Climate Change Resiliency Mentoring

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‘The evidence is overwhelming: climate change endangers human health’.
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General, World Health Organization

Climate Change Impacts are Here Now!

2016 shattered global heat records. Increasing atmospheric and ocean temperatures bring with them increased frequency and severity of storms, epidemics, heat waves, and other natural disasters.

Health care facilities in developed nations, like Canada, are not immune to climate change impacts. Climate change poses real risks to all Canadians and health care facilities:

  1. Infrastructure Impacts: More extreme weather events can damage infrastructure and physical plant operations, compromise access to supplies, food, and water, and endanger the safety of patients, visitors, and staff.
  2. Increase Health Risks: Increased morbidity and mortality as a result of greater frequency and severity of natural disasters, exacerbation of poor air quality, and increased transmission of vector-borne diseases.

The World Health Organization has called on the health care sector to prepare for climate change impacts through efforts to increase resiliency. The Coalition's exciting new mentoring initiative will benefit all Ontarians and communities with health care facilities and promote responsible resource stewardship within the health sector.

What is Climate Change Resiliency Mentoring?

Climate Change Resiliency Mentoring is a program offered by the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care that provides tools, resources, and guidance for facilities to evaluate and increase their resiliency to climate change impacts.

What are the benefits of participating in Climate Change Resiliency Mentoring?

Participation is FREE. Benefits include

  • Access to Canada’s Health Care Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit and formal, structured support.
  • Identification of facility’s current climate change risks using the Resiliency Toolkit.
  • Provision of a ‘Facilitators slide deck’ that Resiliency Champions can use in their own facility to explain the initiative to their team and bring attention to resiliency as strategic priority within organisation.
  • Support evaluating relevant facility data.
  • Peer learning group support that will lead to sharing climate change resiliency preventative actions, initiatives, best practices, and toolkit questions.
  • Assistance to reduce facility’s ecological footprint while developing in-house sustainability resiliency measures.
  • Guidance relating the Resiliency Assessment results to Environmental Sustainability.
  • Tools to benchmark progress against self and others.
  • Green leadership within your community.
  • The opportunity to contribute to the national health care climate change resiliency conversation.

Program benefits received by participating organizations are valued at approximately $15 000!

What do you commit to by participating?

  • Designation of an in-house Resiliency Champion to work with the Climate Change Resiliency Mentoring program team.
  • Participation of relevant departmental staff (Purchasing, Facilities, Nursing, Diagnostic, Redevelopment, Food Service, Housekeeping, Emergency Response) to undertake the assessment at your facility.
  • Obtaining access to relevant facility data.
  • Work with local Public Health Department and other community experts to identify potential geographic and site specific climate change impacts.

Participation is FREE to any health care organisation. We are offering two collaborative learning group sessions: The first session starts in November 2016, and the second session will start in April 2017.

Why should your facility prepare for climate change impacts?

While facilities worldwide are recognizing the need to adapt to a changing climate and the need to become more resilient, a growing number of North American facilities have already faced adversity due to climate change-related events resulting in service delays and costly repairs:

  • 10 days of extreme humidity in Regina, Saskatchewan, forced the hospital to close their surgery suites for eight days due to increased risk of OR contamination (Summer 2007).
  • Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Fort McMurray, Alberta, evacuated hundreds of patients as uncontrolled wildfires threatened the hospital (Spring 2016).
  • Record downpour from the remnants of hurricane Mathew resulted in power outages and forced Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Nova Scotia to rely on emergency power (October 2016).
  • Lyme disease increases in Canada due to our warming climate (May 2016).
  • Multiple floods in the last several years have hospitals in Manitoba preparing contingency plans for anticipated future events (2011, 2014).
  • Hurricane Juan rips roof from the Victoria General Hospital in Nova Scotia causing water damage to eight floors and forcing the evacuation of 200 patients (September 2003).
  • West Nile virus continues to run rampant in North America, costing hospitals millions of dollars (2002-present).


Resiliency and sustainability go hand in hand! The United Nations past Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has stated:

"The benefits of addressing climate change include reduced pollution, improved public health, fewer disaster, cleaner, cheaper, more efficient energy, better managed forests, more livable cities, increased food security and less poverty."


Health Care Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit - Online Toolkit Access

Climate Change Resiliency Mentoring participants will work toolkitwith colleagues to assess health care facilities’ vulnerabilities to climate change using the Coalition’s Health Care Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit. The Toolkit was developed in partnership with Health Canada and with funding from the Nova Scotia Department Environment.

Now you can get enhanced access to the resiliency toolkit online. Find out your facility's resiliency score, get access to the Facilitators Guide, and more.

Register here! or Sign in with an existing account.

Why your facility should use the online checklist to assess readiness for the impacts of climate change:

  1. Start to identify your facility’s current climate change related risks
  2. Understand your current state of preparedness
  3. Learn what other facilities are doing to become better prepared
  4. Help your facility to become better prepared
  5. Use the checklist to benchmark your progress against your original answers over time
  6. Use the checklist to benchmark your progress against other like facilities in the future
  7. Be a leader in your community
  8. Help start the National conversation on climate change-resiliency with hospitals across Canada


Coalition Project Staff

Linda Varangu, Executive Director  – Project Lead
Kent Waddington, Communications Director  – Project Advisor
Samantha Putos,  Sustainable Health Care Programs Analyst – Project Coordinator


University Health Network 

Contact us soon to reserve your spot as space is limited! 

Kent Waddington


This project was undertaken with the financial support of:
Ce projet a été réalisé avec l'appui financier de:

otfAn agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. Visit: to learn more.