Few places are as hot during the long, sizzling summer than the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. That heat has an impact on our health; heat-related issues send nearly 3,000 people to an emergency room each year. 

A $2 million federal grant to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Extreme Weather and Public Health Program will help the state build public health resistance to the state’s climate.

The Building Resistance Against Climate Effects (BRACE) grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide $400,000 per year for the next five years. The grant was received in collaboration with the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health, the UArizona College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture, and researchers at Arizona State University. 

The initiative is designed to build public health resilience against climate hazards. The program will partner with diverse organizations across the state to implement interventions aimed at protecting Arizonans from climate-sensitive hazards. The Pima and Maricopa County health departments also will participate.

From 2010 to 2020, a total of 2,431 people died from heat-related illness, while 14,428 people were treated in an emergency room and 3,761 were admitted to a hospital for care. The BRACE program will help Arizonans prepare for heat-related hazards.