Building Capacity for Research to Address Climate-Impacted Health Conditions

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

Climate change is increasing the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme heat and wildfire smoke events, both of which have serious adverse health effects. Extreme heat and wildfire smoke events have significant health impacts that are not evenly distributed. The communities with the heaviest health burden are the ones most exposed and least likely to have the economic, social, or political resources needed to respond. Through funding from the Patient Centered Outcome Research Initiative (PCORI), researchers, government representatives, and community-based organizations partnered to understand and address the health impacts of extreme heat and wildfire smoke events across communities in San Francisco. Together, the Climate Change Community Partner group identified priority populations who may be disproportionately exposed and/or those who may be susceptible to climate-sensitive events. We then co-developed conceptual models to visualize the potential health impacts experienced by priority populations during extreme weather events and developed and disseminated a community climate survey. Findings from the survey highlighted the many ways extreme heat and wildfire smoke are experienced by communities across San Francisco. Survey results also demonstrated reasonable uptake of protective health actions that individuals can enact (such as drinking water and staying indoors), but low uptake of actions that required significant costs (such as the costs of a personal air purifier) or where there may be structural barriers (being a renter and not being able to access weatherization services). 


Project Summary/Abstract

Community Climate Survey Report

PCORI Community Stakeholder Partners_______________________

For decades, the Coalition on Homelessness has developed the leadership skills of homeless San Franciscans to forge true solutions to the housing crisis and beat back mean-spirited attacks against them.

Golden Gate Senior Services’ mission is to maintain and improve the well-being of older adults and adults with disabilities. Our neighborhood-based centers, the Richmond and Castro Senior Centers, foster healthy aging through activities, nutrition, education and friendship.

Leaders4E.A.R.T.H. is a youth-founded and led working group focusing on leadership development through a social and environmental justice lens that approaches grassroots community organizing through education and youth-led engagement to promote healthy and thriving communities within the environmental movement.


The mission of NICOS Chinese Health Coalition is to enhance the health and well-being of the San Francisco Chinese community. The coalition fulfills its mission through research, training, advocacy, coalition-building and program implementation.

Rafiki Coalition’s mission is to eliminate health inequities in San Francisco’s Black and marginalized communities through education, advocacy, and by providing holistic health and wellness services in a culturally affirming environment.

Since 1966, Self-Help for the Elderly has provided assistance and support to seniors in the San Francisco area. We provide trustworthy and devoted care for seniors to promote their independence, dignity and self-worth.


The San Francisco Department of Health (SFDPH) aims to protect and promote health and well-being in San Francisco.

Southwest Community Corporation provides quality enriched, culturally appropriate programming and access to services based in Lakeview/Oceanview- Merced Heights-Ingleside communities in San Francisco.


The mission of GM Consulting Group is to connect, empower, and heal systematically excluded communities to create a healthier, sustainable, equitable and inclusive world by honoring each client's mission through strategic community engagement efforts.



The Office of Resilience and Capital Planning promotes the preservation and sustainability of San Francisco’s public capital assets and the city’s overall resilience to acute shocks and chronic stresses. Part of the Office of the City Administrator, the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning oversees policies, programs, interagency initiatives, and financial strategies that support the resilience of the City’s infrastructure and the people who rely on it.