Climate Change and Health - About Our Program

Building Resilience Against Climate Effects

New York State's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) program works to reduce the risks of climate change on public health. The program is funded by the CDC Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative and uses the BRACE Framework to develop and implement strategies that increase resiliency at the state and local level.

Projects and Initiatives

BRACE researchers collect data and conduct studies to better understand the health impacts of extreme weather events and a changing climate. Staff have conducted analyses on temperature changes, air pollution, heat-related illness, and mental health. These studies contribute to the growing research on climate change and health. Learn more about some of our Climate and Health Research.

The program has developed tools and resources for public health professionals to address climate adaptation in their communities. For example, the Heat Vulnerability Index can be used to identify areas with populations more at-risk to heat related illness. See the Community Resilience page for more tools and resources.

BRACE staff work with the NYS Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) and local health departments to promote efforts to address change at the local level, such as the Climate Adaptation Workshop Series and funding opportunities for climate adaptation projects. We support the Climate Smart Communities program, which provides local governments with guidance on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save taxpayer dollars, and advance community goals for health and safety, economic vitality, energy independence, and quality of life.

BRACE partners with the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's (OTDA) Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to promote its Heating and Cooling Assistance Benefit Program to eligible New Yorkers. Staff also participate on the Climate Justice Working Group, which works to help ensure that disadvantaged communities benefit from the state’s transition to cleaner, greener sources of energy, reduced pollution and cleaner air, and economic opportunities.

The BRACE program supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) and ongoing work to build capacity and implement projects to improve climate resilience. We participate in the New York State Extreme Heat Action Plan Work Group, which supports efforts to keep residents safe during extreme heat events, prepare New York's diverse communities for future impacts of climate change, build local programs, and provide more services to all New Yorkers.