic Expert Witness Association. Finally, he serves as the Associate Member Representative to the General Assembly of the World Medical Association. He is a published author and former cancer researcher.
Mark Mitchell, MD, MPH, FACPM, is a professor of Climate Change, Energy, and Environmental Health Equity at George Mason University. He served as the health director for the City of Hartford a city that is 84% Black and Latino, and the Deputy Director for the City of Kansas City, Mo. Dr. Mitchell started the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, which provided community education on environmental justice issues and health. He has worked on policy at the state and local level in Connecticut. His recent speaking engagements include the October 2018 Conference of the Southeast Florida Climate Compact, along with Dr. Cheryl Holder.
Mona Sarfaty, MD, MPH, FAAFP, is the Director of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health based within the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. The Consortium was established after several years of collaboration with medical societies to assess physician attitudes and experience regarding the health effects of climate change and to increase engagement of physicians and their associations on the issues of climate change, sustainability, and clean power. As a family medicine professor and physician for over 30 years, Dr. Sarfaty has engaged in research and teaching focused on primary care, cancer screening, and public policy, including the health effects of climate change. Dr. Mona Sarfaty has worked for Senator Kennedy on Capitol Hill and has published articles and book chapters on climate change and health.
Melissa Baldwin is the Program Manager for Florida Clinicians for Climate Action. Mrs. Baldwin has worked on climate change issues in Florida for over 15 years, with experience advocating for local, state, and federal climate policies. Melissa has worked with over a dozen non-profit climate and clean energy education groups to enhance public awareness of key climate threats such as sea-level rise, hurricanes, and public health threats. Melissa specializes in media relations, public education, communications, and public policy. In 2008, Melissa successfully lobbied for House Bill HB 7135, which passed under the Charlie Crist administration as one of the most progressive climate and energy policies in the Southeast at that time. In 2006, Melissa was named one of the Top “30 Under 30” young professionals by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Melissa’s passion for climate change dates back to college, where she served as a media relations intern for the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.
The Florida Clinicians for Climate Action was formed in January of 2018 at the Florida Climate & Health Equity Symposium, which was a collaboration between the National Medical Association, the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute and the Florida state chapter of the National Medical Association and The Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health.
The 2018 Climate & Health Equity Symposium educated over 100 clinicians, primarily physicians of color, on addressing the health effects of climate change in low-income Floridians. At the conclusion of the symposium, there was a breakout session, where a group of about 30 physicians agreed to create Florida Clinicians for Climate Action and issued the Tampa Declaration on Climate & Health. The Tampa Declaration on Climate and Health is a call to action for Florida health professionals to protect public health from climate change impacts.