September 3, 2021
New HHS Office Targets Climate Change and Environmental Equity
On Monday, Secretary Xavier Becerra announced a new office within HHS—the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE). The new office represents the first federal program specifically targeted at lowering greenhouse gas emissions and understanding the public health ramifications of climate change. The White House’s national climate change adviser has asked HHS to use the OCCHE to explore how extreme weather affects minority communities and the elderly. While details of the office’s new duties are still nebulous, Secretary Becerra has asked the OCCHE to include hospitals in its consideration of ways to reduce pollution throughout the health care sector—a task that the new office may explore through regulations.